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Getting started with Qi gong


One of the reasons why Chinese medicine is so interesting is that it does not do anything like the others.

To treat skin problems, it looks at the lungs, to cure stress it looks at the liver, to heal your body, it visits the depths of your… mind.

And while Western medicine claims to solve every problem with small pills (pink, white, blue, etc.), for Chinese medicine, no pathology, no suffering can be taken care of without the human being concerned being at the heart of the therapeutic process that will allow him to heal.

This is why the practice of Qi gong (pronounced chi kong, which means energy training), a discipline of physical exercises associated with breathing and mental concentration, is considered essential on the path to good health.

Today, I propose to discover a little more about this “pharmacy in movement”, to use the expression of Yves Réquéna, founder of the European Institute of Qi gong.

The effects of Qi gong go beyond physical health.

They allow to reach a high level of jubilation of living, self-confidence, a decrease of the need for sleep, a faster recovery, a greater capacity of concentration and memorization.

Want to try it? Here we go (with 6 exercises you can do at home).

Qi Gong: a pharmacy of movements

Getting started with Qi gong - Good HealthifizerBut first a (very) small explanation.

Qi gong means “energy training” and has, according to the Chinese tradition, three applications:

  • A martial application: one cannot conceive of mastering a martial art if one does not have, in parallel, a Qi gong training.
  • A medical application: it is a gymnastic for health and longevity, with a strong preventive dimension. Its practice must be daily and regular.
  • A therapeutic application: from the first sessions, people practicing Qi gong feel powerful effects. It is even considered by many specialists as the most powerful energy discipline, with effects “a hundred times superior” to those of yoga.

This therapeutic dimension concerns the most serious pathologies, including cancer. Qi gong has the advantage of being accessible even to weakened people.

In 2003, a study by Dr. David Spiegel of Stanford University concluded that Qi gong increases energy in 58% of cancer patients, decreases stress in 78%, reduces pain in 22% and promotes better sleep in 43% of cases.

Evidence is mounting that Qi gong is effective in reducing anxiety and depression, decreasing fatigue and boosting the immune system, and more and more cancer centers are recommending Qi gong


6 exercises to start

I now propose you to discover 6 Qi gong exercises to allow you to fight effectively against joint pains, to soften your muscles, your tendons and your ligaments in the region of the head and the upper limbs.

Practice them preferably outdoors, in a quiet place, away from pollution and exposed to the south, offering the front of your body (which is Yin) to the south to enjoy the benefits of the sun’s rays on your face and hands.

These Qi gong exercises should be done daily, preferably in the morning after waking up from drinking tea and before breakfast.

When the exercises involve movements of the joint or painful joints, you should be gentle and prepare them with light massage (just pass your thumb gently over the skin and apply light pressure).

First exercise: support the sky with both hands (Shuang Shou Tuo Tian)

Starting position:

Getting started with Qi gong - Good HealthifizerLegs should be spread to the width of the straightened shoulders. Fingers should be crossed over the abdomen, palms facing the sky.

Movements:

  • Raise arms to face level, turn palms as hands pass nose level so they continue to face the sky, stretch head up and keep chest tense.
  • The outstretched arms bend to the left and come back in line with the head (to be done twice).
  • After the second time, the arms slowly return to the waist to resume their starting position.
  • Repeat these movements on the right side.

Repeat movements:

Repeat these movements 2 times the first three days and then repeat them 4 times so as to accustom the muscles to produce these efforts.

Special precaution:

When passing the palms of the hands at the nose, the trunk must remain straight and the muscles at the lumbar level must be stretched.

Physical effects during the exercise:

Pain appears in the neck, shoulders, arms, fingers of the hands and in the lumbar region.

Therapeutic side effects:

These movements cure stiffness in the neck and lumbar region, restore normal movement of the joints of the shoulders, neck, spine and flexion movements of the spine.

Second exercise: Turn the hips and push with the palms of the hands (Zuhan Yao Tui Zhang)

Starting position:
Getting started with Qi gong - Good HealthifizerLegs should be spread to the width of the straightened shoulders. Hands bend into fists and rest against hips, palms facing sky.

Movements:

  • Stretch out the right arm, fingertips toward the sky, outstretched palm pushing an invisible rice bag forward. In the same movement, turn the chest to the left, looking as far as possible behind you to the left to make sure that no thief will appear to take the rice bag. The left elbow stretched is on the same axis as the right arm with which it forms the same line.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Do the same exercise with the left arm extended this time.

Repeat the movements:
Repeat these movements 2 times the first three days and then repeat them 4 times so as to accustom the muscles to produce these efforts.

Special precaution:
The rotating movement of the hips is done with fixed feet that do not move while the trunk of the body remains straight.

Physical effects during the exercise:
When pushing the palms of the hands, pains appear in the neck, shoulders, back and lumbar region.

Therapeutic side effects:
These movements cure stiffness in the neck and lumbar region, numbness and muscle atrophy in the hands and arms and relax muscle tension and promote the circulation of Qi and blood in the cartilages.

Third exercise: Hands on the hips and trunk rotation (Cha Yao Xuan Zuhan)

The distance between the legs should correspond to the width of the straightened shoulders. The hands are placed on the hips, the thumbs towards the back.

Getting started with Qi gong - Good HealthifizerMovements:

  • Both hands, giving amplitude, rotate the pelvis 4 times clockwise.
  • Both hands rotate the pelvis 4 times counterclockwise.

Repeat movements:
Repeat these movements 2 times for the first three days and then repeat them 4 times so as to accustom the muscles to produce these efforts.

Special precaution:
We start by making a small circle with the hips to go to the largest it is possible. The legs are stretched and the feet remain fixed and immobile as nailed on the ground. When the pelvis arrives in front of the body, it is helped with the hands to relieve the effort of the muscles of the sacrum.

Physical effects during the exercise:
Pronounced pain appears in the lumbar region.

Therapeutic side effects:
These movements treat lumbago (back pain in the lumbar region), sacrum pain due to fixed and prolonged positions and muscle pain that appears after a bent body position during an effort.

Fourth exercise: Splitting the air with the palms (Gong Bu Zha Zhang)

Starting position:

Getting started with Qi gong - Good HealthifizerLegs should be spread to the width of the straightened shoulders. Hands in fists are clasped at the hips.

Movements:

  • Legs parallel, take a large step forward with fists clenched on hips.
  • Turn the trunk of the body to the left and throw the right fist forward, splitting the air and keeping the palm of the hand across (bow position, “Gong Bu”).
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Do the same exercise but turn the body trunk to the right and throw the left fist.

Repeat the movements:
Repeat these movements 2 times for the first three days and then repeat them 4 times so as to accustom the muscles to produce these efforts.

Special precaution:
During the bow position (Gong Bu), the arms, the lumbar region and the back leg are stretched.

Physical effects during the exercise: The pains are felt in the lumbar region and the legs.

Therapeutic side effects:
Treats pain in the spine and all 4 limbs and “disengages” parts of the body that need it.

Fifth exercise: The white crane (Shuang Shou Pan Zu)

Starting position:

Getting started with Qi gong - Good HealthifizerThe body should be straight, tense, arms extended along the ribs and fingers on the thighs.

Movements:

  • The hands come to cross at the level of the navel and the palms look at the sky.
  • The hands pass in front of the face and the palms turn towards the sky while wanting to support it.
  • Lean the bust forward so that the palm can touch the feet (according to our general muscular state, we can not manage to touch the feet, it is not serious, it is necessary to try and insist from day to day).
  • Return to the starting position.

Repetition of the movements:
Repeat these movements 2 times the first three days and then repeat them 4 times so as to accustom the muscles to produce these efforts.

Special precaution:
The trunk of the body is bent first, then the buttocks and knees are stretched. The palms of the hands go as far as possible towards the feet.

Physical effects during the exercise:
When the arms are raised, pain is felt in the neck and lumbar region. When the trunk is flexed and the palms go towards the feet, the pain is also felt in the legs.

Therapeutic side effects:

Treats tensions and contractions of the muscular and cartilaginous tissues of the legs and lumbar region. These movements heal the muscular after-effects of vertebrae displacements, lumbagos (back pain), blockages and numbness of the hips and legs (to be practiced when one has difficulty in bending and stretching them).

Sixth exercise: Repositioning the neck (Jing Xiang Zheng Li)

Starting position:
Getting started with Qi gong - Good HealthifizerLeg width should be the width of the straightened shoulders. Both hands on hips, thumb back.

Movements:

  • Turn the head to the left using the neck muscles powerfully, eyes looking to the left.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Turn the head to the right using the neck muscles with power, the eyes look to the right.
  • Return to the starting position
  • Raise the head to look at the sky
  • Return to the starting position
  • Lower the head to look at the ground
  • Return to the starting position

Repetition of the movements:
Repeat these movements twice for the first three days and then repeat them 4 times in order to accustom the muscles to produce these efforts.

Special precaution:

  • The trunk must remain straight during the head movements.
  • The lower jaw must be brought to the sternum when the head goes towards the ground.

Physical effects during the exercise:
Pain appears in the neck.

Therapeutic side effects:
These movements also treat acute neck pain such as torticollis and chronic cartilage diseases in case of cervical stiffness.

On the threshold of an exciting journey

It goes without saying that this is only a first approach.

Qi gong, and with it all Chinese medicine, are territories whose exploration is immense, almost infinite, and it is essential to advance with a good guide in order not to get lost or risk getting discouraged.

Because the benefits on our global health can be immense.

If you want to progress in the knowledge of this life medicine, I recommend you the help of the reference book on the subject, The Secrets of Chinese Medicine.


You will progress rapidly in your knowledge of this medicine. You will be able to practice yourself, from your first issue, many Chinese medicine gestures, but also discover what it is essential to know when you go to consult a doctor who practices it.

You will be accompanied step by step in this fascinating journey of discovery that allows millions of people in the East to treat diseases that you may be suffering from and for which you think you have tried everything.

That’s it. You are now on the threshold of an exciting journey where it is not only a question of health, but also of meditation, choice, action, and sometimes renunciation. A journey that will tell you a lot about yourself.



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