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Have You Tried Qigong?

Qigong is an ancient, meditative practice that is derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine and philosophy.  The practice of Qigong has been around for about 2,000 years and incorporates breathwork, movement, sound, and massage. “Qi” translates to “vital energy” and “gong” to “skill cultivated through steady practice”. The idea is that our health and wellbeing are dependent on our “qi”, the life force that flows through our bodies.  Imbalances occur when our “qi” becomes stagnant or flows too quickly, thus the aim of qigong is to rebalance “qi” in our bodies.  

In the traditional teachings of Qigong, beginners start out by learning physical movements coordinated with breathing techniques.  Once a person becomes comfortable with the physical aspect of the practice, they develop awareness of subtle fluctuations of energy in the body and breath, and it becomes a type of moving meditation.  Some of the postures are held for longer periods of time; these postures are designed to improve balance and increase energetic flow, and are considered a practice of still meditation.  Qigong also incorporates the technique of visualization, in which one focuses the mind on where to move qi. The belief is that Qigong gives one the ability to harness their life force and move qi to different parts of the body to promote health and healing. 

Qigong is known for helping to reduce stress and improve one’s sense of wellbeing.  It can also be helpful for reducing pain, including chronic pain.  The practice has been found to improve flexibility and promote overall fitness.  Qigong can improve one’s balance, hand grip strength, torso flexibility, as well as blood pressure and resting heart rate.  Qigong has also been found to support respiratory health by strengthening respiratory muscles, reducing inflammation, and supporting immunity.  Additionally, there are several studies that support using Qigong to help reduce anxiety and depression.  

Overall, Qigong is a safe practice for people of all ages.  Try incorporating this ancient practice into your life to feel the mental and physical benefits for yourself.  Depending on how you like to learn, you can access information regarding Qigong through online videos, books, or even through classes local to your area. 

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