Qigong: What Is It & How Does It Help Better Our Health?
Here's a brief on what the Chinese workout regime Qigong is all about. Here's why you should incorporate Qigong into your routine.
Meditation is an important aspect of qigong
What is Qigong?
Qigong traditionally pronounced "chi gong", is a form of traditional workout technique that originated in China thousands of years ago. It encompasses using movements to improve and sustain health and well-being by regulating energy throughout the body, mind, and spirit.
Qigong encompasses the management of the mind, breath, and body's mobility. It has both psychological and physical aspects. While performing qigong, breathing has to be slow, gradual, and deep. Breathing rhythms might change from belly breathing to breathing in rhythm with speech sounds. The strokes are usually mild and flowing, with the objective of relaxing. Imagery and focusing one's focus are examples of mind regulation.
Qigong can be divided into two kinds:
- Wai Dan: Physical activity and focus are required (External Elixir)
- Nei Dan: Seated meditation and guided imagery or visualisation (Internal Elixir)
Just like yoga, qigong encompasses exercising at a slow pace. The entire experience is expected to be meditative. Hence, qigong is practiced in 3 states of meditation:
1. Sitting meditation
This is what categorises as being the most similar to traditional meditation. This requires the person to sit in a comfortable and upright position. This type of meditation encompasses little to no movement. The main acts in this type of qigong are breathing and imagery. This type of meditation is extremely effective in bettering mental disorders and overall mental health. As this requires little to no movement, this can be performed by everybody.
2. Still meditation
This meditation as the name suggests requires no movement. The individual is expected to form a certain posture and stay. The objective of still meditation is to strengthen limbs and increase the flow of energies in the body.
3. Moving meditation
This type of meditation under qigong is the most effective if you wish to practice qigong to lose weight or better your mobility. This incorporates slow movement postures and movement of the body along with synchronised breathing.
Furthermore, qigong might have 3 major objectives that decide the course and structure of practicing qigong.
4. Spiritual qigong
Focuses on working on the mind. Includes sitting meditation, breathing techniques, and visualisation. This practice is to work towards enlightenment.
5. Medical qigong
Focuses on body movements and exercising the body. Includes still and moving meditation. Incorporating a variety of movements, and postures along with breathing techniques. The purpose is to heal oneself and others.
6. Martial qigong
This form of qigong encompasses bettering physical and bodily strength.
How does Qigong help us?
Qigong has various health benefits such as,
- Bettering respiratory health
- Betters health for people post-cancer
- Betters depression and anxiety
- Better overall mental health
- Promotes weight-loss
- Increases overall body flexibility and mobility
- Betters joint and muscle pain
In conclusion, qigong not only benefits the body but also the mind. Hence, doing it correctly is essential. In addition to this, it is slow-paced and low-impact which makes it ideal for almost people of all ages. However, in case you suffer from any chronic diseases, we advise you to talk to an expert before practicing qigong. They can help you navigate which postures and movements are doable and beneficial for you.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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