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Get into Qigong

In 2002, 527 thousand people practiced some form of qigong. In 2007, 625 thousand people practiced, totaling about 19% of the country’s population. Those numbers must only be going up.

Qigong (pronounced chee-gung) is an over five thousand year old Chinese health method and is also known as Chinese yoga. It combines postures, breathing and focused attention to improve health.

Qi Life force or the vital energy that flows through all things in the universe
Gong

Accomplishment or the skill that is gained through continual practice

The slow, gentle movements of qigong can be used by young and old and anywhere, including while siting, lying down, standing and moving. It can be as simple and free-flowing as Tai Chi or as extreme and hardcore as Kung Fu – it all depends on your preference and capability. Arguably, the most important part of qigong is the mind-body connection – adding mental intent to the physical movements is what promotes the healing process.

Fundamentals

  1. Get your body right: We all know the correct body posture is important. Just like making sure body positions are correct while working out to prevent injury, you need to make sure you posture is right for qigong to increase energy flow, increase stamina, make sure you’re not using unnecessary energy and decrease the risk of injury.
  2. Get your breathing right: When practicing qigong, you should breathe from your stomach, not just your chest. That means your stomach should expand when inhaling and flatten when exhaling.
  3. Get your mind right: Aka mindful meditation, which you can read about here.
Qigong has been found to have beneficial effects, including heart and lung fitness.

Qigong’s slow, gentle movements can be used at any age, with any skill level.

Research

In an article where qi gong was reviewed along with Tai chi, there was strong evidence for qi gong’s beneficial effects. Qigong was found to help with bone health, heart and lung fitness, balance (including preventing falls) and overall quality of life.

Qigong isn’t just an exercise or healing method – when you practice qigong, you live it. If you need some help getting started, visit us at the Health Center and Dr. Paul Aaron can give you some guidance!

In the meantime, try the techniques in this video and this one, featuring the one and only Dr. Aaron.

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