By Anna Recun, LAc
Qigong has been practiced by people of all ages and skill levels in China for centuries as a physical discipline, meditation technique and therapeutic activity. It helps to regulate health, decrease mental, physical or emotional stress and diminish physical pain. It is a great alternative therapeutic and preventative method to increase health and well-being. That said, its mostly an unknown quantity here in the United States.
In my 12 years of training as an Acupuncturist in China, I spent all my summers studying QiGong in a Shaolin Monastery and have developed a deep working understanding of the practice of QiGong. Different than the kind of massage you may be used to, I’m excited to share this wonderful therapy with you.
The word “Qi” (pronounced “chi”) means vital energy. The word “Gong” means work. It is energy work or energy practice that restores energy and brings our body into natural balanced state.
Acupuncturists heal the body by inserting needles into specific points along energy channels to break up energy blockages and to balance energy flow. Qigong works the same way as acupuncture, but instead of using needles the practitioner would use special techniques very similar to Chinese Tuina (“twee-naa”) massage to bring the body back into a balance state and restore health.
By doing Qigong exercises, using special breathing techniques or having a session of Qigong therapy, we allow the energy in our body to flow, for lack of a better term…better. Increased energy flow through a damaged area improves blood circulation, brings more nutrients and regenerates injured tissues.
In China, medical Qigong is often used as an adjunct therapy to acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion and herbs. It’s also something you can now get in your treatments here at AIM.
Relief may happen quickly for some people or can occur slowly over time for others. The more effort and time you put into therapy and exercises, the more you will get out of it. Daily practice of qigong exercises and breathing techniques will help deliver long term lasting results. Every patient’s experience is unique.