Qigong Exercise Steps for Health
Qi Gong Exercises for Health
There are many ways to alleviate stress and reclaim our peace of mind—restoring balance and serenity in our
lives. Meditation, yoga and moderate exercise can all help. But, after twenty-five years of personal research into
what works best to counter stress, I’ve found the ancient Chinese art of qigong to offer the surest results.
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First, qigong exercise steps emphasize and teach us how to breathe correctly into the lower stomach.
When we breathe this way consistently, our lymph systems are effectively activated, detoxifying the body
and sending a gentle stream of energizing oxygen into the tissues. Activation of the lymph system
automatically triggers a relaxation response throughout the body. We automatically feel balanced and
Qigong exercises also activate the lymph system with off-the-body stroking movements and an emphasis on
pumping the legs with up and down squatting movements.
Secondly, qigong’s strong mental emphasis on internal relaxation shifts us out of the sympathetic
nervous system (associated with fight-or-flight and our normal reaction to stress) into the parasympathetic
nervous system (associated with feelings of pleasure and harmony).
This is so important. Over-use of the sympathetic nervous system depletes our adrenals and floods the
body with toxic levels of cortisol. We literally burn ourselves out. But like rats hitting the button for
more cocaine, we just can’t stop.
Qigong exercise steps slowly seduce us back into the gentle world of the parasympathetic and over time
we build up a "body-memory" that allows us to choose a different, relaxed response to stress rather than
the frazzled, knee-jerk reaction we usually employ.
Thirdly, qi gong exercises for health balance the meridian energy flow in the body, through
scientific movement and direction of mental intention.
Areas that are depleted are restored to their correct levels; areas that are excessive are "calmed
down." As we become more energetically balanced, we are automatically capable of better adjusting to daily
Fourthly, qigong exercise steps build the skill of becoming tranquil and appreciating the value of that
Qigong exercises accomplish this by meditative standing and sitting practices where we go deep inside
and use our attention to release ourselves emotionally and psychically.
Significant healing occurs at this level of qigong practice, with tremendous implications for stress
Lastly, qigong exercise steps integrate our three major centers or "brains", the third eye area, the heart
center and the stomach.
In the computer age, we have become "headier" than ever, losing touch with the wisdom of our hearts and
the grounding of our stomachs. Western science and organizations like HeartMath have proved that attention
on the heart center can entrain the head to process emotions in a less stress-inducing manner.
Through its emphasis and cultivation of all three centers, qigong ensures maximum resilience when it
comes to handling stress effectively. Qigong exercises are like a practical course in acceptance and
We learn how to conserve our energy and stay calm, whatever the pressures. We learn how to gain control
of our inner being and take responsibility for enhancing the quality of our lives. These are skills you can
use and apply for the rest of your life.
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