Most students stop Qigong because they don’t believe they’re getting something out of it. I can hear remarks like “The movements are so slow…. Zumba is more fun and when my muscles feel sore the following days I know that I was DOING something.” (Well, did you know you can relax and build your muscles at the same time without any pain?) “I want to lose weight. How can you lose weight without doing exhausting exercises?” (Well, did you know that during one hour of Qigong a 200 lb. person would burn around 360 calories, reports. This is approximately the same caloric expenditure as a brisk 3.5 mph walk. ) or “I want to become more flexible. Stretching must hurt. You must go right to your limits!” It seems like we’re living in the typical “No Pain, no Gain” society. People are in stress all day long and then they put additional pressure on their lives with exhausting and painful exercises.
My answer is always: “Give Qigong a chance! Do it for three months and then judge about it! Qigong is medical, watch your blood pressure, your sugar level, your balance (preventing falls in the elderly), your posture, your sleeping behaviour and your overall emotional mood and if nothing has changed after 3 months, go back to your boot camp.”
But unfortunately many don’t give Qi Gong this 3-months-chance. They quit after 1 or 2 times already.
The students who stay are all talking about miraculous changes that occur: they’re sleeping better and deeper; the atmosphere within a family systems full of tensions suddenly changes because the student is not suffering mood swings any more; medication can be reduced or cut in half because there are better blood work results; back pain disappears and posture improves.
If students are coming regularly, twice a week it costs them CAD 2.66 per day (10-session-ticket for CAD 100). A very cheap way to get rid of illness and maintain or improve health (better immune power against viruses, colds etc.).
One of the largest factors in determining stress level are emotions. With western style exercises the only emotion that can be relieved is anger. The clearing process in Qi Gong can be used on strongly as well as on spontaneously expressed emotions. One of my student could release some grief through crying after working on the lung meridian.
Western exercises are primarily working on the muscles, the heart and the lungs; they’re said to build strength and flexibility due to muscular contraction. But when you watch how stretching is done, with fully locked joints there’s no possibility for free energy flow any more. The goal in martial arts (Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Karate and so on) is a feeling of relaxed power with deep breathing, opening up and allowing the energy to flow through. Have you seen those little guys like Jackie Chan “fighting” a real body builder double their size by getting him exhaust himself, running and boxing into the air. Jackie swings like a bamboo in the wind saving his energy for one punch when the enemy has already run out of breath and wasted all the muscle strength for his unsuccessful efforts to beat him up. It’s extremely thrilling to watch and you can see how clear the mind is of somebody who’s doing energy work versus somebody who’s only pumping muscles leaving the brain behind. (I’m not saying that people who are lifting weights every day are not smart. I’m just saying that the combination of relaxation, deep breathing and concentration clears the monkey-mind and enables us to focus on what’s important because Qi Gong trains body AND mind.)
Even without having (had) a serious illness, almost everyone has a weakness in one of the organs. Through slow deep and regular breathing and energy movements oxygen can be worked deeper into tissues and even address organs (with specified exercises) to a point that could never be reached by western exercises.
People with poor coordination, balance, motor problems and chronic back pain can get more out of Qi Gong than out of a Chiropractic because the spinal nerve flow is not activated through manipulation of the spine but through rebuilding the whole body again.
Western exercises increase the circulation by exercising the heart while Qi Gong improves it by increasing the elasticity and strength of the blood vessels themselves.
Almost all the Qi Gong movements can be done by weak, immobile and disabled people of all ages because they can be practised while standing, sitting or lying down. And even the simplest exercises can produce remarkable changes in posture, mental attitude, increased lung capacity and improved vitality. Therefore it’s also said to be rejuvenating. Qi Gong can be done anywhere and requires no equipment or special clothes.
Qi Gong Sessions are held at Double M Ranch every Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30 pm. Call 204-636-7787 for more info or to arrange your personal one-on-one training session via Skype!
Have Fun with Qi Gong!