- Exercise & Fitness
Could Qigong Prove to Be Beneficial In Your Daily Life?
What is Qigong?
Qigong (pronounced chee-gung) is an ancient Chinese art that incorporates repeated gentle movements, self massage, deep breathing, and mental focus to help strengthen and heal the body, increase circulation of fluids (such as blood, lymph, synovial fluid), clear the mind, and cultivate energy.
In fact, the literal translation of Qigong is "energy cultivation."
This practice has been around for at least 2,500 years, although some research points to the fact that techniques that are similar to Qigong may have been around much earlier than that.
Many people compare Qigong to Tai Chi, because they appear to be quite similar, so if you have an image of Tai Chi in your mind, you probably have a pretty good idea of what Qigong looks like to the untrained eye.
While these two practices do have several commonalities they differ in their purposes and origins. Tai chi was developed as a martial art, while Qigong was developed specifically as a health practice.
While Qigong originated in China, it is gaining popularity around the world as more and more people discover the ways that it improves their physical, mental, and emotional health.
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Qigong Is Not a Religion
While Qigong does have its roots in Taoism, the practice of Qigong itself is not a religion. It can be practiced by people of any religious background and still yield the same healthy results.
Just like yoga has roots in the Hindu religion but is practiced by people from all different backgrounds, Qigong is a great addition to any lifestyle regardless of religious beliefs or lack there of.
I've been practicing Qigong regularly since first trying it out, and I don't feel like my religious beliefs have been compromised in any way.
What Are the Benefits?
There is a reason that Qigong has been around for so long, and the main reason is because the people who practice it recognize the great health benefits that it provides.
Many people use it as a form of complementary medicine to supplement the advice of medical professionals that they are working with, while others just use it as part of their regular exercise program and enjoy the peace, serenity, and positive energy that it brings into their daily lives.
According to the Qigong Research and Practice Center, studies in China and the United States have shown that regular practice of Qigong can help individuals in the following ways:
- Improve posture
- Improve respiration
- Induce relaxation response
- Improve blood chemistry
- Improve self awareness and concentration
There is also evidence that Qigong may help with:
- Chronic Fatigue
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Easy For People of All Fitness Levels
The first time I tried Qigong, I immediately thought of my mom. She had surgery a few years ago to remove a cancerous tumor, and her range of motion in her upper body has been less than desirable ever since.
This makes a lot of exercises particularly challenging for her, but when I tried Qigong, I felt confident that it was an exercise she would be able to participate in.
Sure enough, she tried it, and she said that she felt like it was really good for her. Not only that, but a few days after trying it, she brought it up with her massage therapist, and her massage therapist was really excited that she had tried it out. It's always a good thing when your new exercise program has your physician's seal of approval right?
This is seriously an exercise that anybody can do. The movements are gentle, and they have an amazing way of strengthening the body and relaxing it at the same time without having to put yourself through any harsh movements that are hard on your joints.
If you've never tried Qigong before and are nervous about it being too difficult, this quick ten minute morning Qigong video is a great one to try that will ease your fears and leave you feeling great.
It really is a fantastic way to get your energy flowing so that you're ready to start your day.
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Are you curious enough about Qigong that you'd like to try it out?
A Truly Exhilarating Way to Start the Morning
I can totally feel a difference when I wake up early enough to do some Qigong before I get ready for work in the morning. I'm not a Qigong master yet, so I've just been watching the videos included in this article, but just following along with these videos gets my day off to a great start.
If I'm in a hurry I just do the quick 10 minute video, and if I have a little bit more time, I love to do the full 20 minute video that I included below.
It leaves me feeling completely at peace yet energized and rejuvenated at the same time.
There are a few points in the videos when the instructor tells you to pay attention to the feeling of the energy flowing through your body.
He describes it as a buzzing or tingling feeling, and I'm telling you that you can literally feel the energy flow down your arms and through your fingers as you get into this routine. It's awesome!
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A Calming Way to Relieve Stress In the Evening
I don't know about you, but sometimes even on the most exhausting days, I have a hard time calming my nerves enough to just relax and go to sleep with a clear mind.
On the days that I do Qigong in the evenings, this is not as much of a problem for me. By the time I am done with my 20 minute video I feel completely relaxed physically, mentally, and emotionally.
You would think that exercising would increase tension in your muscles, but by the time I am done with my 20 minute evening Qigong session, it feels like all the tension in my body has melted into the floor and the stresses of the day dissipate completely.
It's a wonderful way to prepare for a good night's sleep.
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Try It Out and See If It's a Good Fit for You
My best advice for you at this point is that you should try Qigong out and see if it is a good fit for you.
I realize that the fact that I fell in love with Qigong the first time I did it doesn't necessarily mean that everyone else will feel the same way.
You could love it or you might think it's a waste of time, but the only way to know if it is for you is to try it out yourself.
Looking for more natural ways to help your body heal? You might want to give foot zoning a try!
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