Qigong is a practice or exercise regime intended to strengthen your ‘chi’ or energy. Qigong, or Chi Kung (pronounced chi-gung), means ‘energy workout.’ It is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures and movements, breathing techniques and focused intention for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.
Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe and Qigong is intended to cultivate this energy. According to the National Qigong Association, qigong’s gentle, rhythmic movements reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.
I have been dabbling in qigong for a few years and I recently became aware of a couple of people who claim to have healed themselves of Parkinson’s through intensive qigong practice (up to three hours a day), which has inspired me to get into it full on!
Since intensifying my qigong practice, I have noticed that my balance is fine while doing the exercises … qigong has the same effect as flipping a ball. This is awesome and it encourages me to keep practicing!
There are many excellent videos on youtube to get you started and if there is a qualified instructor in your area, even better. My favourite exercise is a basic one that is intended to draw in both the energy of the universe and the energy of the earth. I do it several times a day. It goes like this:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, arms at your sides, palms facing inwards
- Swing your arms outwards and upwards (breathing in) to a point just above the head, palms facing forward
- Push palms downwards (exhaling and bending the knees) to a point just above the floor
- Circle the hands outwards, inwards and upwards to the waste, palms facing up (inhaling and straightening legs)
- Swing hands outward, palms facing up, fingers pointing outwards (exhaling)
- Repeat the process
If you have difficulty standing unaided most exercises can be adapted to a sitting position.
I can’t say that doing qigong for three hours a day is going to heal you, but I do believe there are definite health benefits, so what have you got to lose!.
Have an awesomely energetic day!