What is Qigong?
Qigong (pronounced chee gung) is an ancient Chinese mind body practice that restores wellness, builds mental and emotional strength, reduces stress and increases vitality. Qigong is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the grandfather of Tai Chi, which was developed later for combat.
Qi, is the circulating life force (or energy) whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy. Gong is cultivation. Therefore, Qigong is energy cultivation. The body has energy channels that run throughout the body and wrap around your internal organs. According to Chinese medicine when these channels are blocked or if the energy is stagnant, disease can set in. Acupuncture can be used to stimulate points along the energy channels or energy meridians to move the qi, or you can do it yourself with Qigong movements. Medical Qigong practitioners and some Traditional Chinese Doctors use Qigong movements as prescriptions to treat illness and disease.
Qigong is a form of dynamic meditation where you calm the mind, breathe into the poses and follow the flow of energy through your body. When you practice Qigong, your internal chemistry, and energy function optimally.
The magic and beauty of Qigong does not happen the first time you try it. It takes time and practice. For some it does not take long at all but for most it does take time. Think about the first time you rode a bicycle. It was pretty chaotic…someone had to hold you up at first, you may have fallen a few times, but then, one day off you went riding down the street with your hair blowing in the wind. What a wonderful experience, and now you can jump on a bike anytime and feel the wind in your hair. Qigong is a bit like that. At first, you have much to learn. But soon, you start to learn how to relax and go with the flow, you lose sense of time, you feel fantastic, your mood will improve, and most likely your health too. After a practicing qigong for 10 to 15 minutes most people report feeling very relaxed and energetic.
What does the research indicate?
Harvard school of medicine has endorsed Qigong and Tai Chi. In a recent review, Harvard researchers cited the following improvements from practicing Tai Chi and Qigong:
- cognition, attention, concentration, mental tracking
- strength, balance, coordination (no more falls!)
- improve mood, memory, and reduce anxiety
- lower heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate
Group Qigong classes- for health
There are 1000’s of qigong movements and static meditations. Some qigong forms also include sound. Sound causes a vibration that moves energy in your body. I teach several forms. The 5 organ routine, the 18 Luohan Hands, Tai Chi Shibashi Qigong and Radiant Lotus Qigong for women. The first 3 sets of movements are easy to learn, yet very powerful. Each movement works on many levels (emotionally, physically, spiritually, and energetically) and addresses many conditions to improve health. Radiant Lotus Qigong for women is a specific practice for women which includes many types of energy healing including sounds, tapping, cupping, visualization and qigong movements.
The 18 Luohan Hands movements are very powerful. If you like a practice that is more energetic and does not follow a specific routine – you will love the 18 Luohan Hands. These movements are the qigong of Kung Fu masters. Each movement can assist the body to heal in many ways. For example, the movement called Lifting the Sky works on anxiety, stress, incontinence, chronic fatigue syndrome, posture, haemorrhoids, mitral valve prolapse, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Each of the 18 Luohan Hands movements address many health issues. Once you learn all of the movements, you will have a pharmacy of movements that you can use to address any ailment you may be experiencing.
The Five Yin Organ Routine this routine was developed by Dr. Jerry Johnson. It is a powerful routine for building and maintaining personal energy. The 5 organs are the lungs, kidney, heart, liver, and spleen. According to traditional Chinese Medicine these organs are very important for life. Practicing the five yin organ routine will nourish your organs and build your Qi so you will remain healthy throughout life.
Tai Chi Shibashi Qigong Level 1
Shibashi is currently my favourite routine because it takes 15 minutes to do it. Once you learn all 18 moves you just get into Wuju stance and your body will start to move. Each movement flows into the next and as you practice you learn to relax and go with the flow. Out of all the forms I have practiced this is the one that I can feel the energy flowing through my body the most. It is light, easy to do, and energizing. I learned Shibashi from Master Wing Cheung – you can watch my video below for the full routine.
Radiant Lotus Qigong for Women
Radian Lotus Qigong for women was developed by Daisy Lee. She developed this program specifically for women and their specific needs. This form of qigong includes Tibetan Sound Healing, Cupping, and specific Qigong movements just for women. The movements and practices powerful tools for the female mind and body.
Once you learn a form, it is recommended that you practice on your own everyday for maximum benefits and health improvements. However, there are many benefits to practicing in a group with others, and once you learn one form, it is fun to learn new forms.
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