Do you want health and wellness without having to execute backbreaking physical movements? Practitioners of the ancient Chinese art of Qigong have known about its ability to unleash a person’s mental and physical power for centuries. So, what are Qigong exercises and how do you use them to promote holistic well-being?
What Is Qigong?
The Chinese believe that the flow of Qi or energy within the body determines its wellness. A break in this flow causes an illness. Qigong refers to a set of gentle exercises that a practitioner repeats a few times. These often include stretches to increase fluidity.
There are many types of Qigong. Some people use the practice to boost their performance in sports. Others rely on it for physical healing. It is also a spiritual discipline for many Taoists and Buddhists.
There are internal and external movements in Qigong. Internal moves are Neigong. They are well-regarded for their ability to promote health and wellness. These internal exercises set Qigong apart from Western ones.
The Benefits of Qigong Exercises
Qigong has remarkable mental and health benefits. Learn about some of them here.
1. Health and Wellness
First of all, it improves your health. Qigong emphasizes holistic well-being. This comprehensive review stresses that it prevents falls among the elderly and is an effective alternative treatment.
2. Clarity of Thought
Qigong also clears the mind. This meditative martial arts practice emphasizes universal peace. One is at peace when the entire universe is.
3. Improves sleep
Another way Qigong exercise benefits you is by promoting good sleep. It enables you to drift off to sleep by quieting the mind. A recent study examined older adults with cognitive impairment and found that these individuals experienced negative sleep patterns because their minds were restless. Qigong has proven to be a useful intervention.
Qigong warms the hands and feet, therefore improving circulation. This study has uncovered that Qigong may help older adults with arthritis, although more research on its usefulness is needed.
5. Increased energy
Furthermore, Qigong exercises benefit your vitality. They also boost your sexual well-being. It encourages mindfulness and heightens sexual arousal.
6. Clear Skin
The skin, like the intestines, is part of the excretory system. Because Qigong eliminates toxins, it purifies the skin. This effect will become more evident as you practice it.
7. Enhanced metabolism
Your digestion will improve if we practice Qigong. Since there is a close connection between stress and a weak digestive tract, it stands to reason that calming the mind with Qigong exercises will help you break food down.
8. Better physical control
Moreover, you will begin to regularize imbalanced bodily functions if you practice Qigong. Your heart rate, breathing rate, hormone levels, and blood pressure will return to normal.
9. Improves eyesight
The Qigong master has bright eyes. Qigong exercises can correct short-sightedness almost immediately. As a testament to Qigong’s spiritual element, your eyes may glow because your spirit and soul are luminous.
10. Intuition and Spiritual Awareness
Improve your intuition with Qigong. Your creativity, instinct, and self-awareness will grow as well. Your spirituality advances with your level of Qigong. You will experience more meaningful coincidences. Your thoughts will become clear because the exercises will get your Qi flowing.
7 Qigong Exercises for Beginners to Unleash Your Mental and Physical Power
These activities, which combine physical and mental elements, enhance the flow of energy in the body. Anyone can do them at the park or in the yard at home.
1. The Gentle Sway
First of all is the Gentle Sway. Move both your arms from your shoulders for about five minutes. Twist your torso from the waist as though you are wringing a washcloth. Doing this massages your internal organs.
How do you twist it? Move your arms from side to side, then back to front. Concentrate on releasing the residual stress in your body. Shift your focus so that your thoughts are only on how you move it.
2. The Bounce
Stand with your feet parallel and a shoulders’ width apart. Your arms should feel loose and hanging as if they were wet noodles. Your arms are in the ‘zero’ position. You should feel as if you’re jiggling.
Your shoulders should be neutral; neither pull them back or force them too forward. Your organs should feel relaxed, and your skin should feel loose. You will feel the tension within you, and you can dispel it if you choose.
3. The Accordion
This exercise raises a person’s awareness. You will use your hands as though they are an accordion or a bicycle pump.
Your breath should be slow and relaxed. You will feel as though you are in a light, trance-like state. Then, touch your palms together, and face them upward. The ‘Laogong’ or the Palm Chakras, which you’ll find in the centers of your palms, should touch.
Then, move your hands together slowly. Use as little physical effort as you can. By doing this, you compress the air between your palms, as an accordionist does.
4. Making the Point
This exercise helps a Qigong practitioner direct the flow of Qi in the body.
Use your index finger to direct your Qi or energy. Point it at your flat palm. Swab it across your palm as if it was a broom. Start with your fingertips about 20 inches from your palm. Then, move it closer. Move them close then away slowly, swabbing all the time. Your palm should feel ticklish.
5. Extending your Qi
Perform this exercise with your eyes half-closed if you don’t have enough Qi; you may do so with your eyes fully open if your Qi is stagnant. Inhale quickly through your nostrils if your eyes are half-open, or exhale if they are half-closed.
Allow the Qi to drift out when you exhale or hold it if you inhale. When you can feel the qi, use your mind to move it out of your body. Allow it to drift out as you exhale and hold it there when you inhale.
6. Pumping the Qi
For this exercise, you will move from a gorilla stance to an upright extended pose.
Stand with your hands pushing your Qi down. Your spine and head should straighten. Then, allow your Qi to flow back up. As this happens, your hands should rise, with your palms parallel to the floor. Hunch your shoulders. Repeat the six or seven times.
7. Blending Qi
This exercise helps you become aware of the various forms of Qi in your body. It also helps you to blend them into a harmonious flow.
Stand with your feet about a shoulder’s width apart, and bend your knees slightly. Be aware of the flow of Qi passing in front of your body, particularly the legs, torso, top of your hands, arms, and face. Shift your weight to your heels. Be conscious of the back of your body, especially your head, arms, spine, and legs. Do this for the left and right sides of your body. The awareness turns the exercise into a form of meditation.
Then, turn this into a mental or ‘Nei Dan’ form of Qigong. Repeat the steps, but they shouldn’t be visually detectable. Shift your weight forward and backward in your mind. Feel the Qi flowing along the front and back of your body.
In all, it may take some time to master Qigong exercises, but the improvement in your mental and physical power will make them worth the effort.