The Stress-Relieving Benefits of Qi Gong
If you’ve never heard of Qi Gong, it may sound mysterious, perhaps even a little woo-woo.
The truth? After the stress of the past year, our health and emotions have been brought slightly (or majorly) out of whack. We could all benefit from some peace of mind and healing. There’s never been a better time to try the ancient practice of Qi Gong.
How does Qi Gong work?
Qi Gong (pronounced: chē-gung) is an ancient Chinese practice designed to promote healing in the body, balance in the mind and calming in the spirit. This technique involves simple meditation, controlled breathing and low-intensity movement exercises.
Qi Gong involves manipulating your own bioenergetic field (or Qi) that surrounds you. The practice is over 5,000 years old. At the same time, it incorporates 21st century physics and has been validated by medical research.
Modern physics tells us that everything is energy. Qi is our most basic life force. Still sound abstract to you? Think about those moments you felt strong, clear-headed and confident…ready to take on the world. That’s an example of when your Qi is strong.
Qi Gong is simply a proactive way to keep your energy flowing in the right direction. Practitioners focus on becoming aware of the Qi energy and using controlled breathing and a set of intentional movements designed to shift that energy in specific ways.
The Qi Gong glow is real! Best of all, it’s accessible for everyone, no matter your age, size, shape or fitness level. No special equipment is required, and you can practice it almost anywhere.
When working on the Qi flow, you are able to clear your energy where it’s blocked. You’ll also get a deeper connection to your every breath, which in turn lowers blood pressure (it’s all connected!). Additional benefits include improved bone health, strength, flexibility and balance.
Most participants notice a difference after just a few classes. When practiced regularly, Qi Gong can reduce your anxiety levels and increase your clarity, calmness and sense of wellbeing.
While Qi Gong benefits your mental state and emotions, it also has a powerful effect on your physical health. Studies have shown that Qi Gong can improve many conditions, from diabetes to dementia. It is a “complementary” addition or an integrative therapy, not a replacement for traditional medical treatment.
Qi Gong vs. Tai Chi
Many people wonder what distinguishes Qi Gong from Tai Chai. Both are mindfulness-oriented and holistic practices that are often referred to as “moving meditations.” They are indeed close cousins, and Tai Chi is often said to be a form of Qi Gong.
The movements of Qi Gong are somewhat different from those of Tai Chi. But both practices incorporate breathing exercises, intentional focus and imagery to achieve the desired results.
The main difference is that Qi Gong usually focuses on an individual problem in the mind, body or spirit. It can be very specific, while Tai Chi is much more general.
In Qi Gong, you may be working to open your lungs or boost your energy levels. The practitioner will repeat a specific move until you feel the benefit you are seeking. Tai Chi, is a more set routine with a series of moves that you repeat in every session for full-body effects.
Get your Qi Gong on with CA
Interested in experiencing the Qi Gong glow yourself! You’re in luck: CA offers virtual Qi Gong classes! Check out CA’s group fitness schedule for details. Or, for a free class with CA practitioner Felicia Ho that you can watch any time, visit our CA at Home page.