[caption id="attachment_180" align="alignright" width="300"] Start your day with Qi Gong for energy.[/caption] If you’ve ever travelled to an Asian country, you may have marveled at the early morning exercisers in the park. Watching the slow, graceful movements, you may have wondered, “What health benefits could this possibly have?” The exercise is called Qi gong, and this ancient healing technique from China is now gaining popularity in the west. New research shows that by helping the body heal itself, this traditional exercise improves joint pain and stiffness, and may even reverse the effects of some age-related diseases such as arthritis. Afton Hassett, PsyD, cites a study that showed that, “Women with severe fibromyalgia reported 73% less pain after just 5-7 sessions with a Qi gong master. A Chinese study showed that 83% of rheumatoid arthritis patients who practiced Qi gong for 1-2 hours a day reported greater improvement compared with 57% who received medication. Could this ancient exercise help you?
Qi Gong: Ancient Healing for Modern Joint PainWhat is Qi gong? Qi gong (pronounced Chee gung or Chee kung) is a 5000-year-old Chinese form of mind/body practice. Qi means life force, energy, or breath. Gong means skill or discipline. So the term Qi gong means energy work or breathing exercise. To the ancient masters, energy means life force, that vitality we are all looking for. Think about what happens when the power lines go down. We can’t cook our food, watch TV, or use the computer. We literally lose all our energy, and can’t function the way we want to. Qi gong is based on the premise that our bodies are energy systems. As long as we have energy, or qi, we are alive. How does Qi gong work? Qi gong is often compared to an iceberg. The slow, gentle movements you see are just the tip of the iceberg. There is a much deeper, internal power that lies below the surface. Qi gong uses postures and exercises to concentrate the release and flow of energy in the body. The slow, circular movements may be combined with regulated breathing, meditation, self-massage and guided imagery to stimulate the flow of energy, or chi. The idea is that by directing the body’s energy, you can remove blockages believed to lead to disease and dysfunction, and help your body achieve a natural state of balance and health. What are the benefits of qi gong? Qi gong is the longest continually used health practice on the planet, so it has been proven over time. New scientific studies support the long-time evidence. Qi gong has many different practices and movements. But while the techniques and exercises may vary, the goals are the same: to maintain health, promote healing and balance, and increase vitality. Some benefits of practicing Qi gong include:
- Practice it anywhere, without any physical equipment. You can even practice it in a wheelchair or in bed.
- Completely natural way to activate your energy by using your breath.
- Reduces pain by raising your natural pain killers, or endorphins, easing symptoms of illness such as arthritis.
- Reduces blood pressure and heart disease.
- Brings healing to your body and helps you recover from autoimmune diseases such as chronic fatigue and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Increases your energy to bring positive change to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
- Gradually helps you reduce the need for medications by healing your body.
- local wellness center
- fitness center
- seniors directories
- hospitals and clinics
- health food stores
- alternative health or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.