Qi gong, pronounced as “chi gong,” is an Asian form of yoga. This form of yoga helps optimize energy throughout the mind, body, and soul by using exercises. This is done to maintain or improve one’s overall health and well-being. You can even find sets that reduce joint and muscle pain.
You can also reduce stress and help your body function at its best. It has even been shown to help with depression and chronic fatigue. So now that you know a little about qi gong let’s look at why you should try it yourself. Then we’ll take you through how to learn and the different paths you can choose.
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What is Qi Gong?
Qi gong was created thousands of years ago and used in traditional Asian medicine to regulate the mind, breath, and body movements. Qi gong, which translates literally to “energy work,” generally focuses on using slow poses, exercises, and breathing patterns to reduce stagnation and create a flow of Qi. This process has helped practitioners harness their focus and willpower. Some sets are performed while standing, but there are some seated poses.
Thousands of variations of qi gong were developed throughout the last thousands of years. The main principle in these variations is the focus of mind and breath. So let’s go deeper into the formula and principles of what makes qi gong.
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The body movements in qi gong often follow the pathways of the energy meridians that run through the body. This is done through sequenced exercises and poses.
These movements can even be rigorous depending on your chosen path of qi gong. But if you’re worried about sore muscles, don’t worry; these movements are typically slow and controlled. This means you can use qi gong when your muscles are sore and need to recover.
Eyes guide the Shen, or spirit, in Taoist theory. The Shen follows the Qi through the eyes, followed by blood and body fluids. The eyes become the “headquarters” for movement and control of the energy in the body. You’ll use your eyes to direct energy.
Breath is vital to qi gong as this is where Qi can come from that is then used to create usable energy. The body can receive energy from the air. This energy mixes with food, creating usable power throughout the body. You can open energy blockages through coordination of breath and body movements and send energy throughout your body.
In this practice, you are forced to focus on the hand’s movements and actions. As the ancients say, you can create mastery in life by linking attention with intention. This process happens as you focus on hand movements while staying engaged in the body movements. While this demands concentration on specific elements, the rewards are well worth it.
What’s So Special About Qi Gong?
Qi Gong is used in treating a variety of problems people often experience. Small studies have shown that this practice can improve your body’s well-being. Let’s review the benefits and how to get started.
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The Benefits of Qi Gong
The potential benefits that qi gong brings from chronic problems are worth the effort. This practice is often safe and easy for anyone to try. Even if your goal isn’t to reduce a chronic issue, you can still use it to regulate breathing, promote better moods, and improve your sleep.
Qi gong has the potential to improve your body in many ways. We’ll go over a few of these here:
- Boosts immune system response
- Relieves stress and reduces depression
- Lessen chronic fatigue
- Improves the well-being of cancer patients
Qi gong can help to reduce inflammation and treat sore muscles. The gentle movements suit those with nerve, joint, and muscle pain. You can use this practice with other items like muscle rubs or natural herbs to perform qi gong more comfortably.
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How You Can Learn Qi Gong
Qi gong can is practiced in many ways. Most people find credible teachers locally and learn from them. But, if you can’t find a teacher near you, taking classes online is another excellent way to learn. Once you’ve found a way to learn qi gong, integrating it into your schedule can consistently improve your body’s functions.
Many different qi gong teachers offer a variety of paths. However, if you want to “dip your toes” first and give qi gong a try, you can find videos on a platform like YouTube. These videos often show you qi gong sets for specific issues like sciatica pain, arthritis, or even insomnia.
There is a large selection of free and paid options available so that no matter where you are, you can practice qi gong! Scheduling classes online or using instructional videos allows you to fit qi gong into your schedule without a problem. This works well if you combine it with a weekly workout routine.
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Having a teacher guide you in person is the best way to learn qi gong. You can pay attention to your teacher’s form, receive constructive feedback about your form, and learn properly. This makes it easier to then focus on your breathing.
You can find classes near you through Facebook groups, Yelp articles, or by going to your city’s local activity center. You might even find qi gong classes offered at yoga or fitness and health centers.