Published in Eternal Solutions
Life Energy: Therapeutic Effect
As more and more individuals are becoming victims of stress, the modern bane which is at the root of a host of illnesses, alternative therapies are fast gaining ground, globally. Qi Gong, pronounced Chi kung, is a millennia old Chinese healing system, an exercise which draws upon your inner energy to tone muscles, regulate hormones, boost blood circulation and lift spirits, to set the healing process in motion on all four planes – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. According to Dr.Zou Wei Jia, a Qi Gong practitioner, who is also a renowned master of Kung Fu and Acupuncture, Qi Gong, in addition to being a treatment therapy which brings cure, is as much a preventive therapy that rejuvenates, heals and enhances overall well being by strengthening the immune system and building resistance to disease.
Qi Gong, meaning, working with the energy of life, builds energy using a combination of fluid movements, breathing exercises and visualization, to regulate the internal functions of the body, explains Dr.Jia. Healing with Qi Gong is based on the premise that disease arises when a person’s vital body energy is either stagnant or imbalanced. Therefore, exercises that promote and balance Qi, will restore health and harmony by a therapeutic process which requires no medication. The nucleus of Qi Gong is the exercise of Yi, which is consciousness, and Qi, which is the vital energy.
According to Dr.Jia, the movements of Qi Gong, through the regulation of the three postures – walking, sitting and lying – harvests energy and stimulates its flow through the body, thereby enhancing energy and flexibility levels. No wonder then, that Dr.Jia, a well built, short and stocky individual, manages to wriggle himself into the clothes of a one year old! Or for that matter, you can witness Dr.Jia smashing stones and metal planks with his bare hands> And if that’s not enough, you can watch Dr.Jia lying on a sheet of glass pieces and nails while a four tonne vehicle is driven over him! And all this is done merely by breathing techniques and fluids movements of Qi Gong!
Qi Gong beginners learn to ‘walk like the wind’ and stand in a variety of ways. There are various standing postures associated with Qi Gong, all of which deliver weight to the ground through the feet. Standing positions are accompanied by a host of hand positions, both of which are meant to exercise the skeletal muscles and induce Qi to descend quickly, which helps strengthen the body constitution, explains Dr.Jia. Sitting positions similarly include sitting cross-legged, sitting on a chair – but sitting to maintain the body in a stable state, as ‘sitting like a block’. The sitting postures are believed to relax the individual and bring him to a state of quiet so as to enhance the body’s ability to collect or activate the vital energy. The lying position of Qi Gong, likewise, is meant to set the body in a state of calm, restraining the mind and encouraging inner quiet and to regulate the function of the central nervous system.
The realms of treatment with Qi Gong are wide, meant to boost brain activity, heal, build muscle strength and endurance and to help shape the spirit. Therapy with Qi Gong, according to Dr.Jia, increases vascular circulation, improves co-ordination and tones and stretches muscles. It is highly effective in treating chronic pain and disorders of the digestive, respiratory, nervous and cardiovascular systems. The range of illnesses amenable to treatment with Qi Gong include sciatica, rheumatism, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic sprains, quadriplegia, tetraplegia, asthma, chronic gastritis, impotency, diabetes, hypertension, insomnia and various other ailments.
A sound complement to western system of medicine, Qi Gong ensures its practitioners, speedy recovery, fewer side effects and reduced drug regimen when they are on allopathic treatment. “The therapeutic effects of Qi Gong cannot be exaggerated but it is true that it is very effective for various addictions also,” reveals Dr.Jia.
Are there any categories of people in whom therapy with Qi Gong is contra-indicated? Dr.Jia advices that a vigorous form of the therapy is best not practiced by pregnant women; rather, they should keep to light forms of Qi Gong exercises. Also, Qi Gong exercises increase circulation and may suppress appetite in some people. So it is better to avoid the exercises by women during their monthly cycle and by individuals who may suffer from any kind of bleeding disorders and anorexia. Additional, the exercises help people to adapt quickly to changing weather conditions.
Dr.Jia explains that there are three ways in which healing through Qi Gong may be brought about. Through self practice. Secondly by external Qi Gong whereby there is emission of Qi by a master to the patient in whom the Qi is in a state of imbalance. Thirdly, by a combination of self healing and healing through a master.
While Qi Gong exercises can be done by anyone regardless of age, precautions should be taken, especially in the case of beginners, while doing them and they should be initiated into the system by recognized teachers and professionals in the art. Dr.Jia states, “Ideally you can start a child of 4 or 5 years on to Qi Gong exercises. Because learning is that much easier at these tender ages because the grasping power is also very good at this age.” Qi Gong exercises are generally recommended for between 5 – 20 minutes duration, to begin with and then go on up to 45 minutes to an hour per day. This could be done with breaks of a couple of minutes in between and change in posture. Also, Qi Gong exercises are best done, two hours before or after a meal.