Qigong – For Life
I wanted to start this week’s blog off by discussing some topics from a book I’m reading titled Qigong for Health and Well-Being, by Faxiang Hou and Mark V. Wiley. As an introduction to qigong, these two gentlemen go over how and when to practice. Here’s a brief overview:
- The movements/postures, visualization/mediation, and proper breathing must all be done concurrently.
- Proper breathing and control of the breath is perhaps the most important aspect of qigong.
- Breath control is necessary for the conduction of qi. Correct breathing allows the vital energy to flow naturally.
Additionally, the book covers some of the benefits of qigong practice. I’m sure you all are well aware of the “innumerable ways in which one can benefit from the practice of qigong.” Here are a few of the benefits they cover:
- Improved sleep
- Feeling more replenished and “ready to face a new day”
- Improved blood circulation
- Promotes healthier tissues and organs
- A way of attaining good health and peace of mind
- Allows for balance
Speaking of the benefits of qigong, I wanted to talk to you all about a workshop I went to recently with Dr. Laurence Irwin Sugarman. To give you a little background (via Psychology Today): “Dr. Sugarman is a pediatrician, research professor, and director of the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation (CAPS) at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He helps children, adolescents and their families learn to self-regulate their thoughts, emotions and physiological responses for health and well-being. Sugarman’s research focuses on autonomic nervous system regulation for young people with autism spectrum disorder and its integration into therapy using interactive games and media. His clinical work at the Easter Seals Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Rochester, N.Y., integrates clinical hypnosis, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy and medical management in support of young people and their families coping with pain, chronic disorders and developmental differences.”
Though he doesn’t explicitly teach qigong, the breathing techniques between his program and the practice of qigong are identical. This deep breathing helps calm down the excited nervous system of those with autism spectrum disorder. Using qigong breathing, these individuals develop more control when it comes to experiencing urges and learning to cope with them internally rather than expressing them externally. It was very refreshing to hear this method being applied and seeing the benefits of the practice.
For more information on Dr. Sugarman, visit RIT’s website, rit.edu