Stress is one of the major causes of disease today. In fact numerous studies now indicate that stress plays the biggest role in disease. Therefore, adopting a practice to alleviate stress in your life is an important preventative health measure. Stress relief from Qigong is a medically proven way to manage stress in your life.
What is Qigong?
Qigong is an ancient practice that originated in China. It was one of the first recorded exercise prescriptions to help different ailments. It sprang from the practice of Chinese Medicine which combines the Acupressure points and energy meridians. It is also about lifestyle and dietary recommendations to enhance the flow of energy within the body which is responsible for our health and wellbeing.
It’s about prevention.
Chinese medicine is focused around prevention. In chinese culture, you paid the doctor to help you understand how you can keep yourself well, and if you did get sick, your treatment was then free. It is a completely opposite model of health care that we have in the west today.
What is Qi?
Qi energy is in everything. It animates all of nature, including our body.
Any quantum physicist today will tell you that we are all made up of energy before we are made up of solid matter. Qi can be described as a life force that animates things and when we cultivate it through practices such as Qigong it enhances the energy that flows around and through us. It governs our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. According to chinese medicine, first we get an imbalance in the energy system (or Qi) and if that is not attended to it can manifest into physical maladies and symptoms.
How do I know Qigong would be helpful for me?
The feeling of Qi flowing (or not flowing) is determined by how well you feel, or how positive about your life you feel, and how you are able to be flexible to the unpredictability of life. In a nutshell, free flowing Qi feels like happiness and ease. It shows up in how well you manage your stress and your level of inner and outer resilience to life’s setbacks. If you often feel depressed or anxious, or have physical health problems, then Qigong would be an ideal daily practice for you to adopt. It has positive benefits to all health conditions and mainstream medical science is really beginning to recognise this through several studies on the impact of practicing Qigong daily. You can have a look at some of these studies here.
What does Qigong do?
The practice of Qigong helps to stabilise the Qi energy around us and through us therefore acting as a prevention to physical and mental ailments. It achieves this through a series of slow moving physical movements and breathing techniques which have a direct impact on the nervous system and therefore the relaxation response.
Can it help specific health conditions?
Yes it can-all ill health conditions in fact. Western medicine is recognising more and more that most of our chronic health conditions have a stress related factor involved either consciously or unconsciously, and Qigong has a powerful effect on regulating the stress response. There are some specific conditions that have been studied by western scientists in terms of the way Qigong can help or supplement an over all treatment plan. See some studies here.
The importance of Qigong in the 21st Century
In our rapidly changing times and landscape, Qigong
is probably more relevant than any other time in history when it comes to cultivating the feeling of personal happiness. We can’t be in a chronic state of stress AND happy at the same time. We are constantly bombarded with information on a daily basis and news reports are usually 99% negative which play a role in the programming of our mind to believe that we are less resilient than we think.
It’s about our inner connection to the deepest parts of our own wisdom.
We look for connection through our technology, yet it can lead us to feel more empty and disconnected than we have ever felt before. This is because on one level, it does not fulfil our deepest desires for heart felt connection with others that we desire. It is also why it is is addictive because it doesn’t give us the energy that we need, so we go back for more thinking that a little more time spent on it will fill us up, but it cannot. This is not to say that all our new technologies are bad, but we need to be aware of best practices for them and what their limitations are in order to use them to our benefit.
Qigong can be a catalyst to understanding some of our big questions in life.
Qigong is like an ancient technology that we can use to feel a deep sense of contentment that provides us with the drive and energy to be our true authentic selves in the world. Through regular practice we begin to understand where we are in relation to our place in the universe, as well as nature and the energy of the earth and how we are connected to it. We begin to understand how the elements within nature connect to our own instincts and how they influence our decisions in life. It also reveals our soulful and spiritual instincts and where we are in relation to our ideals. Over time and regular practice we begin to have a better understanding of who we are and why we are here on an individual level and what that means to us in relation to the choices we make.
More turbulent times ahead for our planet.
We are likely heading for more turbulent times with the rise of global warming and international conflict and stress within our workplaces and family life, therefore anything we can do to build on our own reserves of resilience will serve us well going into the future. Stress relief from Qigong cultivates a deep connection with self and inner knowledge that helps us to act from a place of power and knowingness rather than one of uncertainly and fear. It teaches us the path of least resistance when it comes to navigating our life rather than trying to bull doze our way through life with our opinions and goals that we have.
Feeling connected is important for stress relief
We constantly look for connection outside of ourselves and look to others to fulfil certain needs on an emotional level that we can only really fulfil by ourselves. In modern life we have kind of forgotten how to access that inner connection, and this is what the practice of Qigong can offer us, and much more than this when we practice regularly.
Where is the best place to start for someone to knows nothing about Qigong?
Lee Holden who is a Qigong master has an excellent beginner video series which you can begin your Qigong practice here.
You can also check out one of his 20 minute beginner routines on this page
to get a taste of his beginner program.