To fully harness the power of qigong, we must understand the way it works. A basic explanation is when the body, mind and heart are relaxed, they function in the natural state of harmony. Qi and blood flow freely.
In a balanced and relaxed body qi moves freely through a network of channels (meridians) as well as all vessels in the body. Blockages or stagnation can lead to physical or emotional imbalances. Optimal health and well-being result when the circulation of qi is harmonious and balanced.
Qigong practice begins with developing deep relaxation skills primarily through:
postures and movements that release tension
gentle breathing methods
focused intention and visualizations
connection to the natural world
Cultivating these skills naturally leads to relaxed muscles, tendons, ligaments which lead to greater relaxation of vital organs, the brain and all systems of the body. When the body enters a state of relaxation, the body’s innate healing abilities are activated, enhancing wellness.
Activating the Parasympathetic System
Qigong practice naturally activates the parasympathetic nervous system (part of the body’s autonomic nervous system). It plays an important part in how qigong works because it helps return us to our natural state. It slows heart and breathing rates, lowers blood pressure and promotes digestion. It is the rest and digest mode vs. fight or flight.
Another way that qigong works is through gentle and effective harmonizing of our emotions. Because we are human we all experience emotions and difficult or traumatic events.
By cultivating qigong relaxation skills we naturally develop resilience and are better equipped to navigate difficult times with fewer adverse effects. During stressful events, qigong supports us in maintaining presence and inner calm. This allows us to accept and trust in the ever-changing nature of life with stable emotions.
Qigong works by guiding us back to our natural state of balance and harmony. Especially in this day and age, it is a potent practice to enhance our lives and foster overall well-being. By understanding the way that qigong works, we can more easily and fully harness its transformative potential.