Benefits of Qi Gong for Chronic Pain & Mental Health

During the global pandemic, depression rates rose from 8% to 27% in the United States. As something we’ve all been through, I’m sure this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Still, millions of people are struggling with depression today, and while treatment can certainly help, people are increasingly looking for alternative modalities.

One practice that many are turning to is the ancient Eastern practice of Qi Gong (pronounced chi-gung). Qi translates to “energy or life force”, Gong translates to “movement”. Qi Gong is a series of meditative breathing exercises designed to move “Qi” through the body. In Qi Gong there is a belief that your blood follows your breath. Many have experienced a positive calming impact on their blood pressure after practicing Qi Gong techniques.

Let’s break down the fundamentals of Qi Gong.

First, What is Qi?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Qi is known aslife force,the universal energy of all things. For human beings, Qi is the body’s innate intelligence (ability to breathe, grow a baby, pump blood, transform food into fuel, etc). TCM aims to bring harmony to the body, mind, soul, and our surroundings by removing restrictions to the flow of Qi through acupuncture and Qi Gong practices.

The concept of universal life force is not exclusive to TCM. In ancient Indian teachings, it’s known asprana, and in ancient Greek teachings, it is similar to the concept ofpneuma. For thousands of years, people have understood this intangible energy that connects us all.

The objective of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to bring Qi into balance. People who have balanced Qi are healthy, happy, energized, and have an open, bright energy. They have strong immune systems and feel mentally clear. They bounce back quickly from sickness or injury. When someone has balanced Qi, they are considered to be at a point of optimal well-being. Many people have a deficiency of Qi. But the good news is, Qi can easily be restored with simple practices like Qi Gong.

不平衡的气可以表现为疲劳、感冒ness, poor digestion, lack of appetite, heavy menses, and depression. It’s also possible to have excess Qi, which can manifest itself as stress, irritability, anger, anxiety, and feeling tense. Pain is often related to a blockage of Qi. Acupuncture is one practice that’s designed to unblock “stuck” Qi, which is why many people feel immense relief from Acupuncture for things like migraines and body pain.

Qi Gong Explained

Qi Gong is a breath, movement and meditation practice. By coordinating eye movements, body movements, mental focus, and breath, one can unblock stagnant energy and allow vital life force energy (Qi) to move freely.

Qi gong is based on the Dantians, or energy centers, of the body. The Dantians in TCM are often compared to the Chakras in Yoga. They are different, but there are certainly many similarities we can draw.

There are 3 Dantian’s in the body, and they are accessed from bottom to top.

  • The lowest Dantian is located near your navel and houses your core essence and vital energy. It is your sexual power and where you draw physical strength from. Focused breathing exercises into the Lower Dantian provides the foundational energy that allows Qi to develop.

  • The middle Dantian is found near your heart. This is where we cultivate loving compassion towards ourselves and others. When we draw “sexual power” Qi up from the lower Dantian and mix it with loving compassion in the middle Dantian, the Qi converts into “healing” Qi, a much more powerful form of Qi.

  • “Healing” Qi moves to the Upper Dantian and transforms intoShen. Shen is energy that gives us clear thinking, intuition, good memory, and a sense of calm.

Qi gong affects the body on a physical, mental & spiritual level. On a physical level, Qi Gong provides energy & vitality by getting blood & oxygen flowing throughout the body. On a mental level, Qi Gong helps calm and connect us to the present moment through breath & movement. And on a spiritual level, consistent Qi Gong practice brings a sense of inner peace, tranquility and oneness with all life on Earth.

Qi Gong for Chronic Pain & Depression

There have been numerous studies on the benefits of Qi Gong, particularly on its benefits for chronic pain & depression. According to acollection of studies compiled by Spring Forest Qi Gong…

"Subjects with chronic pain who received external qigong experienced reduction in pain intensity following each qigong treatment. This is especially impressive given the long duration of pain (>5 years) in most of the participants," - Ann Vincent, MD, MBBS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

When it comes to depression, the results are also promising.This studyfrom Spring Forest Qi Gong found that…

“All subjects improved over the treatment period and it is determined that the qigong exercise is a highly effective complementary and alternative treatment modality for depression and should be considered as an adjunct to psychotherapy treatment.”

With this in mind, if you struggle with depression or chronic pain/fatigue, it might be worth giving Qi Gong a try. A little bit goes a long way, it’s free, and it’s a very gentle & accessible practice for most people.

Other ways to restore Qi

If you’re interested in other ways to restore Qi, here is a list of additional tools you can experiment with.

  • Acupuncture

  • Visceral Manipulation/Myofascial Release work. (It is believed that the Qi travels on the fascia throughout the body). You can book a Visceral Manipulation session with From Scratch Wellnesshere.

  • Eating lots of warming foods: cooked/steamed vegetables, soups etc.

  • 照顾你的精神健康

  • Exploring Reiki. Schedule a session with ushere.

  • Getting plenty of sleep. (Unplug your wifi router at night, keep all electronics including your phone on airplane mode and outside of your bedroom).

  • Adding fresh herbs to your meal

Interested in 1:1 Nutrition & Detox coaching?

Meet Jennifer Stanley

Traditional Naturopath & Colon Hydrotherapist

Jennifer Stanley is a board certified Traditional Naturopath, Colon Hydrotherapist, and the founder of188BET金宝搏安卓下载, a natural medicine wellness center with two locations in the Chicago area. Jen works with people in her office and around the world (via telephone sessions) to help them overcome health and emotional obstacles usingfood as medicine.

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