Pair Health

Qigong: Focus of Body and Mind

We have all heard about qigong training, because many of our friends are practicing it. What is it, and what’s the advantage they’re all talking about?
In brief, qigong originated in China as a system of physical exercises and control of breathing. The title is actually made up of two Chinese words, chi, or ‘life force’ and gong, or ‘cultivated practice’. So, our friends are cultivating the practice of preserving life force and vitality through focus, gigong postures and breathing exercise.

Couple meditating together

How does traditional qigong training work?
Qigong incorporates a wide variety of practices. The practices can be very simple, internally focused types or a very taxing physical and mental approach. Because of this wide range of practice, a physically-challenged person as well as an athlete can practice qigong and benefit. Classes are offered to children as well as adults. The beauty of qigong for many people is that they don’t have to join a health spa or purchase a certain outfit to practice qigong.

Must I be a certain religion to practice qigong?
Qigong appeals to any religion or none. A positive outlook on life is encouraged, and behaviors that are negative or harmful are gradually eliminated. This is the balance inherent in qigong. A balanced life brings harmony and enjoyment to even simple activities.

What are qigong’s physical benefits?
Balance is a crucial element for all of us. As we age, balance is not longer optimal, and falls are deadly. Qigong enhances balance and muscle control for all. Research demonstrates a wide variety of physical benefits. The use of body weight enhances strength, and the continuous flowing moves provide control and a lowering of blood pressure through calm restoration of circulation.

Qigong builds bodily discipline slowly and evenly. It is a matter of habit, building will and coordination.

What are the mental benefits of qigong?
Qigong is said to develop incredible mind power. Qigong teaches a channeling of energy which can be used for personal development in many endeavors. Some practices emphasize meditation, which slows brain waves and increases intelligence and learning ability. This is one way that students can benefit with enhanced concentration and awareness in the classroom. An inner calm and sense of peace reduces reliance upon pharmacy for those suffering from anxieties, stress, fears and other mental difficulties.

Are there spiritual benefits to qigong?
Persons of faith, such as Christians, have reported a deepening of their faith and an enlightenment with persistent practice of qigong. Even if you are not a religious practitioner, qigong lends a larger focus that could be termed spiritual in its depth.

The qigong teacher
Although needs are few to embark upon the practice of qigong, a teacher is required. A teacher of qigong must have certain internal character traits and skills. Personal integrity, sincerity, perseverance and understanding are vital traits for a qigong teacher. Discipline and technical skill, coupled with humility, are required for Chinese Masters of Qigong.

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