Introduction to Qigong
Today, millions of people practice Qigong around the world to successfully treat a myriad of diseases, to improve general health, support longevity, and to promote psycho-spiritual growth and happiness. Most notably, Qigong practice can provide profound relief from stress and strongly enhance the body's immune function. Successful aging is related to the optimal functioning of the immune system¹. Current data published by the US Department of Health and Human Services states that some seventy percent of diseases reported in the US today are totally preventable. In a time when healthcare options appear ever more limited, the increased awareness and use of Qigong is great news.
Qi has been characterized as the bioenergy of creativity, breath, function, and consciousness.
Qigong is a combination of Qi (life-force, energy, creativity, consciousness, breath, function) and gong (cultivation or practice over time).
HOW QI GONG WORKS IN THE BODY
Qigong works strongly on the body fluids, including blood, lymph and the synovial and cerebrospinal fluids. Unlike aerobics, Qigong does not dramatically increase the heart rate during exercise. The object of Qigong is not to make the heart pump more strongly, but to increase the elasticity of the vascular system. As the vessels expand and contract with more vigor, the heart does not need to pump as strongly, thereby providing it with more rest. The lymph fluids are moved primarily by tiny muscular expansions and contractions. Qigong's relatively fine muscular expansions and contractions move lymph efficiently through the entire system.
Benefits of Qigong practice include optimizing the delivery of oxygen and nutrition to the tissues, increasing the efficiency of cellular metabolism, altering neurochemistry towards healing, managing pain and mood, reducing heart rate and blood pressure, and facilitating relaxation and mental focus. Qigong can be done anywhere, anytime. It can be practiced while sitting, standing, moving, not moving, or lying down. It is excellent for stress reduction, prevention of illness, dealing with chronic illness, healthy and active aging, and longevity.