bos chi kung: mindful fitness & energietraining (qigong) – speels, meditatief & bewust


Article: Stress en Chi Kung

Artikel over qigong voor het oplossen van spanningen.

Qigong for Stress Relief

by Deanne Repich

Qigong, (pronounced ‘chee-gung’) is an ancient Chinese health system that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intention to strengthen the body-mind-spirit connection. It is rapidly gaining popularity in the West as a form of stress relief and a natural way to create harmony between the body and mind.

For thousands of years, millions of people have enjoyed the benefits of Qigong and believed that it is a way of maintaining health and healing illness. Qigong enjoys a long history in Chinese medicine. It can be traced back 2500 years in China to treat war injuries, and later to treat other types of illness.

Some forms of Qigong, such as Tai Chi Chuan, can be used for self-defense, although overall Qigong has been used primarily for its health benefits.

Qi — the Vital Energy

Qigong is a combination of two ideas: ‘qi’ (also spelled ‘chi’), translated as ‘vital energy’ or ‘life force;’ and ‘gong,’ meaning ‘work’ or ‘effort.’

In Eastern thinking, vital energy — qi — naturally flows throughout the human body. The idea that life force flows through all things in the universe is the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, acupuncture, and meditation.

According to this idea, disease occurs when your internal life force is blocked or not flowing smoothly. When your qi is not in harmony, it can create physical illness directly, or create illness indirectly through mental tension (which can lead to poor life habits and promote poor health).

Balancing Qi

In traditional Chinese medicine, good health is a result of well-balanced qi that flows freely. Qigong teaches you how to use mind, breath, and movement in order to restore the flow of qi to a healthy balance and promote self-healing.

Practitioners learn how to increase their skill in accessing, using, and moving qi throughout the body. There are thousands of Qigong exercises, and different exercises may focus on certain body parts or achieve a specific purpose.

In addition to self-administered Qigong, another type of Qigong is external Qigong. External Qigong is when a Qigong Master emits qi toward another person to balance the patients qi in an effort to alleviate illness.

Health Benefits

According to traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong helps to restore energy, reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and remove toxins from the body. It is believed that practicing Qigong can relieve pain by stimulating endorphins (the bodys natural painkillers), and strengthen the immune system by increasing lymphatic fluid.

Although Qigong is widely accepted as a form of stress relief and relaxation, there is controversy as to whether Qigong can actually treat disease. Nevertheless, Qigong is often prescribed as a complementary treatment for certain illnesses.

Examples of Scientific Studies

Numerous studies, primarily done in Mainland China, have documented the capability of Qigong to treat disease. However, most of these claims have not been verified by scientific studies in the West because currently there is no widely accepted instrument to measure the strength of qi, or to understand it fully, using the tools of Western science.

With that said, millions of people worldwide actively practice Qigong because of the physical and mental health benefits they personally experience from using Qigong in their own lives.

Here are a few examples of scientific studies that indicate the health benefits of Qigong:

— Improved Hypertension: A study conducted by Huang Zianbiao of Fujian (China) found that patients with hypertension, who self-administered Qigong, had improved results as opposed to control groups. They had increased weight, faster gains in increases in strength, less diarrhea, and other positive results.

— Lowers Blood Pressure: A study by Columbia University indicates that practicing Qigong might lower blood pressure.

— Detoxify and Treat Addiction: A study performed in 1999, by Li, Chen, and Mo suggests that emitted qi, in combination with self-administered Qigong, can treat heroin addiction by detoxifying the body.

— Improved Immunity: The Shanghai Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine noted that emitted qi increased cellular immunity in cultured blood cells.

— Inhibit Tumor Cells in Rats: The Jiangsu Provincial Research Institute conducted a study indicating that a Master Qigong practitioner inhibited tumor cell growth, improved the healing power of the lymph system, and shrunk tumor cells in rats.

What to Expect at a Qigong Class

Qigong can be learned on your own through books or videos, or you can attend a class. Classes have the added benefit of personal direction and specific feedback from the teacher.

A typical Qigong class might start with a gentle warm-up, followed by Qigong exercises. The Qigong exercises consist of gentle movements, breathing techniques, and visualization techniques, ending with deep relaxation.

How to Find Out More

Because there are no national standards for Qigong instructors, its important to research the teacher thoroughly to make sure he or she is right for you, before taking a class.

Ask about the instructors Qigong background and experience, whether he or she is a member of any national or international Qigong organizations, and whom he or she trained with in the study of Qigong. If possible, seek an instructor that studied with a well-known Qigong master or Qigong tradition, and has an established Qigong practice.

To find a class, perform an Internet search for Qigong in your area. You can also look for information at your local yoga centers, acupuncture clinics, gyms, or the YMCA.

Arrange to observe a class or take a trial class before committing your time and money. Talk to other students in the class or ask for student referrals from the instructor.

Whether you decide to learn on your own or attend a course, practice makes possible. Devote yourself to consistent practice several times a week in order to receive maximum benefit from Qigong.

Note: Make sure to consult your doctor before starting Qigong or any other exercise program.

Deanne Repich, founder and director of the National Institute of Anxiety and Stress, Inc., is an internationally known anxiety educator, teacher, author, and former sufferer. Tens of thousands of anxiety sufferers have sought her expertise to help them reclaim their lives from anxiety, stress, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, anxiety attacks and social anxiety. She is the creator of the Conquer Anxiety Success Program.


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