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If you haven’t heard of Qigong, I am tickled to be able to share this incredible practice of Chinese healing with you! If you have heard of Qigong, I hope you learn something here or just appreciate you taking the time to check out my perspective!
Qi-Gong is pronounced “chee-gong” and Qi is the Chinese word for “life energy”. It is the essence that brings every living thing to life, it is the electric force of vitality.
Gong means “work” or “benefits acquired through perseverance and practice”
The benefits are acquired through perseverance and practice.
Isn’t that a beautiful statement!
I heard about Qigong years ago, listening to a podcast or something, but never looked into it. My brain somehow knew to hold on to that tiny tidbit so when the tie was right, it would spark a connection.
It was January of 2021, and I was looking to make some changes, adjust my routine, and incorporate some movement and stimulation my body needed.
I was doing some thymus thumping, which is intentionally, but not over dramatically tapping on your thymus gland, which is in your chest, to stimulate it and strengthen the immune response.
I’ll write more on that another day, or you can click here to learn a little more
As I was doing this, it trigged that little part of my brain that was holding on to Qigong tapping, and away to YouTube I went!
I can’t say why I was drawn to the tapping technique, but it is one of my favorite Qigong practices.
This video is a short full body tapping routine, that I did for almost two months, every day, and still incorporate into my practice. Trust me, after a few days, you learn the words.
My one-year-old son at the time was even getting into it! Haha.
This video is literally where I started my Qigong journey.
I did go on quite down a rabbit hole, as I tend to do when I find things that light me up!
I found that this is more than just a practice for exercise and flexibility.
This is an art of mind and body, this is a science-backed by research, this is medicine, this is a lifestyle.
There are two general categories of Qigong: Active or Dynamic (dong gong) and Passive or Tranquil (jing gong).
Dynamic qigong is what comes to mind when most people think of Qigong.
This is also similar to yoga, the active Vinyasa practice, and the more meditative Hatha practice. While qigong is an older practice, one will find many similarities between yoga and qigong.
There are thousands, literally, of styles of qigong, which are beneficial for different applications and personal preferences.
These are a few of my favorite YouTube Qigong instructors:
Qigong with Kseny– I love her accent, and the way she explains the movements, but doesn’t talk the whole time through. She has SO MANY videos of all different lengths and is great for someone just starting out, or anyone really.
Nick Loffree: Bioenergetic Health– These videos go a little deeper into the elements, seasons, and bioenergetics, and the videography is top-notch. This guy is good. And he has a sense of humor and is easy on the eyes. These practices can be a bit longer, and a bit more advanced. While he does have some for beginners, I recommend working up to his, as his flow is more suited for intermediate practices.
Holden Qigong– Lee Holden. He is like THE dude of qigong. Nick Loffree trained with him actually (among others). He is the master. Very personable personality walks you through the movements and explains the why and what you are hitting and the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of it. His videos range from 5 minutes to an hour. He has it all. Great stuff.
These link to their YouTube Channel, but if you resonate with any of them or are looking to deepen your practice, I highly recommend going to their web pages and becoming a part of any program that they offer.
What is Qigong?
Qigong is a form of intentional meditative movement, that opens up specific energy pathways in the body by stimulating the circulation of qi, energy.
It combines breathing, slow movement, tapping, stretching, and mindfulness to create this magical increase in health and vitality.
Anyone can do qigong and that is one of the beautiful aspects of the practice is how easily it can be modified for those with injuries or mobility issues.
This is a practice for anyone, of any age, of any shape or size.
There is actually an image from around 168 B.C that shows young and old, men and women, peasants and bureaucrats, demonstrating different exercises.
Health Benefits of Qigong
When I started looking into the health benefits and the documented medical studies surrounding qigong, I was blown away.
The book, The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing by Kenneth S. Cohen, goes over many of the medical studies throughout history to the modern day and is a fascinatingly good read if you are interested to inquire more into the topic.
It was on my top list in my post Reading For Self Care.
“Active qigong includes stretching, deep breathing, low-impact conditioning, and isometrics. It increases range of motion, builds strength, increases stamina, and improves balance and coordination. Internally, qigong movements relax the fascia, the connective tissue that holds the internal organs in place, allowing the organs to work efficiently.” From The Way of QiGong.
Qigong focuses on the meridians and the internal organs. The flows and movements stimulate specific meridian and acupressure points, which are connected to specific organs and body systems. More information on meridians can be found in my post-Meridian Lines and Heal(y)ing.
Each organ also has its own sound, which you can use breathing techniques to help purge the stagnant qi as well!
The breathing during qigong is something I find really special. It is not just breathing with the movements, inhaling and exhaling, it is using that breath to in a sense power the movement. If the breath is slower the movement is slower, if the breath moves faster, so can the movement. To intentionally connect the breath and the movement at the same pace is a huge part of why this is so calming.
The Six Qi Method
This is a basic yet extremely profound qigong practice that one can incorporate into a daily routine, or as often as needed for any of one’s personal health needs.
This can be practiced standing or seating, just be mindful of your posture, and your breath, and try to relax and present in your body.
For each organ sound, you will breathe in through your nose, bringing in fresh qi.
Then you will exhale through the make while quietly, yet confidently, making the sound.
- Lungs: Locate your lungs with your mind and bring your attention there. As you breathe in imagine that fresh qi reaching all the air sacs, all the tissue and cells within the lungs with white healing light. As you exhale through the mouth whisper the chant See-ahh, making the sounds last. Repeat this twice.
- Kidneys: Visualize your kidneys within your body, and become aware of them. Inhale the fresh qi through the nose into the kidneys, filling them with an ocean blue light healing light. As you exhale, chant the sound Chrroooeee.
Repeat this twice more.
- Liver: Become aware of your liver, and set your intention upon it. Inhaling deeply the fresh qi, send it from your nasal passage down into the liver visualizing a forest green healing light. As you release the stagnant qi, make the sound Shuuu. This is done by saying Sh, like in hushh, and then rounding your lips into the U shape at the end. Repeat twice more.
- Heart: Focus on the heart, bringing attention to all the muscles, chambers, ventricles, and valves within the heart. As you bring in the fresh qi, imagine it permeating your beautiful heart with a red healing light. On the exhale, release the sound Ho, slowly and with appreciation. The sound is identical to hoo in the word “hook”. Repeat twice more.
- Spleen: Imagine your spleen, which is a small organ that begins in the stomach. While drawing your attention and your breath to your spleen, see a bright yellow healing light fill the area. As you purify the spleen and exhale through the mouth, make the sound Hoooo, just like the word who. Repeat twice more.
- Triple Burner: This is not an organ, but refers to a bodily function. This is the aspect of qi that helps to control the balance of heat and moisture within the three regions of the body: upper (heart and lungs), middle (spleen and stomach), and lower (liver and kidneys). Taking a deep inhale of pure qi in through the nose, feel that breath filling up your entire torso, bringing this vital energy to every organ. As you exhale the excess qi, exhale with the sound Seee. While making this sound, bring your mouth into a smile, and let this powerful intention of love and health radiate through your entire being.
Repeat this twice more.
When I started qigong I was looking for a way to incorporate movement and increase flexibility in my body.
What I didn’t know was that over the next few months I would also:
*Have increased energy for daily tasks
*Have more focus and concentration at work
*Appreciate the little things more
These things came over time, and at first, I didn’t notice right away, but I journal consistently, and by being able to have this little logbook and timeline, I could see that almost every day I wrote some version of the sentence “Today was a good day”.
Ups and downs, stressors, incidents, breakdowns, and all. At the end of almost every day, I could still say that it was a good day.
Qigong helped to change my perspective and is still changing my life.
I hope this article has encouraged you to check out some of the recommended content and start this qigong journey for yourself.
As with everything I share here, there are no side effects.
Nothing can go wrong.
You only have everything to gain.
Love and vibes,