The Chinese have studied ways of creating and maintaining healthful longevity for thousands of years. One of “the jewels” coming out of this quest for everlasting youth is the gentle, life-enhancing exercise practice of Qigong (pronounced chee-GUNG).
Commonly known as “Chinese Yoga” and “Feng Shui for the body,” Qigong is an ancient form of Chinese medicine exercise that “decrease the aging process” by cultivating and strengthening the vital energy of Qi in the body.
It is easy to perform exercise practiced to self-create medicine naturally within the body. It is a suitable exercise for people of all ages and physical abilities, especially older people and those recovering from illness or injury.
Qigong can be practiced anywhere by anyone. A typical Qigong workout includes stretching and strengthening exercises, breath work, creative visualization, self-massage, vocalization of sounds and meditation through movement and stillness. As a key to healthful longevity, qigong balances emotions promotes serenity and strengthens the body. A simple twenty minutes of practice on a regular basis tone the body, mind, and spirit.
The practice of this ancient art of self-healing and fitness is likened to acupuncture effects, due to it opening qi and blood flow and releasing energetic blockages within the energy pathways, also known as meridians. Qigong is nourishing, protecting and balancing to the body because it provides ample vital energy and blood to nourish the physical structures of the body – thus creating sustenance and maintenance for life. The result is enhanced sexual vitality, fortified bones, flexible muscles and tendons, balanced hormones, plentiful energy, clarity of mind, bright spirit and youthful skin, eyes, and hair.
In ancient China prior to 500 B.C. and the dynasties led by kings, it is believed that it was the mature women shamans who created the art of Qi cultivation through their magical powers. The ideogram for women, “wu,” thought to originally mean, “to heal.” As modern women, we too can benefit from the healing power of Qi to keep ourselves healthy, vibrant and beautiful for as long as we live – even to the point of feeling ageless.
According to Chinese Medicine, good health occurs when there is a balance maintained between Yin and Yang, which are opposing, yet intimately related and attracting energies. Each person is made up of a predominance of either Yin or Yang energy. However, women tend to be more Yin, whereas men tend to be more Yang. This is because women typically exhibit the yin characteristics of being more cold, soft, deep, wet, internal and contracting, whereas men exhibit the more yang characteristics of being more hot, hard, superficial, dry, external and expanding. Qigong practice creates a healing process, where the goal is to move more toward the center of the Yin Yang continuum so that there is no longer a preponderance of Yin or Yang creating an imbalance within the system.
True health exists when the body is adjusted according to the principles of yin and yang. This includes synchronization with the yin and yang of nature, namely heaven, and earth. An imbalance in the human body causes illness to take hold, similar to the existence of an imbalance in nature. For example, the forces of heaven lead to tornados, hurricanes and other natural disasters and an imbalance in the earth causes earthquakes and rivers to change directions.
The relative balance between Yin and Yang energies waxes and wanes depending on various factors. Some of these include the energetic of foods eaten, weather conditions, temperature and dampness of one’s dwelling, emotional state, and hereditary factors. For example, ingesting cold, wet food creates more Yin, whereas hot, dry foods create more Yang.
Women enhance themselves and become ageless through the practice of Qigong. It creates body warmth without too much heat and adequate blood flow to counteract the tendency toward dryness. This explains how Qigong leads to healthy skin, nails, and hair. It also reduces many symptoms that accompany a woman’s life changes, such as hot flashes, insomnia, depression, pain, anxiety and diminishing vital fluids.
Qigong helps women cope emotionally by nourishing the spirit as it balances mood, providing the energy necessary to be creative, achieve goals and manifest dreams and aspirations. The practice of these exercises, empower women to speak their mind openly and express themselves in a loving, gentle way.
The ultimate goal in Chinese Medicine is to return to your true self – to nourish your destiny. This is gained through searching and eventually discovering your true self through virtuous deeds. An excellent first step is giving yourself the time to be quiet and commune with yourself on a daily basis through a practice of the simple, gentle exercises of Qigong. Allow yourself to get back to basics – finding the true nature of inner peace and wholeness. Calm down, release tension, and open the flow of energy throughout your body, while looking deep within yourself. Establish what is of bottom-line importance to you. Connect with yourself and find your inner peace and wisdom.
Here is a Qigong exercise to help you connect with yourself:
- Open your mouth wide and release any tension in your jaw. Close your mouth and keep it closed gently with your tongue on the soft palate of the roof of your mouth, with your tongue right behind your teeth. This opens a pathway within your body known as the Microcosmic Orbit that serves to open energetic flow throughout all of your primary meridians.
- Place your hands over your “Sea of Tranquility,” your middle dantian – located at the center of your chest between your breasts. This is where your Qi resides. It is related to your breath, your heart and your lungs. This is the place where compassionate communication with yourself and others is derived. Feel the vibration and frequency of this area of your body.
- Take three deep breaths into your lower dantian located two inches below your navel. In doing so, expand your belly upon inhalation and deflate upon exhalation. Breath in a slow, gentle and rhythmical manner. Take a moment to feel the difference in how you feel. Then repeat an additional two times.
- Open your mouth again and compare the amount of tension in your jaw from before.
This simple Qigong exercise opens and nourishes the heart energy of your body. The creation and cultivation of wonderful, nurturing relationships in life are of utmost importance, especially to promote a healthy flow of heart energy. The heart energy must be nourished in order to be able to receive and give love to your self and others. A harmonious working of your heart is created through these simple life-enhancing exercises. It further allows for the claiming of spiritual and mental strength. Life energy begins to flow, similar to that of the qigong movements. Your life experience becomes infused with self-knowledge, intuition, balance, vibrancy, and focus – providing excellent coping mechanisms to counteract daily stress and pressure.
Qigong is a key to becoming an ageless, satisfied and healthy woman that looks and feels younger. It softens women externally and makes them stronger internally – supporting them to go inward and draw from their natural feminine power. This leads to the manifestation of internal strength that helps them to be forthcoming and be heard, through self-acceptance and empowerment come from a centered and clear place from deep within.
Each and every person deserves to enjoy the pleasure that comes with connecting with self through the gentle, healing art of Qigong. It counteracts the tendency to retreat and provides a new zest for life through continued practice. Find the way to get on the healing path of Qigong to so that you may truly experience what it feels like to feel younger, as you get older.