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Qi Gong – Body Mind Breath Meditation Exercise Overview and Research

Today Qigong is most often referred to as any set of breathing and Qi circulation techniques that are capable of improving health, preventing illness, and strengthening the body. Qigong is slow meditative exercise for the body, the breath, and the mind.


‘Qi’ is the vital force behind everything, everything is ‘Qi’ at differing densities; quoting Einstein, “matter = energy times the speed of light squared”. ‘Gong’ is cultivation, effect, attainment. Qigong can be translated as ‘cultivation of vital force’. It regulates the balance of Yin Yang energy returning the body to a balanced, normal physiological state.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the human body is treated as an integral system of interrelated networks with different physiological functions. This integral system uses the energy pathways to link the organs and other human systems into a unified whole, making the communication and interaction between parts of the body possible. The energy that flows in the energy pathways is called Qi. It extends internally to the organs and externally throughout the body, completing and interrelated system of networks.


Traditional Chinese Medical Qigong is a compilation of effective preventative, healing, and strengthening exercises derived from a long history of the Chinese peoples experience with nature and living in harmony with it.


Qigong is studied not merely for the health and strength of the body, but as an attempt to understand human nature and its interactions with the environment and the universe as a whole. Realizing that humans are part of nature, any attempt to understand human physiology inevitably involves the study of wholism.


From commoners to scientists, martial artists to government officials. Qigong studies span the masses of the Chinese population.


Supporting Research into the Health Benefits of Qigong


Qi Gong is a practice which combines relaxing movement, breathing and visualization. It is a tool to make Qi circulate in order to preserve one's health, cure diseases and prolong life. The consistent practice has been shown to foster development of a profound inner calmness and non-reactivity of the mind, allowing individuals to face, and even embrace, all aspects of daily life, regardless of circumstances.


Science has proven the complementary healing effects of Qigong in medical science. Qigong can relieve chronic pain (including low back (6)), reduce tension, increase activities of our immune system (even at the genetic level (2)), improve heart health, mediates neuroendocrine responses (10), improve eyesight, and influence blood flow & biochemistry (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10). There is also proof of its positive effects on depression (4), and stabilization of the autonomic nervous system and the emotional state (5). It induces a state of relaxation via the induction of alpha brain waves and the release of serotonin (8). Jang & Lee randomized study put forth Qigong as an effective complementary therapy for managing the symptoms of PMS (9). It has also been concluded that visualization was an effective intervention for long-term smoking cessation and abstinence in adult smokers (3). The Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, Harvard Medical School, study of the ‘Use of mind-body medical therapies’ stated that ‘much opportunity exists to increase use of mind-body therapies for indications with demonstrated efficacy’ (11).


The cultivation or preservation of ones health through the complimentary practice of Qigong plays an integral part in any persons path to wellness and the accomplishment of their goals. Join a class, read a book, buy a video.


References:


1. The application of qi-gong therapy to health care, Li TY, Yeh ML, Tri-Service General Hospital.


2. Genomic profiling of neutrophil transcripts in Asian Qigong practitioners: a pilot study in gene regulation by mind-body interaction. Li QZ, Li P, Garcia GE, Johnson RJ, Feng L, Microarray Core, Center for Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.


3. Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence, Wynd CA, Nursing Program, University of Akron College of Nursing, Akron, OH 44325-3701, USA.


4. Qigong exercise for the symptoms of Parkinson's disease: A randomized, controlled pilot study, Schmitz-Hubsch T, Pyfer D, Kielwein K, Fimmers R, Klockgether T, Wullner U, Department of Neurology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


5. Nonlinear analysis of heart rate variability during Qigong, Lee MS, Rim YH, Jeong DM, Kim MK, Joo MC, Shin SH, Center for Integrative Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, College of Oriental Medicine, Wonkwang University, Korea.


6. Randomized, controlled trial of breath therapy for patients with chronic low-back pain, Mehling WE, Hamel KA, Acree M, Byl N, Hecht FM, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA.


7. Qi-training (qigong) enhanced immune functions: what is the underlying mechanism? Lee MS, Kim MK, Ryu H, Center for Integrative Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Republic of Korea


8. Appearance of high-frequency alpha band with disappearance of low-frequency alpha band in EEG is produced during voluntary abdominal breathing in an eyes-closed condition, Fumoto M, Sato-Suzuki I, Seki Y, Mohri Y, Arita H, Department of Physiology, Toho University School of Medicine, 5-21-16, Omori-nishi, Ota-ku, Tokyo 143-8540, Japan. 9. Effects of qigong on premenstrual syndrome: a randomized placebo-controlled study, Jang HS, Lee MS, Department of Nursing, Wonkwang Health Science College, Iksan, Korea.


10. Endocrine and immune effects of Qi-training, Lee MS, Kang CW, Ryu H, Moon SR, Professional Graduate School of Oriental Medicine and Center for Integrative Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Republic of Korea.


11. Use of mind-body medical therapies, Wolsko PM, Eisenberg DM, Davis RB, Phillips RS, Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Spence Pentland of Vancouver BC Canada received his five year Doctor of TCM education from the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Vancouver. To complete his studies he spent 500 hours at Anhui Hospital of TCM Hefei City, in the Peoples Republic of China. He is a licensed and registered member of the Canadian Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, and practices at Acubalance Wellness Centre (Acubalance Wellness Centre Vancouver BC) where he treats only Men's reproductive health (Mens Reproductive Health Information) and Women's fertility issues (Infertility Information).


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