Sometimes it’s surprisingly simple things that make the biggest difference in our health and quality of life.
For example, did you know there is an ancient healing practice that
- Increases circulation
- Improves digestion
- Reduces stress
- Eliminates anxiety and depression
- Does all this without dietary changes, pills or doctor visits
- You can use it at home without any special equipment
This unusual medicine is called qigong (“chi kung”). Even though it’s been around for thousands of years, many people still don’t know much about it, particularly in the West.
What Exactly Is It?
The word qigong literally means “cultivate vitality.” The easiest way to describe it is a series of movements and postures accompanied by breathing and mental focus.
See, I told you it was simple.
Like acupuncture, acupressure and Chinese herbal medicine, qigong comes from China and is a part of the 4,000 year Oriental healing tradition. The main difference it offers is that once you know the exercises, all you need to do is take a small amount of time to practice them every day.
However don’t be fooled by it’s simplicity. These few minutes of daily movement, breathing and focus can make a very large impact on improving the quality of the rest of your day.
To help get you started, here is a simple qigong exercise you can practice to see the results for yourself:
Stand with your feet about 18 inches apart and your knees bent slightly. You should be standing straight up, but with your shoulders relaxed.
Now touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. You’ll notice that this requires you to breathe through your nose.
Taking a nice deep relaxed breath in, extend your arms and lift your hands up in front of you to about stomach height. Then, as you exhale, let your hands slowly and gently come back down.
Repeat this movement 21 times, which should take you just a few minutes.
You may find that there is a slight circular quality to the movement of your hands. At the end of the inhale they are out in front of your abdomen, and as you exhale they are closer to your torso. This is the perfect way to make the movements.
While you are doing this movement, it’s important to keep yourself present in the moment. Do this by watching your hands as they move and focusing on your breathing. Thoughts about anything else can wait until some other time.
Practice this little 3-minute exercise every day for the next 2 weeks. Ideally, you will do it as soon as you get up or right before bed. It’s best to practice on an empty stomach so these times are ideal.
Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear about your experience!