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Health Benefits Of Qi Gong

Jun 24

Qi Gong is a form of movement that incorporates breathing techniques and physical postures to help energize the body and calm the mind. It aims to improve the flow of energy throughout the body and encourages balance, strength, flexibility and focus. Several studies have shown that Qi Gong and Mental Health can provide many health benefits, including improved balance and gait, stress reduction and increased muscle strength.

Traditionally, qigong was practiced in China as part of a larger system of health care called traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It is believed that Qi (pronounced chee) is the body's vitality and that qigong helps cultivate and direct the body's natural energy to promote healing and overall wellbeing.

The qigong practices generally tested in health research include a variety of movements or postures that can be done standing, sitting or lying down and also involve a specific state of relaxed awareness and a wide range of breathing techniques. Most qigong movements involve slow, deep breaths originating in the abdomen, or diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing has a profound calming and centering effect on the nervous system.

There are two main types of qigong: active and passive. Active qigong uses controlled, slow movements to help the body's energy - or qi - flow through the meridians of the body. This type of qigong can be performed while standing, sitting or lying down and is designed to increase balance, flexibility and strength.

Passive qigong is more similar to traditional meditation and involves stillness, a quiet environment, and either mental focusing or visualization exercises. During the meditative practice, you might sit in a comfortable upright position and focus on your breathing or imagine a peaceful place, such as the beach, a flower-filled valley or a mountain top. This practice has a calming effect on the mind and can help to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.

Qigong may also boost immune function, according to a study published in July 2020 in the journal Medicines. The researchers found that qigong practice had positive effects on the immune system, particularly in older adults. However, they cautioned that more methodologically sound randomized trials are needed to confirm these findings.

A small 2010 study of 70 healthy pregnant women showed that adding a qigong-like exercise program to prenatal care led to greater maternal/fetal interaction, and less depression and physical discomfort. Another recent study of cancer survivors found that qigong can help alleviate nausea, fatigue and sleep disturbances.

Compared to conventional physical exercise, qigong is gentler and has a lower risk of injury. Most participants in qigong-based research experience only minor aches and pains, which are no different from those experienced by people who do not exercise regularly.

Whether you choose to do a more active qigong or a more passive qigong, it is important to have a clear understanding of your goals. Then, you can determine the best way to learn qigong to achieve those goals. This could be through attending classes, following online tutorials or reading books.

Additional Resources:

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