Pronounced “Chee-gunhg,” Qigong has a growing body of evidence to support how it can benefit your health.
Qigong has been used for millennia to soothe the harmful effects of illness and as a preventive healthcare practice. Along with other forms of Traditional Chinese medicine, like acupuncture, and other modalities of somatic body work and energy medicine, qigong therapy can enhance your overall healing process by keeping a harmonizing pattern of energies in circulation. It involves the patient as a crucial element in healing, teaching not only balanced movement, but also how to recognize their individual patterns of qi flow and how to synchronize it with their environments. Further, qigong practitioners learn how to build, maintain, and use their own reserves of qi for better overall health. Even so, this healing modality is still lesser known. A growing body of evidence supports qigong’s healing benefits such as:
- Get the most out of each breath; this promotes calm, centered and intentional action.
- Improve your posture and balance by helping the internal organs relax, improving blood circulation, digestion, sleep, and other vital functions.
- Mental qigong training can maximize athletic performance, artistic creativity, and the ability to weather stress with more ease and grace. It is an active invocation of the state of flow, or “being in the zone”, which is one key to happiness.
- Improve your spinal strength, flexibility, joint and bone strength through emphasis on coherent synchronized motion and body awareness.
- Helps to manage stress from chronic conditions; and addiction recovery
- Learn that doing things sufficiently slow does not, in fact, mess up your mojo- it enhances it.
- Cope with anxiety, depression, and emotional triggers.
- Experience easier recovery from illness or injury through strengthening immune response and self-care pain management; supports good cancer care outcomes: (breast cancer study) (non-hodgkins lymphoma). Preliminary results from some studies suggest that acupuncture, tuina, taichi, qigong or TCM are beneficial adjunctive therapies for improving quality of life for cancer care patients.
What is a Medical Qigong session like?
Medical qigong sessions are done with the patient fully clothed, which can promote trust and ease among those who are self-conscious about body image or who find removing clothing triggering due to past trauma. The treatments, in general, are private, between the therapist and the patient. The hand positions can also be adapted from lightly on the body or hovering over the body (working in what some practitioners call the auric field).
A medical qigong treatment can enhance the effects of other modalities to keep a positive flow of healing energy going. Psychophysiological responses have been reported in small studies of patients involved in qigong therapy. Subjective reactions to having a medical qigong treatment vary. Many find the session to help them achieve a level of resting that had been elusive in their regular lives. Others feel as if they can allow themselves to relax and open their consciousness to trust in themselves, with a centered clarity. Some people don’t experience these kinds of reactions at all, instead, perhaps reporting over time a little better sleep, or don’t notice anything dramatic happening during or after the session.
The history of qigong practice stretches back at least 4000-5000 years. It is deeply rooted in early Chinese shamanistic/healing practices that became Traditional Chinese Medicine and philosophy, as well as the martial arts. It is an ancient healing technology that has been continuously developed and refined with the intent to improve health, functional movement, and wellbeing. It is simple to receive and to learn, and as scientific evidence mounts, it is an apparently safe adjunct to any fitness or wellness regimen. Simplicity sourced from antiquity, qigong is a surprisingly timely and timeless antidote to the many vexing conditions that challenge people in this uncertain age.