Because people often wonder what the differences are between Qigong and Tai Chi, I explore these increasingly popular practices in my recent book, The Paradoxical Return of the Feminine. I have personal experiences using each, and today I want to share information about the effectiveness of Qigong. Who knows—it may be time for you to begin and/or deepen Qigong practice!
Specifically, “qi” means “life energy” and “gong” means “cultivation and its benefits.” It is an ancient technique developed throughout more than 5,000 years of Chinese history. Through gentle movement, visualizations, sound, breathing, and conscious intention, this ancient practice restores life energy and the creative power within oneself. As the underlying causes of life’s challenges are released, a person reconnects with the universal source and brings new and vital energy into the flow of life. Here are some of the benefits of Qigong:
- Strengthens the endocrine and immune systems
- Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression
- Aids one in achieving a deeper sense of well-being, emotional stability, and balance
- Empowers one to attract positive changes in life
- Enhances other mind/body/spiritual practices one may be following
- Deepens connection to universal healing energy
Fortunately, scientific research has found Qigong:
- Initiates the relaxation response, and decreases heart rate and blood pressure
- Alters the neurochemistry moderating pain, depression, and addictive craving
- Enhances efficiency of the immune system through increased rate and flow of lymphatic fluid
- Improves resistance to disease and infection, and increases efficiency of cell metabolism and tissue regeneration
- Coordinates right/left brain hemisphere dominance – promoting deep sleep, reduced anxiety, and improved mental clarity
- Induces alpha and theta brain waves, which reduce heart rate and blood pressure, facilitating relaxation and mental focus
- Moderates the function of the glands, as well as the fluid of the brain and spinal cord, which mediates pain and mood and potentiates immune function
The outstanding thing about Qigong and other practices is that they can be done by watching online or in-home videos—one doesn’t have to travel. I watch a video conducted by Master Mingtong Gu, who trained in both Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. He established a healing center in Galisteo, New Mexico, not far from where I live. Although I have not visited the center, I am an avid supporter of this practice. My experience of doing Qigong every day for almost two years has been of great help—my body feels more limber and healthy, and I am able to focus and concentrate more effectively.
Do you do anything on a daily basis to consciously connect to your vital life energy? If you decide to give Qigong a try, or you already practice it (or a similar modality), your comments are most welcome!