Many of the relaxation techniques used in our programs come from Qigong, a Chinese health care system for promoting health and healing. It is the Preventive Medicine aspect of Chinese Medicine.
Qigong is an ancient health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing, and focused intention or awareness. For over 2,000 years these highly effective techniques have be perfected and proven successful.
- Qigong is a mind body practice that “cultivates our life force” or qi. It is just what we need to help us heal from our busy, stressful lives.
- Tai Chi is the most well known form of qigong . Traditional tai chi uses a series of 21 or 55 different movements in row – developed from the martial arts kata. Most tai chi taught and researched in the USA is “Tai Chi practiced as qigong” with more repetitive movements.
- Tai chi qigong emphasizes repetitive movements from tai chi, instead of the more difficult to learn sequential movements.
- Tai Chi Easy is a simplified tai chi series that is easier to learn that traditional tai chi.
Qigong is a highly effective health care practice for self healing. Many health care professionals recommend Qigong as an important form of alternative complementary medicine. Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, National Council on Aging, USA government, and others are all recommending qigong.
Other more traditional exercises do not involve the meridian system used in acupuncture nor do they emphasize the importance of adding mind intent and breathing techniques to physical movements. When these dimensions are added, the benefits of exercise increase exponentially.
The gentle, rhythmic movements of Relaxation Exercises such as Qigong:
- reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system.
- improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulation, lymph and digestive functions.
- maximize the body’s ability to heal itself.
Benefits of a consistent practice:
- regain a youthful vitality,
- maintain health even into old age,
- helps speed recovery from illness.
- reestablishes the body-mind-spirit connection.
People do Qigong to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds, and reconnect with their spirit. When these three aspects of our being are integrated, it encourages a positive outlook on life and helps eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors. It also creates a balanced life style, which brings greater harmony, stability, and enjoyment.
Qigong’s great appeal is that everyone can benefit, regardless of ability, age, belief system or life circumstances. (National Qigong Association www.nqa.org)
The American College of Sports Medicine Endorses Qigong and Tai Chi.
“Multifaceted physical activities such as tai chi, qigong, and yoga involve varying combinations of neuromotor exercise, resistance exercise, and flexibility exercise. Neuromotor exercise training is beneficial as part of a comprehensive exercise program for older persons, especially to improve balance, agility, muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls.” Source.
Relaxation Response (Qigong) cuts health care costs.
Harvard Team Finds 43% Reduction in Use of Health Care Services via Mind-Body Intervention. The study reveals how mind-body medicine could cut health care costs. The understated title of the open access article at PLoS from a Harvard University–Benson-Henry Institute mind-body team is “Relaxation Response and Resiliency Training and Its Effect on Healthcare Resource Utilization.” Note that “relaxation response” is an intrinsic benefit of Qigong practice. The team examined service use of more than 4,000 patients in the Relaxation Response Resiliency Program (3RP) and compared them with an usual care cohort. The findings: “At one year, total utilization for the intervention group decreased by 43%, clinical encounters decreased by 41.9%, imaging by 50.3%, lab encounters by 43.5%, and procedures by 21.4%.” Measured by dollar, reduction was estimated as “on the order of $2,360 per patient per year”.
Qigong and Cancer Care
Approximately 40-50% of us will experience cancer in our lifetime.
“Cancer is a human experience, emotional and spiritual as well as physical. Debilitating effects of disease processes and subsequent disease management often have a sustained deleterious effect on quality of life (QOL) in terms of pain, impaired physical mobility and stamina, vitality, sense of well-being, self-efficacy, and social engagement. Integrative oncology addresses the totality of the cancer experience by viewing the individual as a whole, recognizing the mind/body connection, the client-clinician relationship, and client participation, and advocating the integration of the best of both medical and evidence-based complementary interventions. Clinical oncologists routinely recommend exercise in the management of cancer. Its benefits in cancer rehabilitation have been validated. Qigong (pronounced: chee-gong) is a system of mind/body exercise with restorative benefits that potentiates the whole person. When compared to more traditional physical l exercise, Qigong practice has been found to have added value in terms of improvements on QOL.” — Dr Penelope Klein. Full Papershort film