Qigong movements are trained slowly and with repetition to enhance our ability to understand and integrate them to memory.
We often push too hard ignoring our own internal dialogue. The very nature of Qigong training invites us to listen deeply to our body signals and learn how to harness our internal strength.
Pain is another form of internal communication, the more we listen and learn, the more we are able to work with pain to reduce or eliminate it from our being.
We train to listen deeply to our body signals, while working to optimize our range of motion. Excessive force is unnecessary when increasing joint stability, strength and flexibility.
Qigong teaches us to work with, not against our bodies. If we ignore a limit being set by our bodies by pushing through, structure will be compromised and we lose the very benefits we are trying to achieve.
Our training methods take time and effort, but our students have consistently been able to reduce, and often eliminate, their need for pain medications. Working the body with respect and patience is a powerful method to control chronic pain.
For any movement training, proper posture and alignment are critical to harnessing your internal strength and preventing injury. Slow, controlled movement training is excellent at helping you find this hidden power.
Structural integrity allows the bones to bear the load while the muscles await your command. This reduced extraneous effort and maximizes efficiency of movement.
Proper alignment and structural integrity effectively frees the muscles for the tasks your choose. The slow, deliberate movements of Qigong greatly strengthen your fine motor control which can then be used at any speed, for any purpose.
Proper posture allows the rib cage, diaphragm and chest cavity to have the freedom of movement necessary to take a full breath.
Qigong incorporates breath work which engages muscles below the rib cage down to the pelvic floor. This level of full body breath is a powerful tool to enhance vitality boosting oxygen levels and overall circulation.
There are two ways to effectively control our breath. First is volume which is dictated by our individual body types and structural mechanics. Second is pace which involves training the ability to slow and deepen your breath. Learning to master your breath will invigorate your entire being.
Oxygen is the single most important element to our lives yet we don’t pay much attention to it. We teach you to use deep breathing techniques to boost oxygen uptake, enhancing both cellular function and overall brain health.
The lymphatic system is crucial to our ability to wards off disease and illness. The combination of deep breathing and efficient movement enhances the body’s ability to pump lymphatic fluids throughout the body.
Numerous studies have shown that taxing the heart with excessive, strenuous effort is not as healthy as once believed. Qigong training stimulates deep muscle demand, through prolonged load bearing effort, while encouraging deep, slow controlled breathing which increase overall circulatory response.
Tai Chi is often called "Meditation in Motion". While this conjures up imagery of students basking in the morning sun, gracefully moving through their forms, reflections dancing gently on a nearby pond, I personally feel it is a bit misleading, especially during the first few years of Tai Chi training when simple coordination and concentration are such an effort.
I have always felt strongly about how well Tai Chi and Qigong can strengthen and heal the body, mind and spirit. Whether the pain / injury is acute or chronic, many, many people have found relief and even resolution within the halls of Tai Chi and Qigong training. This week it was my turn to put these theories to the test.