A modality of mindful posture and graceful movement coordinated with breath is a fundamental component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is classically referred to as “qi gong”. The name of this system of healing is comprised of two Mandarin Chinese words: “qi” which means energy flow and “gong” which means skill or achievement.
As qi gong has gradually become a popular form of complementary medicine, several systematic reviews of qi gong for a wide range of conditions have recently been published. Most of these reviews, however, were not conclusive and all were based on underpowered clinical trials. Nevertheless, qi gong merits further rigorous research.
Given its foundation on meditative posture, gentle movement, and breath, qi gong tends to be applicable for a broad range of fitness levels. Therefore, upon approval of one’s doctor, one can safely try qi gong with almost no risk of injury. As with other modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the level of receptivity to qi gong depends on the individual and to one’s healing objective. Only by trying it will one truly know how beneficial it may be.
Qi gong has been practiced for many years throughout Asia to promote health, relieve pain, prevent disease, and prolong life. It is intended to cultivate body, mind and breath as one. It is most commonly practiced as a form of self-cultivation.
Through this self-cultivation of body, mind and breath, one is able to achieve the following primary benefits:
- The relief of physical and mental tension.
- Balance, stability, and strength.
- Improved circulation of body fluids through the gentle contraction and stretching of muscle in coordination with full breath cycles.
Qi gong instruction is accessible in many communities throughout the country. Qualified instructors are available, eager to share their knowledge. If you’re interested, you just have to find one you resonate with and give it a try.
At all 3 locations of the Tao of Wellness (www.taoofwellness.com), we offer private qi gong sessions upon requests. At our affiliate, The Wellness Living Store (www.wellnesslivingstore.com), qi gong classes are offered on a regular basis. This store also has instructional DVD’s of various qi gong sequences available for purchase. Qi gong is a beautiful, meditative practice that empowers one to play an active role in one’s own health, wellness, and longevity.
Article contributed by Edsel Tan, L.Ac., Dipl.O.M. He is the resident practitioner in the Tao of Wellness clinic in Pasadena,CA. Edsel provides acupuncture, bodywork, and herbal therapy and works closely with Drs. Dao and Mao to continue developing an integrative healthcare model for pain management, physical rehabilitation and other health conditions. For more information about Edsel and Tao of Wellness, visit www.taoofwellness.com or call 626-397-1000.
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