Medical Qigong

What is it? What are its benefits?

Medical Qigong is one of the four branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which are: acupuncture, herbs and diet, massage therapy and medical qigong. It is a powerful energetic healthcare protocol for releasing stress and emotional buildup, restoring energy flow, establishing healing mind-body connections, and rebuilding organ strength. It works with the body’s internal energy centers and pathways and with the surrounding bio-field. Medical Qigong assists the body to activate its innate self-healing capability by correcting the root cause of illness, which is always the internal imbalance of Yin and Yang. It treats the overall imbalance instead of the specific medical condition or symptom, such as headache or poor digestion. Treatment of the imbalance nearly always results in diminishing or eliminating the symptoms. Medical Qigong involves knowledge of the different energetic characteristics of the internal organs and organ systems, the nervous and immune systems, and the various tissues of the body. It is a holistic modality that addresses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of one’s life and health.

Medical Qigong practitioners train for many years to understand their own subtle energies and imbalances before exploring another person’s subtle energies and imbalances. They must learn about the human anatomy and physiology as well as the energetics of the body, mind and spirit. These treatments go beyond the self-cultivation of typical self-care Qigong practiced as a physical discipline or therapeutic activity.

Who should receive it?

Anyone can receive Medical Qigong.

What types of health issues can it treat?

Medical Qigong is beneficial as a treatment for acute and chronic illness, as well as a powerful preventative or maintenance treatment. It is used today alongside western medicine in hospitals across China, and has garnered respect in the U.S. and around the world in recent decades.

Specifically, Medical Qigong can address many common ailments or health concerns, including physical, mental or emotional stressors like: physical pain (including joint pain), high blood pressure, digestive issues, headaches, anxiety or depression, organ weakness (kidney, bladder, reproductive, heart, lung, small-and-large-intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas and stomach), mental fog, general overall body weakness, sluggish/slow energy, lower back pain/stiffness/weakness, and more. Medical Qigong can be helpful in addressing body-disconnection issues related to chronic illness, lack of body awareness, and negative body image. It can also be an excellent adjunct therapy to western medicine for specific diseases of all types.

What to expect during a Medical Qigong appointment?  

The initial Medical Qigong session will take about two hours; follow-up sessions are about 1.5 hours. Part of that time is spent teaching certain guiding principles of Chinese medicine, and Qigong self-care practices, but most of the time is the Medical Qigong treatment. The session will end with written prescriptions for the patient—not for medicines or herbs, but for specific Medical Qigong practices to be done at home to support the healing process between sessions and to improve self-care. In this regard, Medical Qigong is a real partnership between the practitioner and patient toward resolving the patient’s healthcare concerns.

The Medical Qigong treatment is done on a massage table in a safe, relaxing setting. Clothing remains on, except for shoes, belts, certain jewelry, and eyeglasses. Medical Qigong involves a combination of light touch, acupressure and sweeping movements along energy meridians of the body. When working to clear the bio-field surrounding the body there is no touch. One specific Medical Qigong technique, called Chi Nei Tsang (which translates to “energy of inner organs”), also involves massage of internal organs within the trunk of the body. This helps the patient release emotions held deep within the organs and tissues of the body, which can cause energy blocks and ultimately, disease.

If your goal is preventative you will benefit from quarterly sessions, as the seasons change. Some people prefer to come more often – monthly, or every six-to-eight-weeks. If you have an acute healthcare issue, you will benefit from weekly sessions for two-to-three weeks, followed by checking in periodically afterward. If your condition is chronic, monthly sessions will help, but more frequent visits yield even more benefits—especially during flare ups.

 

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Mind-Body Stress Relief: Be Aware… Pause… Breathe…

Mind-Body Stress Relief: Be Aware, Pause, Breathe

When stress or emotions overwhelm us, we tend to cycle anxious thoughts in our minds. As stress moves into our bodies we may feel exhausted, or we may feel a super charge of adrenaline in our muscles, or a faster pulsing of our hearts. Our lungs and heart may feel raw. We find ourselves fully engulfed in our thoughts and feelings.

The mind and body are inextricably connected – the body responds to what the mind thinks. Most of us have experienced this and know it to be true. When our mind is depressed, angry, fearful, sad or anxious, our bodies are weaker in some way. When our mind is courageous, kind, calm, happy or centered, our bodies feel stronger and more grounded.

One gift of healing we can give ourselves is awareness – the awareness that stress has moved from our heads to our bodies.

A second gift of healing is the pause. As soon as we become aware that our mental stress has moved into our physical bodies, we can pause and take in that awareness. We can ask ourselves: to where in my body has the stress moved? How do I know this – stiffness? Pain? Pulsing or tingling? Muscle weakness? Internal heat moving through the body?

The third gift is our breath – a powerful healing agent in stressful times. Try this after you pause:

  1. Sit or lie still and close your eyes.
  2. Inhale slowly and gently through your nose – as deeply as you can without forcing it. If you are greatly stressed your first few breaths may only go as deeply as your upper chest.
  3. Exhale very slowly and completely through your mouth.
  4. Repeat these steps, slowly, gently, and as deeply as you can without forcing. Each new breath will soften and relax the muscles of your diaphragm, chest and back, ribcage, and abdomen – and your vital organs – allowing your next breath to go a little deeper. It may require a few minutes of breathing in this way before your breath can go deeply enough to benefit your lower abdomen, lower back, and digestive organs in the lower trunk of your body.

This is Medical Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) – ancient Chinese healthcare for the modern world. Breathing in this way will not only relieve your body of the effects of stress – it will also help to relax your mind. Two days ago, I lowered my blood pressure from 135/76 to 109/76 in three minutes with this practice.

 Be Aware… Pause… Breathe… I urge you to give this a try once a day and see for yourself.