4 Secrets of Chinese Medicine--Could They Be Unveiled?

What is Qigong?

In man's quest for an extended lifespan, many approaches have been explored. At the very least, this has led to some sound mistakes and in some cases an improved quality of life for those seeking it. The ancient Chinese Taoist thought they could alter the body's chemistry by using meditation, breathing, exercises, and diet, and in that way gain immortality. That did not lead the ancients to immortality, but some of those practices may still be providing benefit to Asian people and others today. This is through what is called Qigong. I agree with Confucius' quote here: "When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it - this is knowledge. (The Confucian Analects) So the excellent PBS clip below sheds more light on the subject.

Does The Body Have the Power to Heal?

With that in mind, what are the expected benefits promoted in self-healing with Chinese medicine, if not endless life? It is believed that by employing 4 simple techniques, in Chinese medicine, one can develop the body's own ability to heal itself.

I. Deep Breathing

II. Gentle Movement

III. Self Massage

IV. Meditation

Indeed, there is much medical research that shows the body's ability to heal on its own.This innate ability of the body to heal is at the core of Qigong, an ancient Chinese technique of meditation and motion. Okay, that surely may constitute oversimplifying. But you get the point.

Anyway, it has been suggested that by putting these 4 techniques into practice for just 10-20 minutes a day, one can derive more energy, alertness, and make one less susceptible to sickness and the ill effects of stress. It is also recommended that all 4 be applied together and be done first thing in the morning for optimal benefit.

How do you do them?

I. With deep breathing, one should make deliberate effort to inhale slowly and deeply through the nostrils, allowing the lungs to inflate fully. Then exhale for 10 seconds...yes count to 10. Breathe out. Allow yourself to relax. Doing this multiple times before getting up in the morning and again at night before going to bed is said to be most beneficial. You can do this anytime during the day in an effort to start breathing more deeply regularly. The reason for this is that short shallow breaths constrict blood flow, impairs immune functioning, and can contribute to high blood pressure.

II. For gentle movement, just stand relaxed with your feet at shoulders width apart. Let both arms dangle at your sides. Bend the knees slightly. Then move your tailbone under your spine as if lengthening your back. Then lower your chin like you are nodding. Now rest for a moment, then inhale slowly and turn your palms forward. Then swing your arms forward and upward while slowly rising on the balls of your feet as you do this. Raise your palms up to shoulder height while keeping your elbows slightly bent. Then turn your palms downward. Lower your arms slowly and exhale. Return your heels to the floor. As your hands pass your legs, let them swing back slightly while gently lifting your toes. Repeat movement sequence 10-15 times with subtle rhythm.

III. Self-message involves a powerful healing process in China for literally 1000's of years. Let's consider the hand massage, so you get the idea. Use your left thumb. Apply it gently to the palm of your right hand for support. Increase the pressure gradually until you are putting the same pressure needed to squeeze a tennis ball. Then massage your hand all over. Notice any areas of tenderness. Massage the fingers too--all the way down to the tips. Finally, grasp each finger of your right hand on either side of the nail. Pinch gently. Then switch hands and repeat. Finish by returning to any tender spots on both hands and knead them gently for a few more minutes. This did not come with a manicure but I bet your hands feel good!

IV. Finally, meditation is held as a powerful technique in Chinese medicine. It is known to reduce blood pressure and stimulates hormones and neurotransmitters. It is said that by using the one type, which is mindfulness, you can free yourself of both physical and psychological stressors by focusing on a single body sensation. If true, that is powerful. To employ this type, stand or sit comfortably. Focus all of your concentration on the sensation of your breath as it passes through your nostrils. Feel the cool air entering and the warm air exiting. It is believed that as long as you keep focusing on your breath, it is not possible to worry or think about any stressful situation in life.

To escape the risk of being completely overwhelmed with such a vast and fascinating subject, I kept to these 4 aspects of Chinese medicine. It would take more than days and days and days for a novice to crack any codes or reveal any true secrets in Chinese medicine!

As with any health care regimen or exercise program, you should only undertake them after consulting with a your health care provider. Also, this is not an endorsement for this or any related therapy. This is merely the sharing of information. In this effort, I have learned much and share a little.

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