The History of Qigong and its top 6 health benefits
The practice of Qigong stems from Ancient Chinese times and its processes focus on the alignment of breath, movement and awareness, in order to promote exercise and healing of the mind, body and spirit. With roots of Qigong extending as far back as over 5000 years, contemporary practices have been influenced by the modern concepts of science, health, meditation and exercise. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Qigong, it involves repeated gentle movements that aid with posture, focused intent and breathing. Many liken the practice to a ‘moving meditation’ – all of which work to develop your ‘life energy,’ or Qi (pronounced chi). Many studies have been conducted to support the effectiveness of Qigong practice for one’s overall wellbeing. In today’s blog post, we will discuss the top 6 benefits to Qigong.
TOP 6 BENEFITS of QIGONG
1. It improves self-healing and general health and wellbeing:
Qigong helps to improve self-healing and the general condition of many people’s overall wellbeing in so many ways. Firstly, Qigong can help to prevent injuries to joints, bones and ligaments via its teachings of improving balance. This ensures people are able to move without locking their joints, or straining muscles when turning. It can also help to lessen the impact of joint injuries as people can learn to avoid strain, improve circulation of fluids and better their flexibility. Secondly, it can aid with faster recovery times after surgery as the exercises contribute to increased blood circulation in the body using gentle movements. This helps to stimulate energy flow to the injured parts of the body much faster.
Qigong has also been shown to aid digestion as the slow movements help to massage your digestive organs. Ultimately, this will help to increase the amount of oxygenated blood that is sent to these organs, and can then help and improve the function of the digestive system.
Lastly, it also benefits one’s general wellbeing and self-healing by lowering blood pressure. A study that lasted 30 years showed that people who practiced Qigong regularly were able to get off or decrease their blood pressure drugs. Exercise improves circulation and increases the elasticity of the blood vessels, meaning Qigong practices can assist with blood pressure issues.
2. It strengthens the immune system and the nervous system:
It was founded by a study that Qigong may help to increase the two white blood cell types that make the lymphatic immune system. When practicing Qigong, this lymph system is re-energised which also improves the immune system – accelerating your body’s natural ability to heal. Opening your energy channels and strengthening the mind body connection also affects the flow of the nervous system. Your body will become self-aware through the practice of Qigong, making it attune to the growth of your needs as your energy flow gets stronger. Those who suffer from poor mobility, coordination or have even been under long-term stress and need to rebuild their bodies can benefit from a strengthened nervous system.
3. It helps to improve energy levels and blood circulation:
As we touched on earlier, the practice of Qigong helps to increase blood circulation around the body – bringing with it a myriad of benefits. This process also helps to increase one’s energy levels by removing any blockages within the Qi energy. Once fluidity is restored again, this energy is able to flow throughout the body where a sense of invigoration and motivation is experienced.
4. It reduces stress through relaxation techniques:
Due to the meditative qualities of Qigong, it has also been found to be a positive release for those harbouring feelings of stress, depression and anxiety within their life energy. Repressed emotions of frustration, stress, worry and fear can be directly targeted through Qigong exercise and breath work.
5. It can be practiced by those who are very ill or bedridden:
Qigong is such a gentle but restoratively powerful practice that can be undertaken by those who are otherwise unable to exercise. If someone has been bedridden for a long time or is very weak, many of their muscles and organs may have deteriorated in strength. While western medicine generally promotes strengthening exercises in the form of cardio work or weight training, this is likely unattainable for someone who is generally unwell, or recovering. Qigong can be practiced laying down, or even in a seated position so no matter one’s age or health status, they can practice Qigong if they wish to start regaining some strength. There has also been some research suggesting that Qigong can promote healing in cancer patients.
6. Creates a balance of Yin/ Yang:
Through the practice of Qigong – we are able to restore a sense of balance within the Yin/Yang energies. Imbalances among these result in varying ailments which can be healed by the balancing and restoration of these principles. Its exercises and meditations have both Yin and Yang aspects. Yin Qigong exercises are expressed through relaxed stretching, visualization, and breathing, while Yang Qigong exercises are expressed in a more aerobic or dynamic way.
Qigong massage, coupled with Qigong practice has also proven to be extremely beneficial. Throughout a Qigong massage, soft or firm pressure is applied to specific areas on the body, in order to alleviate tension in the muscles and this works to improve posture and flexibility and reduce the severity of musculoskeletal problems. Benefits of Qigong massage include; deeper sleep, increased energy, improved blood circulation, sense of calm, balancing and enhancing of the body’s natural healing abilities, improved metabolism, reduction of chronic pain, improved digestion and lowering incidences of a stroke.
Qigong offers a multitude of beneficial properties to help heal the mind, body and the soul. The practice certainly covers all bases, with its ancient Chinese roots, coupled with its influences from modern-day meditative and scientific health cues. For more information about our Qigong classes, feel free to contact us or book a spot online in our Thursday evening class (run at 7:15pm). Our founder Juan Deleon has over 20 years’ experience in the health and wellness industry and is a qualified Qigong Teacher and Reiki Master. Personal Qigong sessions and Qigong massages are also available with Juan and can also be booked online or by calling (03) 9690 1155. For more information about Juan, visit his website.