What is Qi Gong?
Qi Gong is an energy practice. It is very old. It is useful to relax the body and mind. Qi gong uses breathing and movement.
We were required to take Qi Gong classes in grad school as soon-to-be licensed acupuncturists.
It is used by many in Asia to promote longevity, and a clear mind. You can use it, too!
I like to start each day and end each day doing the breathing exercise followed by the movement for 5 minutes total.
I know you are “supposed” to practice these exercises longer. Like 5 minutes each for the breathing and movement. If you can do 10 minutes every morning and night, that is even better.
but… I know myself. Pigeonholing myself into that rigid way of “all or nothing” thinking just doesn’t do it for me.
There are too many rabbit holes for me to go down each one completely.
Many of us are like this.
It’s not that I don’t want to follow rules, it’s just that if I have to follow rules that don’t fit my lifestyle, I just won’t do it.
It has to be easy enough to add one more thing to my day. Or, out it goes!
So, I settle on doing it for 5 minutes every morning and again 5 minutes every night. Do what you can.
Compliance is better than no compliance.
Make peace with wherever you are at.
What is Qi?
Qi is our Life force Energy.
Qi travels through our body’s Meridians.
What are Meridians?
Think of Meridians as highways where energy (or Qi) travels.
Meridians are Energy Pathways.
Why Move the Qi?
When Qi gets stagnated (stuck), we can become ill in body and/or mind.
We want to keep the Qi free-flowing to maintain health.
A physical example is when scar tissue forms (stagnation) after surgery.
Once the skin has created that matrix of protection in scar tissue, acupuncture can help break up the stagnation or scar tissue. Things like numbness, lack of sensation there and pronounced scarring can all be helped with acupuncture. Many are amazed by scars healing better after acupuncture. About 6 weeks after a caesarean section (C-section) acupuncture can help to start to diminish the abdominal scar. (Sorry, shameless plug).
A mental example of Qi getting stuck is called “Qi Stagnation” and this shows up as irritability or depression, and possibly bitter taste in the mouth or rib-side pain. Acupuncturists call it “Liver Qi Stagnation” and it is common in the Western world here. Acupuncture helps this in people every day. Qi gong can help your mood and focus over time, too.
Here is a short Qi Gong breathing exercise Intro…
Qi Gong breathing:
Inhale, extend your abdomen, allowing it to fill with air.
Exhale, contracting abdomen while you release the air. Feel it first coming from the bottom of your lungs. Push the air up and out until you feel your abdomen and chest are like a deflated balloon.
As you breathe in, imagine your Qi flowing through all the channels in your body.
Guide the flow of your Qi through breathing easy and gentle. Do not try to force it through.
Do the same as you breathe out. If visualizing helps, do that.
Here is a short Qi Gong Movement Exercise:
Start movement from the waist, keeping it soft and gentle. Start swaying slowly from the waist.
Move your arms in a swaying motion. Sway your arms side to side across your torso, gently.
Your arms may land on your torso in the front and back of your body.
Knees are slightly bent.
Hips may sway with the movement.
I like to end by giving myself a generous, yet gentle bear hug.
Especially now during COVID-19.
I have not hugged my kid in six months…Maybe give yourself two bear hugs.
Qi gong can help us to relax. We can learn to re-program our bodies and minds to be more mindful, less reactive. Less anxious.
Remember, be gentle. This gentle movement can be a useful tool to help wake up your body first thing and also to wind down the body and mind, letting it know that you are respectfully preparing it for sleep in a gentle, caring, and mindful way.
Written by Aleesha Ackerman, LAc
Aleesha Ackerman is a certified and state licensed acupuncturist with a Master’s degree in acupuncture. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hamline University. Aleesha owns and operates Aleesha D Acupuncture clinic for Pain and Women’s Health in Anoka, MN.
She became interested in acupuncture and holistic medicine when acupuncture cured her of debilitating migraine pain after an auto collision with a semi-truck. Aleesha specializes in treating acute and chronic pain and Women’s Health. Women come to her everyday with issues such as stress, hot flashes, mood imbalance, low energy and for Cosmetic Acupuncture for wrinkles, crow’s feet, laugh lines and improvement in overall skin tone . Read more about Aleesha and what she specializes in Here.
Patients at Aleesha D Acupuncture say they feel listened to and taken care of.
They are happy to get the much-needed pain and stress relief from their treatments!
Aleesha D Acupuncture is located in historic downtown Anoka at 229 Jackson Street just off Highway 10 with free parking.
Get in and Feel Better, Move Forward!
This article is not intended to replace any health care. No information on this site should be relied on to determine medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. As with any health concerns, always be sure to consult your health care provider with any health concerns.
Licensed Acupuncturist in Anoka Serving Andover, Anoka, Big Lake, Champlin, Circle Pines, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Dayton, East Bethel, Elk River, Forest Lake, Fridley, Ham Lake, Isanti, Lino Lakes, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Now Then, Oak Grove, Osseo, Ostego, Ramsey, Saint Francis, Saint Paul, Shoreview, Spring Lake Park, Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake.
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