You may have heard of Qigong, or Chi Kung as it is sometimes called. It’s a slow, gentle movement that combines movement, meditation and breathing. Qigong training can be done standing, sitting or lying down. It can be adapted to suit your level of fitness and mobility.
Practising Qigong means working with the energy within the body to help maintain balance and harmony between mind and body. The aim is to strengthen our physical health and improve our mental wellbeing. When we increase our energy levels, we feel more positive about ourselves and less stressed out in everyday life.
Benefits of Qigong Training
In addition to its physical benefits, Qigong training has several energetic, mental and emotional benefits.
Energetically, it balances the flow of qi through the meridians. The meridians are channels that run throughout the body and connect to major organs; when balanced, they help prevent illness by keeping you healthy on a cellular level. Mentally and emotionally, Qigong increases focus and concentration while reducing stress; this can improve your mood and performance at work or school.
Qigong training improves balance, coordination and flexibility. It strengthens the immune system, increases energy and vitality and improves circulation. Qigong can also improve breathing: One of the most critical factors determining our quality of life. Increasing lung capacity improves oxygenation of blood cells and strengthens respiratory muscles.
Qigong practitioners often report feeling relaxed after a session. According to experts in Chinese medicine, this is because qi (life energy) flows more smoothly throughout the body when you practice qigong exercises regularly. When this happens, your nervous system becomes less tense, so you feel better emotionally and physically!
- Improved energy, vitality and health
- Improved circulation and respiration
- Improved immune system
- Improved digestion
- Improved balance and flexibility
Qigong improves concentration and focus, which can be a great asset when trying to stay on task. It’s also been shown to improve memory, problem-solving skills, and creativity. These benefits are especially helpful if you have ADHD or another condition that makes it difficult to focus your attention on a single task for an extended time.
If these benefits sound beneficial to you, but the idea of learning qigong feels daunting, you’re not alone! Most people don’t realise how quickly they can pick up these techniques until they’ve actually tried practising them in class or at home. And, it can take as little as 15 minutes of practice daily to notice improvements in mental clarity and overall wellbeing.
These are some of the emotional benefits that Qigong can help you achieve:
- A calmer mind.
- Improved mood and decreased stress.
- Improved emotional stability and resilience.
- Increased self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-acceptance (including increased acceptance of others).
These are all important factors in improving our relationships at home, at work, and with strangers we encounter every day on our walk to work or school or even just standing in line for a cup of coffee!