Practising qigong lowers blood pressure, pulse rates, metabolic rates, lactate production, and oxygen demand. It raises the endocrine system's capabilities. It also has a regulating effect on the substances cyclic adenosine monophosphate and cyclic guanosine monophosphate. These substances play basic roles in respiration and the provision of oxygen to the body's cells. The sense of serenity qigong produces results partly from a slightly increased body temperature, and an increased rate of oxygen absorption. Qigong activates qi, improves blood circulation, and balances yin yang. It bolsters the immune system, and stimulates the conductivity of the meridians and channels through which qi flows .
In Chinese medical theory, many diseases come from adverse environmental
conditions such as:
heat, cold, wind, dryness and humidity; wrong diet; spoiled food; worms and
microbes; poisoning and pollution; trauma and accidents. Internal conditions can
arise from excess or deficient emotions of anger, joy, sympathy, grief or fear [and]
inappropriate mental attitudes and beliefs. There are also maladies of the spirit
which can cause serious problems. These factors can cause one's chi [qi] to
become excessive, deficient, stuck, blocked, congested or stagnant, and thereby
cause all manner of problems.
When the immune system is strong, one is emotionally centered within one's body, and qi and blood are flowing freely, then most diseases should disappear.
The goal of practising qigong is to make our qi circulate strongly
in our bodies. This helps us resist or overcome imbalances or blockages
and their resulting disharmonies. That is also the goal of acupuncture
and Chinese herbal medicine. Practicing qigong helps us intuit the infinity
of the universe. It lets us sense our place as organized
clusters of energy-information within the immense whole. Qi is an informational message and its carrier, a complex energy substance basic to life itself. Chinese medicine can prolong life, vitality and well-being by slowing the ageing process. This it accomplishes due to the affinities of certain herbs to qi and the milieu within which qi exists. Qigong therefore 'fits' into the regimen of Chinese medicine. The qigong art thus plays a fully active role to prevent disease or permit recovery.
One need not become a qigong master to experience many of its healing effects. For health purposes, you need to learn only a few exercises. Conversely, qigong is far from being an instant cure-all. To benefit one must achieve a state of tranquillity, find release from tension, build a positive attitude, and develop strong, committed will power. We can get benefits in one of three ways. First, one can go to a qigong master for treatment by that master's external qi. This is only possible in China, or perhaps at times in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Vancouver. Any one particular master may be unable to cure your problem (they are specialists!). Second, one can seek get treatment from a master and practice exercise and meditation. Third, in a supervised group, one can learn to treat oneself. This last is the only real option for most North Americans.
Under the third option, to gain full benefits of qigong requires
time, patience, commitment to its practice, determination and persistence.
This art involves more than simple physical training. It requires educating
one's breathing and thought processes. This means increasing one's ability
to sense one's body, and to feel and imagine. As with any other aspect
of human endeavour, some people will prove more adept at the
art than others, and so will progress more quickly. However, anyone with enough motivation can learn adequate qigong skills to make a large impact upon one's quality
of life. This can take from a minimum of three months up to a year. There are no shortcuts. There are also though no obvious limits to how far one may progress.
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