What is Qigong Anyway?

Qigong boosts muscle and strength, yet amazingly lowers cortisol.  Learn more about this 5000 year old energy art and its recent surge in popularity for strengthening and improving health.  Qigong training comprises an integration of physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intentions.  Its recent surge in popularity has been a result of Qigong’s fun and dynamic movements of practice. Magnetic energy fields are formed and created in a slow graceful manner. The Qi (life force) literally throbs and pulsates in your hands.

Qigong differs from traditional forms of exercise for 1 primary reason: Qigong boosts muscle and strength, yet amazingly lowers cortisol. This cortisol hormone (also known as the “stress homone”) is the enemy of longevity and breaks down muscle tissue creating inflammation in the body. Jogging and weight lifting actually accelerate the release of cortisol. Qigong enhances energy rather than depletes energy.  For these reasons Qigong is a great compliment to or substitute for other physical conditioning activities and its healing power is well documented.   From a scientific perspective, Qigong does what no other form of exercise can do:  while remaining in a “calm focused and relaxed state” – the body is exercising. This allows blood and Qi to move through blockages that normally cannot be crossed

Everyone from the competitive athlete to the physically challenged can derive benefit from Qigong.  Qigong’s repeated strengthening and stretching movements, increase fluid circulation (blood, synovial, and lymph), enhance balance, improve one’s sense of the relative position of body parts and strength required to move these parts, and builds awareness of how the body moves through space.  Research has shown that Qigong enhances the intrinsic capacity of the body to heal itself.  A review of a large number of studies reported that Qigong practice played a positive role in the following areas:

  • Bone density: prevented bone loss and increased bone mineral density
  • Cardiopulmonary effects: decreased blood pressure and heart rate, increased heart rate variability and improved biomarkers
  • Physical function: improved performance indicators ((e.g., chair rise, 50-ft walk, gait speed, muscle contraction strength, flexibility)
  • Self-efficacy: improved confidence and ability to manage health problems, pain, stress, and novel situations
  • Patient reported outcomes: decreased reporting of pain, improvement of diverse symptoms including discomfort and sleeplessness
  • Psychological symptoms: decreased anxiety, depression, perceived stress, and fear; improved mood and biomarkers such as stress hormones (e.g., lower cortisol)
  • Immune function and inflammation: improved immune blood markers (e.g., leukocytes, eosinophils, and antibodies) and decrease inflammation markers (e.g., cytokines, C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6)

Here’s what one of our clients who recently tried Qigong for the first time,stated:  “I’ve never experienced such body awareness!  I felt energized the whole day!”