What Makes Qigong a Powerful Stress Management Technique?
If you're looking for another way to reduce stress, consider qigong (chee-gung), an ancient Chinese system of slow-motion exercise that concentrates on flowing movements and breathes meditation is widely used as an effective stress management technique.
Qigong is sometimes described as "meditation in motion" because it promotes serenity through gentle movements — connecting the mind and body.
Qi gong is an ancient form of healing practiced throughout history by emperors to promote health and longevity, by monks to discipline the mind and achieve inner peace, and by warriors to achieve inner strength and power.
You can practice Qigong all by yourself, but the power of moving energy in a large group is truly profound.
Why give Qigong a try
Qigong combines concentration, breathing, relaxation, meditation, and visualization to greatly improve mental and physical well-being.
Qi means " life, force, energy", and gong means "work, a skill of practice".
Qigong releases the flow of Qi energy throughout the body.
Stress blocks Qi energy.
When this energy becomes blocked you become ill, your state of inner homeostasis and balance is destroyed.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, qigong wards off illness. And stress is well known to danger harmful to your health. In fact 75-90 % of all physician visits are for stress-related ailments.
Thoroughly in the tranquil state that comes with Qi gong practice, the mind and body of the person begin to rest. And like other practices that bring mind and body together, qigong is widely used to counteract and reduce the stress - person becomes calmer and more positive in the attitude for own self and others, and improves the health in general.
Like other complementary and alternative practices that bring mind and body together, qigong can help reduce stress.
During qi gong, you focus on movement and breathing. This combination creates a state of relaxation and calm.
Stress, anxiety and tension should melt away as you focus on the present, and the effects may last well after you stop your qigong session.
Benefits of Qi gong
- Relieves stress, providing inner peace
- Increases vitality and builds stamina
- Supports immune system
- Leads to self awareness and inner wisdom
- Fights worries, anxiety, fear
- Promotes longevity, rejuvenates body and mind
- Helps with weight loss
- Increases respiration and circulation
- Helps with stress induced insomnia
Herbert Benson, the father of "the Relaxation Response."
Qigong helps reduce stress
Whenever you perceive stress, an inbuilt alarm-system in your brain triggers the adrenal glands to release complex hormonal cascade of over 30 stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Those stress hormones give you the extra strength and speed you need to deal with the threatening stressful situation. This reaction is known as the "fight-or-flight" reaction, or the stress response.
The bodies balance is destroyed, which leads to multiple health related problems and premature aging to name just few.
Just as your body has an inbuilt fight-or-flight response mechanism, it also has an inbuilt mechanism for triggering relaxation.
This is called "the relaxation response". It turns off the fight-or-flight response returning the body and its biochemistry back to pre-stress levels. In other words - back to the state of balance and wellbeing; back to the health.
Unfortunately nowadays when you live in a constant tension, in a state of chronic stress, your stress response never turns off and this doesn't let the relaxation response to turned on.
Relaxation response is supposed to be consciously stimulated by any relaxation technique such as, progressive muscle relaxation, massage, qigong or guided imagery.
Herbert Benson, MD, the pioneering doctor who helped introduce the concept of mind-body medicine to the U.S., studied qi gong while he was researching what he termed "the Relaxation Response." He concluded that to reach a state of deep relaxation, all you have to do is control your body, your breathing, and your mind.
You are often told to learn to relax but you are not taught how to relax
Here Qigong comes in!
Qigong is a potent relaxation technique which activates "the relaxation response".
Qigong is not only of great benefit in treating chronic stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem but has other health benefits as well, such as greater flexibility, improved circulation and insomnia, better balance and an enhanced sense of well being.
'When the mind is at peace the body can start to repair itself.'
Move your body slowly, with concentration, and remove all other thoughts from your mind.
The practice of Qigong has many levels for development and is relevant to people of all ages, enabling and facilitating the body's ability to nurture and heal itself.
About the Author
Dr.Inese Millere , M.D. is wellness and mindful eating coach for busy women after 40 who want to be Fit, Balanced and Ageless: to manage stress, stress eating, have a healthy and joyful relationship with food and enjoy healthy living and longevity.