(WellnessNova.com) - Qigong is a holistic system of healthcare originating in ancient China and is practiced as a form of complementary or alternative medicine in both the East and West. Qigong is a combination of two words meaning “energy” and “work.” Qigong involves a series of physical, mental and breathing exercises that increase the flow of energy to the mind and body. Consistent practice brings many health benefits without requiring medication, special sessions, or even equipment! It’s based on the principle of universal energy or qi (chee). When qi flows freely through the body there is health and vitality. When this flow is blocked, pain and disease result. So what exactly are some of the proven benefits of practicing Qigong?
1. Better Health
The most important and obvious benefit of qigong is improved health. Qigong increases immune function and reduces pain and inflammation in the joints. Studies also show that it improves cardiovascular and mental health, reducing instances of anxiety and depression.
2. Increased Strength
Qigong increases your strength (though it’s a gentle art). Qi improves blood circulation, bringing more nutrients to the muscles. The muscles then become stronger and are better able to cope with greater levels of stress and tension. Practicing qigong trains the body to use strength more efficiently and allows for better breathing, posture and coordination. Studies have also revealed that Qigong training increases bone density — especially among post-menopausal women.
3. Greater Self-Control
Practicing qigong helps you be more relaxed, resulting in a calm mind during stressful situations. Elderly people experience greater muscular control, leading to better balance and posture. In fact, studies show that elderly qigong practitioners have fewer instances of falling or fear of falling.
4. Better Healing
Qigong gives you energy, but slows your metabolism resulting in a slower heart and respiratory rate. It also quickens your digestion and makes it more efficient. The increased supply of qi helps cells replicate faster making your wounds heal faster and giving you healthier nails and hair.
5. Clearer Skin and Better Sleep
When qi flows under your skin and deep within your body it clears your skin. As you learn to breathe more efficiently by practicing qigong, you increase your supply of oxygen and qi. Healthier skin is just one of the many benefits of efficient breathing.
Better breathing habits also lead to better sleep patterns. Qigong lets you fall asleep faster and more soundly, letting you wake up feeling refreshed. Qigong master Kenneth Cohen would always tell his students: “If you have trouble going to sleep, don’t count sheep, count your breaths.”
6. Stronger Intuition
Qigong also benefits your mind. Practicing qigong develops a stronger intuition and improves your memory. It also boosts your creativity and concentration and helps you make decisions easier and faster.
Qigong is perfect if you want to increase your productivity levels.
7. Emotional Balance
Qigong also increases your emotional intelligence. It gives you more control over your emotional reaction to situations, letting you exercise clearer judgment. This is especially beneficial if you have anxiety, depression, or anger issues.
These are just some of qigong’s benefits — the more you practice the more benefits you’ll get. Qigong is a discipline that connects you with the universal energy that is crucial to all life. The flow of qi is not only vital to physical wellbeing, but also emotional wellbeing. You can practice qigong by yourself, with a friend, or in a group. Qigong is handicapped-friendly — there are a wide variety of styles and postures to choose from. Start your training today!