Qi Gong has many health benefits for mind and body. For example, it balances and restores energy through slow movement, breath work and visual meditation.
What is Qi Gong?
Qi Gong is one form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is an ancient healing practice dating back about 4,000 years. The literal translation of Qi Gong is “breath work” or “energy work”. In other words, gentle breathing combined with movement. It is a mind body practice.The intention is to help relax the mind and mobilize the body’s energy. You don’t need to subscribe to the underlying beliefs of Qi Gong to enjoy the health benefits. However, understanding the concepts can make sense of the approach. For example, Qi is an energy force thought to flow through the body.
There are many different styles and methods of Qi Gong. It is unlike conventional exercise. The movements and postures are not designed to burn calories or increase heart rate. Instead, Qi Gong is an art that helps to improve circulation, balance, posture and alignment.
How does it work?
Using a combination of stances and movements, Qi Gong combines internal focus and breathing patterns. In this way, it promotes healthy the flow of energy (Qi). According to TCM, stagnant or blocked Qi causes imbalances in the body’s functioning. Consequently, these imbalances cause illness. On the other hand, a strong flow of Qi enables the body to begin it’s natural healing process.
Regular practice boosts health by increasing body-awareness. This awareness aids the flow of energy through vital meridians or pathways. In turn the flow of energy helps to release blockages in the body.
What are the health benefits?
This centuries-old system of coordinated body posture and movement is associated with many physical and mental health benefits. They include improved focus, digestion, balance, posture, circulation, and much more.
Qi Gong will give the core, glutes, back, and leg muscles a workout. Consequently, it will improve flexibility and help build strength. In this way, Qigong helps to improve balance and muscle control. This makes it great for older adults and people with health conditions. In addition, it is low impact. In other words, there is minimal stress on the joints and muscles.
Importantly, some studies show that it reduces the symptoms of depression and decreases anxiety. Others identify positive effects on cardiovascular and bone health. Moreover, there is evidence that the practice can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol. In other words, with regular and consistent practice, Qigong can reduce stress while helping you to achieve optimal body function.
Certainly there is no reason not to give Qi Gong a try. It requires no special equipment and very little space. It is not hard to follow the slow, purposeful movements. They are simple and easily modified. Furthermore, you can do most Qigong on a chair or even a bed. Short sessions of daily practice are enough to reap some of its amazing health benefits.