Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science

Have You Ever Heard of Yoga?

Have you ever wondered why, thousands of years ago, the ancient peoples of India and China developed embodied forms of healing, self-care, and spiritual practice?

Do you practice Qi Gong or Yoga?

Do you meditate regularly?

Do you pray?

“People have needed to meditate for as long as people have felt confused.”

Given the pace and aggression of the modern world, it is no surprise that you can learn and practise Qi Gong and Yoga in almost every city on earth. We all need to relax and reconnect with our bodies, our inner emotional and embodied experience and our sense of self.

“This experience is even more important if you are suffering from a chronic illness.” 

If you are a practitioner, teacher, or if you are new to Qi Gong, I am sure you will be inspired by the information in this article. Today, I am going to discuss ten scientifically researched aspects of Qi Gong practice that have been proven to benefit human health.

As a clinician and as a patient, I am always grateful to know how things work on a scientific or physiological level. Understanding some of these deeper processes help me focus my attention on a specific kind of Qi Gong of exercise, or focus on a specific part of my body, or a tangible shift in my state of being. If my Qi gong practiced is focused on a certain aspect of healing,  I often choose to alter my diet, supplements, and other lifestyle choices to support those aspects of physiology, like reducing inflammation and supporting tissue repair.

Qi Gong can be practised as a form of clinical treatment and works incredibly well with acupuncture and massage.

These benefits are also common sense.

The more time you spend consciously improving any aspect of your life, the better that part of your life will be. If you choose to consciously improve your relationship with your lover, your family, your mindset, or even money, the better that will go.

Qi Gong is primarily a conscious relationship with your body, your breath, your state of being, your spiritual alignment with life, and your ability to bring awareness and aliveness to specific parts of your body, heart, mind, and soul.

All Qi Gong asks from you is a consistent and evolving personal practice.

As I describe each of the following ten benefits of Qi gong, imagine what it would be like to commit 20 minutes a day, or at least 2-3 times a week, to consciously bringing your attention to each opportunity that is discussed.

Qi Gong Relieves Chronic Pain

I love expressions like ‘up-tight’, ‘wound up’, ‘chocked up’, and many others that describe an embodied feeling that also describes the quality of your life at that time. My favourite is ‘butterflies in your stomach.’

Feeling into your embodied state is the first step of every Qi Gong practice.

Shifting that state from ‘wound-up’ to ‘floating on a cloud’, or ‘still like a pond’ is always a potent and very tangible quality to Qi Gong.

Focusing on this shift of state induces a functional reset in your nervous system called the Relaxation Response 1https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/heart-and-soul-healing/201303/dr-herbert-benson-s-relaxation-response.

The Relaxation Response shifts your nervous system from a Sympathetic (fight, flight, freeze) response to the Parasympathetic (rest, digest, repair) response.

Sympathetic Response
      • Increased Heart Rate
      • Dilated Airways
      • Blood in Your Muscles, Not Your Gut
      • Diarrhea and/or Constipation
      • Poor Circulation
      • Hypervigelance  
      • Possible Chills and Sweats
Parasympathetic Response
      • Improved Appetite
      • Increased Salivation
      • Improved Sexual Appetite and Arousal,
      • Complete Urination
      • Better Digestion
      • Regular and Normal Bowel Movements
      • More Emotional Availability and Patience

This state shift can change your blood chemistry, especially your stress hormones, immune cytokines, insulin, and inflammatory markers.

One hormone, in particular, called Enkaphalin, increases with this shift from being reactive to feeling sensually playful. Enkaphaline competes directly with Substance-P (a neuropeptide involved in pain perception2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6335504/) in your nervous system, especially your spinal column, reducing your pain perception throughout your whole body.

More specific Qi Gong practices can not only relieve pain, but also help improve muscle tonus, flexibility, trauma release, general circulation, and energetic self-awareness.

Recent research from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085832/ has shown promising results for Fibromyalgia patients experiencing consistent pain relief from regular Qi Gong practice.

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