If you are healthy, you can maintain your health with Qigong (also known as Chi Gong). If you have a health challenge, Qigong can help to restore your wellbeing. Qigong is a gentle form of healing exercise that also involves simple visualization and breathing techniques.
Suzanne B. Friedman was a frenetic, multitasking attorney completely skeptical of anything as woo-woo as subtle energy. Indeed, she was an avid nonbeliever! The mischievous universe conspired to move her in a different direction. She found herself accidentally encountering acupuncture and then Qigong. Now a licensed acupuncturist and teacher of medical Qigong, who no longer suffers from severe asthma, she’s written a highly accessible guide to revitalize the body and heal the spirit: Heal Yourself with Qigong, Gentle Practices to Increase Energy, Restore Health, and Relax the Mind.
The beauty of this book is its simplicity. No complex routines to learn. It’s a series of 100 easy exercises each targeted for a particular health or emotional issue like headaches, muscle tension, high blood pressure, digestive distress, anxiety, anger, stress, and many more. Once you learn a few very easy basics, you can select the exercises aimed for your particular health concern or need. The exercises are divided into four sections with these headings:
- Instant energy boosters
- Restoring physical vitality
- Balancing your emotions
- Calming your spirit
As you can see, the book contains routines for balancing all three aspects of your being: body, mind, and spirit. Each routine begins with a brief explanation followed by a numbered sequence of instructions that guide you through the exercise, visualization, or breathing technique. Line drawings demonstrate the postures and movements. The type size is generous.
According to Friedman, scientific studies have show Qigong to have a positive effects on:
“…blood viscosity, bone density, endocrine gland function, asthma, immune function, serum lipid levels (cholesterol), sexual function, the incidence of strokes (it reduces the risk), as well as other benefits.”
You can begin to see effects with just five to ten minutes of practice per day. Friedman encourages you to try just 10 minutes a day and then gradually expand to a fuller practice. She points out that once you feel the benefits of Qigong, you will naturally wish to do a little bit more. I’ve found this to be true myself. As someone who is adverse to physical exercise in most forms, I can assure you this is the easy path to greater fitness. Qigong is a highly enjoyable and revitalizing part of my day and an essential part of my wellness program.
Remember, it’s always important to consult your healthcare practitioner before starting any exercise program.
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