Qi Gong – Moving Meditation: Strengthens the Body-Mind-Spirit with Profound Healing Effects
Dr. Scott Greenapple
Qi Gong (Chee Kung) is one of the five baskets of Chinese medicine. The five staples of Chinese Medicine are (1) Acupuncture, (2) Nutrition and life style, (3) Herbal Remedies, (4) Massage, and/or self-massage, Tui-na (manual muscle and joint release), (5) Qi Gong, Tai Chi, (movement exercise that includes body, breath and mind).
For a millennium, ancient cultures have used and understood the curative and preventative powers of movement and breath. Yoga and Tai Chi have made it to the west in the past few decades and have become almost mainstream in health clubs and studios. But, it is the older traditions of Qi Gong healing practices that are recently in the west gathering more headlines within medical journals and with clinical studies for both treatment and prevention of disease and overall wellbeing.
Benefits of Qi Gong have been linked to some of the following:
- Heart Disease
- Digestive Disorders
- Asthma and respiratory disorders
- Cancer (symptoms of fatigue and chemo-brain fog)
- Migraines and other Headaches
- Chronic Pain
- Inflammatory Conditions
- Performance Enhancement
Qi means “life force, vital energy, breath”. Gong means “work and cultivation”.
So, Qi Gong can be translated as ‘vital energy cultivation” or mastering your “vital energy”. It is the integration of all the above. I like to refer to it as Acupuncture without needles. Qi Gong is a combination of movement, breathing techniques, postures and mindfulness meditation. Also known as movement meditation or what has been deemed “Movement Medication”. It is the parent or grandparent to Tai Chi and is used throughout Asia as a prevention and treatment. In fact, currently in China, Qi Gong is being taught to hospitalized patients recovering from COVID 19.
All or most disease according to traditional Chinese Medicine comes from blockage or stagnation of the body’s fluids, lymph flow, energy, breath, food, thoughts and emotional issues from the mind that can also be found in the tissues. All of these come under the term “Stagnant Qi”, which when looking closely is analogous to chronic inflammation that the west is now deeming responsible for an overwhelming amount of disease. Most of the benefits of Qi Gong and movement meditations are centered upon the movement and cultivation of our body/mind and spirit allowing the body to self-regulate, work in harmony and empower us to help strengthen our own immune response and turn on the “Healer within”. These simple exercises can have profound effects and literally can make medicine for no cost based on the fact we can alter, enhance or sedate some of the neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for both healing and a disease state. With slow deliberate movement patterns, breath work and present mind awareness, we can enhance the ability of the vagus nerve to increase our vagal tone. This will yield a more coherent state regulating the body’s parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system for better healing, rest, digestion and mental acuity creating clarity and the relaxation response.