I’ve said it before, many times:
We all long for a quick fix. The ONE pill or the ONE practice that’ll make you feel great, energised, restored, healthy. That’ll get you to the point where you can confidently proclaim: I’m healed.
Only healing doesn’t work that way. Healing is multi-faceted because we are multi-faceted. And so my approach to my work has to be multi-faceted too, encompassing acupuncture, qigong, qi-therapy, meditation, and health coaching.
In this Modality Highlights series, I’m going to walk you through the modalities I use in my healing practice so that together we can take an informed approach to helping you get to the point where you feel energised, restored, and healthy.
First up: Zhineng Qigong.
In the West, we have a tendency to view our bodies as a collection of separate parts, and we view sickness as a collection of separate symptoms: headache, backache, trouble sleeping, digestive problems. And while we are increasingly aware of the mind-body connection, we often dismiss it when looking at matters of health and healing.
In the Chinese tradition, however, things are different.
It’s long been understood — and accepted — that we’re not just a series of unconnected biological systems. That we’re holistic beings and if one area of our wellbeing is being neglected or facing a challenge, our entire being will suffer.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice born of the knowledge that for true health, the mind, the body, and the spirit need to work in perfect harmony. It recognizes the power of the mind-body connection and our ability to create our reality through an intentional movement of “qi” — your natural flow of energy.
And, there are as many styles of qigong as there are acupuncture points on your body (hundreds!).
How does it work?
Those of you who have experience with yoga or meditation will find many aspects of Zhineng qigong familiar, from the theoretical to the practical. Like yoga, it involves a series of slow, mindful, practiced movements.
The focus it requires instantly calms a frenetic mind; the physical stretches increase the blood flow and movement of energy to your organs, and help improve your flexibility, stamina, and balance; and the focus on the flow of qi, or vital energy, provides you with spiritual nourishment.
So it rather neatly allows you to hit all three pillars of health simultaneously: your mind, your body, and your spirit.
Why it’s so effective.
Because of the mind-body connection, the benefits of regular Zhineng qigong practice can be far-reaching — patients have told me of improvements in their energy levels, their mood, and their ability to handle stress and many have experienced an easing or disappearing of physical pain such as headaches or chronic back pain. Studies suggest that it can increase your immune function, benefit your bone and cardiovascular health, and reduce the symptoms of depression.
And because it doesn’t require huge amounts of strength, yogi-level balance, or any fancy-pants equipment (or LuluLemon attire!), absolutely anyone can do it quickly, safely, and easily from absolutely anywhere — even the chair you’re sitting on right now.
Want to give it a go? Try this…
This is a wonderful movement to relax the mind, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Other known benefits include:
- Moves blood and qi to open the spine to reduce back pain
- Loosens waist
- Whole body strengthened
- Releases qi blocks, re-align meridian pathways
- Builds qi in lower dantien
- Helps to develop willpower
How to do it:
Feet together, body centered.
Imagine your head touching the sky.
Feet touching the earth.
Chin tucked and parallel to floor.
Arms are relaxed and down by the side of the body.
Tuck in abdomen, tailbone pointed toward floor.
Squat down as far as possible.
Knees always behind toes.
Point tailbone out and up,
Arching back, scroll up imagining opening spine starting from tailbone, then sacral, lumbar, thoracic to neck.
Roll shoulders up to ears and roll down.
Work up to ten adding one each day!
If you’d like to explore Zhineng qigong practice further, I’d love to welcome you to a community of self-healers in the how YOU heal Community.