yin and yang

Qigong Health Benefits

There are numerous Qigong health benefits that have a direct physical and emotional impact. It is an exercise that is highly underated in the world of exercise and fitness because on first appearance it is something that looks too simple. It is easy to practice, is graceful and can be done in almost any kind of clothing and does not need a lot of space.

yin and yangWhat is Qigong?

In a nutshell, Qigong is the exercise component of traditional Chinese medicine. It focuses on breath and slow movements as well as stimulation of the acupressure points. It is also embraces mental imagery and meditation to calm the nervous system and improve lung capacity. The core elements of Qigong are using the breath with movement to achieve a sense of ease and flow within the mind and body.

What are the main benefits of Qigong?

Here is a list of several things that Qigong can do for you:

  • Improves mental acuity
  • Relieves migrains
  • Prevents muscular spasms
  • Improves Strength
  • Increases injury recovery
  • Strengthens ligaments
  • Improves asthma
  • Relieves Bronchitis
  • Improves hormone levels
  • Destroys free radicals
  • Improves kidney function
  • Strengthens nerves
  • Improves cholesterol
  • Builds bone density
  • Improves skin elasticity
  • Relaxes the muscles
  • Loosens the joints
  • Decreases stroke risk
  • Improves circulation
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Improves flexibility
  • Normalises EKG
  • Reduces pain
  • Improves posture
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Builds immune system
  • Improves stamina
  • Slows respiraton
  • Aids digestion
  • Improves vitality
  • Builds power
  • Increases power
  • Increases balance
  • Improves memory
  • Balances emotions
  • Reduces stress
  • Calms the mind
  • Improves lung capacity

fitness in natureEmbracing all of what Qigong has to offer.

Apart from the physical and emotional benefits of Qigong, it also provides a mental framework for the way you live your life. It is based on Taoist principles of learning how to flow with life more than trying ‘make things happen’. It teaches the ‘path of least resistance’ which further aids stress reduction and increases personal happiness. It does this without being connected to any kind of religion. It is a philosphy of life.

Our body and being in touch with nature.

The other thing about Qigong is it helps you to understand the relationship between your personal happiness and your connection to the cycles of nature. For example, we have grown so attached to our technology and social media platforms that as a result we are very often out of touch with our natural circadian rhythms in our body as well as each other. We have lost a certain personal touch with each other and this affects our mental health in negative ways.

HealthCareThe dance of opposites.

Night and day, black and white, inspiration and expiration, work and rest-these are all examples of what Qigong reminds us about our core nature. We need a balance of opposites-of what is known as the ‘Yin and Yang’ in Chinese culture. What goes up, must come down. If we can be flexible with our approach to living taking these principles into consideration we will have less wear and tear on our mind and body and be in a happier state more of the time. Our constantly connected modern world encourages a disconnection from our essential nature and ironically our health care systems have never been under more pressure than they are today with an array of chonic disease. We essentially have  forgotten how to manage our energy and attention and as a result our energy is split and we are feeling an inner void that we can’t quite put our finger on. This leads to poor choices in our life that further excacerbates our problems leaving us feeling less resilient than we otherwise would.

Qigong helps you come home to yourself.

One of the main aims of Qigong is to transform stress into vitality. The practice of Traditional Chinese medicine recongnise we have an innate energy flow in our body and the reason for ill health and sickness is because the flow has been compromised. The practice of Qigong helps our innate rivers of energy flow freely therefore resulting in better health and happiness. This allows us to act from more of a place of empowerment leading to a higher quality of life.

New to Qigiong and want to know where to start? Check out my recommended beginner program here.

 

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Comments (12)

  • Avatar

    Marcie

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    I came upon your site while I was looking for alternative healing and medicine, and I must say I have never heard of Qigong.
    But it looks very fascinating. Is it new here in the united Kingdom? and has anyone had good results using it for skin complaints such as eczema or acne?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hey Marcie, Qigong is kind of new in the west, but over all, it is not new in the east as it has been practiced for thousands of years. In terms of having good results for skin complaints, it would depend on having an integrated approach. In Qigong and traditional Chinese medicine, skin complaints are related to the lung/large intestine energy systems, as these are part of the elimination channels of the body, and the skin is another elimination channel. So, doing exercises first to balance the over all energy system of the body, and then focusing more on exercises daily that target the elimination systems combined with some Chinese herbal medicine should bring some good results over time. But any kind of health problem is not as simple as applying a certain prescription and then you are done. It also suggests a need to look at the over all lifestyle, food choices, inner happiness and a sense of connection to something greater to ourselves. But if you only practiced Qigong everyday in a consistent manner and did nothing else, you will feel a great shift towards balance and therefore lifestyle changes will become easier.

      Reply

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    Chris

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    Hey Liz,
    I have been looking into qigong for a while and would like to give it a go. Do you know much about the different styles of qigong and if they are all very similar?
    How often do you think I would need to practice qigong to start feeling results?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hey Chris. There are about 3500 documented styles of Qigong, and they can differ quite a bit! So it can get confusing for the beginner as to where they should start. This is why I recommend Lee Holden’s course because he makes it so accessible to everyone in the west without diluting the value of Qigong.

      In terms of how often you should practice it comes down to your goals. For example, if you had a serious health challenge, you’d want to practice twice a day for an hour each time. If you just wanted to feel generally better and have a sense of peace and more happiness, once a day for 15-20 minutes per day would be enough. In fact Lee has a program called 7 minutes of magic which would also be a good place to start. Again, it comes down to what your goals are for practicing and what your health status is as to what you should do.

      Reply

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    John Raleigh

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    Reading the introduction alone convicted me to sit up straight and inhale slowly! I appreciate all the 38 listed benefits of Qigong, but how does Qigong work systemically to benefit the entire body? For example, how does Qigong relieve bronchitis? Being from a medical background, future readers may want to know the why behind it, especially when it comes to improving their health ailments.
    Your explanation of the benefits of Qigong are superb and the information you give caught my attention; however, I want more content to read. I want to know more about your product. In laymen’s terms, you drew me in, now feed me!
    John W. Raleigh

    Reply

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      Liz

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      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments John, and I really appreciate your questions and they are certainly the kinds of questions I will be addressing in future blog posts. I think education about Qigong is going to be crucial for it to become as well known as something like yoga for example. 

      So lets start with why Qigong systematically benefits the entire body. In the west, we are trained to view our body as seperate parts and therefore when something hurts or is not working in our body we isolate that area and are perhaps prescribed a pill to alleviate the symptom. When it comes to bronchitis, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics and a ventilator of some sort which will help to open up the air ways. This is good to help the patient feel immediately more comfortable, but that is often where the treatment stops. The patient might need the ventilator for life, of which the medicine may become ineffective over time because the root cause has not been addressed.

       In the East, the Chinese doctor will look at far more than the symptom itself. They will look at diet, lifestyle and the way the energy is flowing in the body via feeling the quality of pulse at the wrist (wirey, strong, weak, chaotic) and what organs connected to the lungs might be contributing to the problem. Energy flow is the foundation of how Qigong helps the entire body as Chinese medicine (and many other ancient cultures) work on the premise that energy drives our biology

      For example, the lungs are connected energetically to the large intestine and skin as they are all elimination organs, so the problem may actually reside in the large intestine (or not, it depends on what is actually diagnosed, but this is an example of one scenario). Once the flow of energy is improved in the large intestine through the practice of Qigong, it may help the lungs open up. 

      One of the foundations of Chinese medicine is known as ‘The Five Elements’ and the lungs are associated with the metal element. This can be confusing at first look, but metal is related to the process of alchemy- a transformation from one form to another. So, when the O2 molecule binds to the haemoglobin molecule in the blood which contains iron, (hence the metal element), it has transformed to another state. How well this transformation takes place, depends on the energy flow of the body. Therefore it is based around how energy drives our biological processes, and the practice of Qigong enhances our energy flow therefore biology works more effectively.

      A look at emotions are also included with Chinese medicine as they give an indication as to what organs may be out of balance. For example, the lungs are linked to the emotions of sadness, depression, grief, inability to feel inspired about life. In this, specific qigong exercises would be prescribed to address these emotions which relate both to the lungs and the large intestine.

      Also, the lungs are physically affected by all the intercostal muscles and over all posture of the body and muscles of the thoracic area, so systematically loosening them up through targeted Qigong practices frees up the lungs and diaphragm and literally allows more oxygen to flow into the lungs and therefore the body. More oxygen flowing in the body helps the immune system which results in less phlegm production and therefore better breathing. So it is a completely interrelated web of connections and daily habits play a key part in how this energy is flowing and what our physical state of health is.

      So, as you can see, it is not a simple answer to a simple question, but basically, Qigong is about energy flow and how it affects our chemical processes. Hope that helps the understanding of the ‘why’ a little?

      Reply

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        John Wayne Raleigh

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        Liz,
        Perfecto! This is the answer I wanted to hear and thanks for elaborating on the why Qigong is beneficial for me! Now copy and paste your comment into your blog! Others will want to hear this sound medical practice. I have pinned Qigong to my Pinterest board: Tips for a Healthier Me!
        Much Appreciation,
        John W. Raleigh

        Reply

        • Avatar

          Liz

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          Thanks John! Glad this made things a little clearer for you! It is a big topic and will be going into more depth than this in future blog posts, and might also change the ‘about’page to include some of these elements. Thanks again!

          Reply

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    Soby

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    Thank you for great article. Qigong changed life of my family. My Mom used to be on drugs all the time having horrible migraines. After she started doing Qigong every morning they completely gone and now she able to leave happy life. Who had migraines almost every day will understand me very good. So I definitely would recommend it to anyone first of all because it works and second because it couldn’t damage your body while drugs do all the time.
    Do you personally have any results after practicing Qigong ?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      What a great success story Soby! Qigong helps headaches because it helps the flow of energy up the spine and into the head, as well as helping to balance the hormones which can also play a key role in migraines as well as reduce stress and muscle tension that can also play a role in migraines. So, it impacts several possible causes at once. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Israel

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    Hi Liz!

    I love your site and the articles about qigong.

    It makes me think I should really give more time to emotional health, which also helps physical.

    I tried Qigong a couple of year ago and I really feltit was very helpful, but you know, daily life distracts you and I lost that routine.

    Thanks for your tips and insights on this amazing art. 🙂

    cheers!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hey Israel, I certainly know about life distractions and losing a routine! The hardest thing about making any kind of change is getting out of our daily habits. It is not so much the exercises themselves-it is actually more our mental habits. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

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