What Is Medical Qi Gong?
“Daily Qi Gong practice lowers blood pressure, pulse rates, metabolic rates and oxygen demand. Qi Gong triggers the body’s relaxation response by reducing the level of dopamine, an enzyme that controls neurological activity.”
Dr David Eisenberg, MD
Harvard Medical School
In China, Qi Gong has been used for more than 3,000 years. Qi is the force that gives life to everything. Gong is the technique used as the art and science of preventing illness by using the healing power of Qi (energy).
Medical Qi Gong uses specific exercise prescriptions designed around an individual’s particular health concern, to relieve pain, strengthen the body’s constitution and prolong life.
Some of the benefits of Medical Qi Gong:
Strengthens immune system
Increases lung capacity and strengthens the lungs
Strengthens the heart
Enhances brain function, improves memory and aptitude
Strengthens nervous system
Balances hormones and glandular system
Qi Gong consists of techniques for working with the body's energy flow. In applying these techniques we access the body’s meridian system (channels through which energy passes). In Chinese medicine we believe that illness is caused when blockages occur in these channels. In learning to recognize, utilize, circulate and direct the internal energy of the human body, we also connect with the energy of the universe and of the earth.
It is widely accepted that exercise can promote health and prevent illness. The Western model is, however, more focused on muscular/skeletal development through the application of stress and load to build up strength. It works from the outside inwards. Qi Gong, on the other hand, works the body from the inside, outwards. It connects the body and spirit, focusing on breath, concentration, aswell as physical movements, to enliven and strengthen every cell of the body.
Qi Gong views the human body as a universe: a microcosm reflecting the macrocosm. The organs of the body are as the galaxies and planets. Its primary energy, the Yin and the Yang, are in constant evolution, opposing, yet supporting and interdependent on each other, constant change, and establishment of equilibrium. Disease and illness are caused by excesses and/ or deficiencies or stagnations that upset this delicate natural flow. Through daily practice of Qi Gong (it needn't take very long- in as little as 15 minutes a day) is possible to maintain, even vibrantly enhance these energies, and also to reverse imbalances, rectify pathological conditions and return the body to a state of health
Qi Gong utilizes techniques that regulate the mind and body, directly influencing a person’s physiological and psychological state. It increases the body’s ability to adapt to and defend against the outer environment. This provides a sense of well-being and zest, which reduces stress and unleashes a renewed capacity to not just deal, but to find joy in daily life. Hidden talents and abilities often emerge.
It is said that the difference between anxiety and fear and a feeling of peace, is the length of the breath. The movements of the forms are often slow as blood flows slowly through the blood vessels and attempt is being made to slow down to the movement of the blood.
All Qi Gong is meditation with focus mostly on the one of the three Dan Tiens (energy centers) in the body. The practices can be described in three ways as 1) Seated or Standing Meditation, 2) Half-moving/half meditating Meditation (this describes most ‘series’ of exercises learnt where one specific form follows another specific form, and 3) Moving Meditation (freeform Qi Gong where the Qi moves freely through the body and the practitioner ‘goes with the flow’ so to speak).
Qi Gong has combined all the benefits of physical fitness, exercise, ‘yoga’ and meditation in such a way that it is accessible to people of all ages, gender and physical condition. There are exercises and techniques for everyone, addressing specific physical and mental problems, calming and empowering the mind, and at the same time promoting growth and awareness. It is a truly holistic therapy.