What is QiGong and how does it work?

What is Qigong and how does it work?

Our lives are entire of stress, and we face new and different ailments that affect our bodies every day. With so much happening worldwide, it would be best to find a way to reduce stress and illnesses. It may seem more straightforward to take pills for every ailment and stressful feeling, but why do that when you can reduce all these on your own? As long as you have a few minutes a day, you can practice qigong, and that’s how you’ll start changing your life, how you feel, and how you react to everything around you.

Qigong is an ancient medicinal practice originating from China. Like other forms of medicine, qigong promotes good mental, physical, and spiritual health. It combines physical movement, controlled breathing, and meditation. There are different types of qigong, and each leads to the same end goal: getting rid of disease from the body.

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What is qigong, and how does it work?

Mindfulness Meditation is among the most popular meditation techniques in the West.  Its origins come from Buddhist teaching techniques. Mindfulness Meditation is also another form of focused meditation. It is the first stage in the practice of Zen Meditation.

Mindfulness Meditation begins with the practitioner focusing on either their body or on their breath as it passes through their body.  By creating this focus, there is also an awareness of what is happening in the present forming. Using a body scan technique to focus on the body, starting with the toes and working their way through the body, the practitioner can create awareness of potentially stressed areas.  Through that awareness, they can release that stress and continue it mindfully through the body.

Utilizing breath as a focal point also develops the awareness and state of consciousness that Mindfulness Meditation provides. In this instance, the practitioner focuses on their breathing. Paying attention to the flow of air in and out of the lungs and the pause in between creates a state of being present.  

In either case, random thoughts will no doubt invade the practitioner’s mind. When this occurs, a simple technique called ‘note-ing’ can be applied. This technique simply observes the thought, lightly acknowledges it, and refocuses the mind on either the breath or the body.  

Utilizing this technique, the practitioner develops a strength of focus that can be summoned to calm the mind from racing thoughts in the future. It also brings a state of consciousness, allowing the practitioner to be an observer of emotions when they arise.

How to Practice Qigong​

Qigong can be practiced by people of all ages and fitness levels, making it an accessible mind-body exercise.

Here is a simple guide on how to start practicing qigong:

  1. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a peaceful and quiet place where you won’t be disturbed during practice.
  2. Comfortable Clothing: Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy movement. This isn’t required, but highly recommended.
  3. Begin with Deep Breathing: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Focus on your breath and let go of any tension.
  4. Mindful Movement: Start with some simple qigong exercises or routines. These may include gentle arm movements, swaying, or circular motions. Coordinate your movements with your breath, inhaling as you move one way and exhaling as you move another.
  5. Maintain Relaxation: Keep your muscles and mind focused throughout your practice. Imagine any stress or tension leaving your body with each exhalation.
  6. Gradual Progress: As you become more comfortable with the basic movements, you can explore more advanced qigong routines or forms.

It’s essential to practice regularly to experience the full mind-body benefits of qigong. Even short daily sessions can yield significant results over time.

Where does qigong come from?

Qigong is a modern term used to categorize over 1500 different types of exercise into meaningful contexts. In the past, qigong used Taoism to attain physical and spiritual immortality. The earliest archaeological discoveries of qigong were discovered in the Ma Huang Tui Tombs. The images looked like dance-like postures combined with breathing used for health. 

The concept of qigong follows that of yin-yang because the physical exercises attempt to harmonize the yin-yang relationship in the body to keep the Qi circulating. According to history, this effort was stimulated by the Taoist alchemical tradition. In earlier Chinese beliefs, there was no concept of reincarnation, and the finality of death stimulated a way for them to prolong their lives. 

In pursuing immortality, the alchemists tried to discover various ways to maintain an individual’s consciousness even after death. This means utilizing herbs, particular dietary regimens, minerals, breathing, and physical exercises. All of these were meant to prolong life, and that’s where the roots of Qigong come from. That’s why we use the practice to develop and maintain health. 

Qigong is widespread in China, and even the government supports its use. The various forms of qigong today are either to prevent ailments, get rid of diseases, or fully recover. Projecting Qi from one person to another is possible to restore balance and healing. This form of qigong requires lots of education and learning from someone who’s done it for years. Practitioners also learn specific qigong exercises for particular diseases. 

How does qigong make you feel?

Students practicing qigong explain how they felt relaxed and energized after the classes. They also report sleeping deeply at night every day they have a class. According to a study, qigong could help reduce the symptoms of depression. In the study, participants who practiced qigong reported having less anxiety and better moods than those who didn’t. Qigong also has positive effects on bone and cardiovascular health, and it improves balance.

Because of the controlled breathing and gentle movement, you center your body and clear your mind. Doing so relaxes your nervous system, and that’s why most people have benefits like reduced anxiety and depression. Our daily lives invoke a lot of stress and worry, but once we calm down, breathe, and move the body, we worry less, which positively affects the mind and physical health. By practicing QiGong, you will improve your health and have a more balanced and brighter outlook on life. 

Can qigong cure diseases?

The body constantly fights bacteria, viruses, and many other forms of infection. When you practice qigong, it acts like a utility that shifts the body’s energy, making it more accessible by restoring power to the way it’s supposed to be and restoring the natural ability of the body to heal itself by restoring balance. According to most experiments conducted on qigong’s ability on the body, it is possible to see evidence suggesting that qigong may be effective in the treatment of diseases. These include chronic pain, arthritis, asthma, headaches, diabetes, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, and heart disease, among other illnesses causing death in this new age. 

If you’re wondering why one would opt for qigong over medical science, you haven’t given it a chance. Even though medical science has been growing, certain diseases keep coming up, and medical science can’t catch up. Also, we can see that it’s the biggest killer of our age when it comes to heart disease and cancer. Mortality rates from cancer have been the same since the 1940s. Even though life is always a gamble, qigong will help ensure the odds are in your favor. 

One of the greatest gifts that qigong gives us is detecting illness in its subclinical stage. This means you can notice when Qi is depleted, stagnant, or excessive and know what actions to take to balance it. For example, certain forms of breast cancer grow for eight years before they’re visible on mammograms. However, with the practice of qigong, you can detect any form of illness that is trying to happen and stop it. 

What are the five elements of qigong?

In TCM, five elements are interconnected and interdependent. A harmonious balance between these five elements leads to a healthy life. Each element is more prominent in certain seasons and daily cycles and is more strongly connected with specific organs and energy channels in the body. 

  • Wood: Liver and gallbladder (spring). The wood element is most prominent during the spring season. This element’s color is green, and the liver energy flows more quickly in spring when plants are sprouting new growth. It can help detoxify the body and give us more energy. 
  • Fire: Heart, small intestines, Pericardium, and Triple Heater (summer). This red element is more prominent in summer when there is heat. Heart energy is healing and brings health and joy to our lives. Enhancing our heart’s energy is essential, especially during summer. 
  • Earth: Stomach and spleen (all seasons, especially late summer). The earth element has no Pacific season, meaning you must activate it through all four seasons. It is quite prominent in the last ten days of each season. The best time to enhance your stomach and spleen energy is in the previous ten days of each season. 
  • Metal: Lung and large intestines (fall). This element is white and occurs in the fall, when there is a lot of harvesting and the abundance of summer. Fall is between a warm and cool season, and it’s necessary to prepare the lungs to prevent colds now that cooler seasons are coming.  
  • Water: Kidneys and bladder (winter). The water element is most visible during winter when plants go into a dormant cycle, and animals hibernate, storing energy away for spring. Enhancing the kidney during this season gives you more energy and vitality for the active seasons waiting for you.

The five principles of qigong are keys to unlocking its true potential, which you should read further about.  

Where can I learn more about qigong training?

It is exemplary whether you’re a beginner or have prior knowledge of qigong. You can always learn and advance with qigong training that can teach you everything you need to knowQigong is a practice that everyone should be given a chance to understand.

Final thoughts

Qigong is quite an ancient practice that rids the body of ailments and prevents our bodies from getting diseases. Since this form of medicine was created to achieve immortality, it is a great way to balance Qi and keep illnesses away from the body. It helps us detect disease in the body when Qi is stagnant or depleted. The best way to manipulate Qi is by following the elements of qigong and balancing each according to its season. Dive into qigong by exploring the best qigong teacher training and learning best practices.