“Thatch your roof before rainy weather; dig your well before you become parched with thirst” –Chinese Proverb
This week the weather has been perfect for November. With the sun warm, the winds light, my bike ride had been so smooth, I had cruised into the 10-mile mark, yet I’m disappointed, I had energy to spare and didn’t want to leave. The day before had been my first qigong (chee-gung) class and I think I was experiencing the effects.
We have all seen the videos of hundreds practicing in parks in China in the early morning. I never realized they were doing it for a genius reason that I now find myself enthralled with. The Chinese have used this practice for thousands of years as part of their ancient version of free health care insurance. In the west we’ve overlooked this as a tool for fitness and empowerment. I think we think that it looks too simple and is often depicted as being practiced either by old people, who we don’t respect, or martial artists that we marginalize.
From Qi Journal
In China, the true definition of health care is to care for one’s health. The rationale for self-care is that if citizens can do self-applied health enhancement methods (SAHEM), in the comfort of their own home for no cost, then health care is free.
shifting a person’s qi directly refers to a holistic approach to health and treating the individual at all levels: physical, “energetic,” emotional, mental and “spiritual.”
I was introduced to Qigong (chee-gung) during my training at the Kushi Institute this summer. Unfortunately, the qigong was scheduled at 7am everyday, not being a morning person this was not ideal. Since my surgeries, yoga stretches have been hard and I have missed the practice. Qigong is a less strenuous movement than yoga, yet more involved than meditation, an ideal middle ground. I found the explanation of the movements and how they are translated into moving one’s qi around the body fascinating. It feels like you are dancing with yourself.
From the Qi Journal
“Chinese self-care, called Qigong, combines careful regulation of breath, deep states of relaxation, specific regulation of bodily movement and posture, and, in certain forms, self-applied massage to generate a physiological state termed the Qigong state. This state is unique in its comparison to aerobics, jogging, and muscle-building, because of the simultaneous application of deep states of relaxation. Qigong requires no special equipment. While aerobics, jogging, and even walking require that the individual be relatively fit, people who are very sick and incapacitated can still practice Qigong.
Ancient Healing Modality
A type of medical qigong has been developed by a Shanghai hospital to maintain health and assist in recovery. The Chinese Ministry of Health has officially endorsed this series. Would or could our health care bill ever include such an endorsement?
I left the kushi in August with an idea to find classes close so that I could continue the practice. It has taken six months, but I finally found a class within walking distance.
Our instructor is teaching us the coinin sequence that increases flow of qi between the skin and the bone marrow. The series of twisting the forearms has been chosen because it is so energizing. We were warned that we might have trouble sleeping and I did have some disturbance. Qigong strengthens internal organs and enhances the immune system and reduces stress which according the research causes the majority of all illnesses.
It is easy to remember a set and work it into your day. The breathing is one of the most difficult areas to perfect, but even beginners can see the benefit without being an expert.
As we approach winter and it becomes more difficult to go outside and exercise I am excited that qigong promises to be a great way to keep the energy flowing and an internal fire stoked. The addition of this ancient healing modality as my protection against cold and flu this winter is my official experiment. I’ll report back in spring.
I’m reading The Healing Power of Qi
“Qigong transcends the limited realm of disease and treatment to become a powerful tool for life mastery and personal transformation”
I am convinced this is another entrance for me, similar to the leap in awareness and health improvement when I changed my diet. This feels close to that. I’m excited for the journey.
Photo Credit “Qigong by нσвσ, on Flickr”