The science behind: Qigong meditation
Qigong, is an ancient meditation technique that finds its mention in traditional Chinese medicine. It comprises a plethora of diverse practices directed towards functional integrity and life’s enhancement. Qigong sessions include a variety of body movements that are slow, meditative, fluid in nature and dance like. These range from calm sitting and standing postures to gentle and vigorous movements. The most important element is the incorporation of determined breathing and mind’s activity coordinated with regulation of the body.
Qigong meditation is a combination of self-awareness with self-correction of the posture and movement of the body, the flow of breath, and stilling of the mind. This leads to a state which activates the natural self-regulatory (self-healing) capacity of the human body, thereby stimulating the balanced release of neurohormones and an array of natural health recovery mechanisms. This leads to the intentful integration of body and mind.
Initially many movements focus on gently opening and stretching the joints and muscles of the body, releasing the stored tension. By increasing the flow of blood and energy, they help to fully nourish all parts of the body and eventually impart good sleep. According to Chinese medicine, the energy relating to the body's internal organs flows around the extremities of the body – the hands and the feet. Thus by stretching the arms and legs in specific movements, the health of the internal organs can be improved.
The character "Qi" that makes up the first part of qigong is a difficult word to translate, according to Peter Wayne, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the research director at Harvard's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Qi is a concept from traditional Chinese culture that roughly means vital energy, information, breath or spirit. The second character in qigong, "gong," means cultivation or mastery, Wayne said. Qigong is therefore sometimes translated as "vital energy cultivation" or "mastery of your energy."
Developed over 5000 years ago, Qigong meditation is an age old technique that finds its relevance in the new category of ‘meditative movement’. These movements can potentially improve humans physically and psychologically by reducing stress. The practitioners believe that it can work to improve the quality of life, nurture relationships, enhance the ability to handle stress, relieve pain and look after cardiovascular health. This was about the body. Now coming to the mind. Mindfulness is both a type of meditation and a key component of Qigong. It is defined as presence, or moment to moment awareness. This means paying attention to the present moment as life happens moment to moment is called "non-doing", or "being". The enactment of being is an attitude to be in the present moment intentionally.
Jahnke, R., Larkey, L., Rogers, C., Etnier, J., & Lin, F. (2010). A comprehensive review of health benefits of qigong and tai chi. American journal of health promotion : AJHP, 24(6), e1–e25. https://doi.org/10.4278/ajhp.081013-LIT-248
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