Earth Qi Gong for Women: Awaken Your Inner Healing Powerby Tina Chunna Zhang, Earl Morgan, Chen Xiu Qin, Michael Milburn
The special medical Qi Gong described in this book was developed and perfected over the course of 1,700 years by Taoists, traditional Chinese medical doctors, and Qi Gong experts in China to meet the needs of a woman’s unique anatomy. Author Tina Zhang leads readers through a variety of pleasurable postures and easy exercises that address specific areas of the… See more details below
The special medical Qi Gong described in this book was developed and perfected over the course of 1,700 years by Taoists, traditional Chinese medical doctors, and Qi Gong experts in China to meet the needs of a woman’s unique anatomy. Author Tina Zhang leads readers through a variety of pleasurable postures and easy exercises that address specific areas of the body. In turn, these exercises, which work progressively to strengthen the spirit-mind-body connection, enhance natural female energy to help prevent or alleviate health issues and conditions from puberty to post-menopause, including high blood pressure, stress, fatigue, endometriosis, age-related problems, and more. Emphasizing a balance between hormones and emotions, the book includes concise descriptions of selected acupuncture points, meridians, and orbits that promote long-range anti-aging and long-term optimal health. Women empowered by these benefits can take control of their bodies and better direct and assist their physicians in maintaining their health without the cost, risk, and side effects of pills, hormones, and supplements. Qi Gong for Women also contains useful information on addressing women’s physical and spiritual health for physicians, acupuncturists, and doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
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From Chapter One: Qi and Qi GongThe Health Benefits of Qi GongAs we get older we tend to stiffen up. We tend to become sedentary. Areas in our bodies become tense and we lose the flexibility we had as kids. Qi gong strives to bring that freer movement we enjoyed back into our lives. Practicing qi gong, moving slowly and attentively, will help us develop a greater ability to be deeply relaxed while allowing vibrant energy to flow through the body.First of all, qi gong practice focuses on increasing one’s concentration to a high level. The mind is very relaxed and focused on what is happening inside the body when the practitioner is doing the exercise set. The mind focuses and its intent directs the energy to go through the channels of the meridians to release the tension contained within the different parts of the body wherever there are blockages. This focus will calm the mind to help release stress and feelings of depression. Willpower will definitely develop through constant practice.Qi gong practice also focuses on abdominal breathing. It teaches practitioners to focus on breathing down in the dan tian area instead of bringing the breath up to the chest. Abdominal breathing brings more oxygen into your system than upper chest breathing and helps you relax. This abdominal breathing style also helps activate the lymphatic system. Our lymphatic system is responsible for keeping our insides clean. When it is functioning well, excess fluids and debris are flushed away, allowing more oxygen, blood, nutrients, and qi to reach and feed the cells and keep us in a healthier state. Most Western exercises do not stress affecting the lymphatic system, so this is one of the unique aspects qi gong has introduced to the West.The human body’s natural, unforced movement expresses the beauty of qi gong. Its simple yet practical routines can be practiced by people of any age and can benefit the health of anyone. Its gentle, low-impact, and easy-to-do exercises and its unbroken flow and continuous movement provide great health benefits by building strength, restoring balance, increasing flexibility, and reducing stress. Practicing qi gong will improve physical movement through its gentle stretching and abdominal-breathing exercises. The self-healing function of qi gong is practiced through its self-applied massage and its meditative motion, both of which release the body’s natural self-healing power–the power to boost the immune system and slow the aging process. Qi gong does not, however, work by doing very athletic, active movements to get a sweaty workout for cardiovascular health; instead, qi gong moves at a relatively slow pace that gives you the needed time to feel deeply within the body and the mind, and coordinate the awareness of the mind with the body.Traditional Chinese Medicine says that qi and blood promote each other and illness is a deficiency of both. During qi gong practice, people usually feel warm after just doing a few preliminary movements. This is because wherever qi goes, blood follows; circulation will be much smoother and blockages in certain areas of the body will be cleared up by proper circulation. Qi moves large amounts of blood and generates a lot of energy without hard, fast, or stressful physical movements. That qi gong can really help in the functions of the body’s systems is the purpose of practicing it. The benefits detailed below may explain the magical power of qi gong in the context of modern anatomy studies.Qi Gong Affects the Nervous SystemQi gong postures emphasize spinal cord exercise to improve control of the nervous system, with which brain health is deeply involved. Qi gong practice is a simple form exercise and learning experience in which the processes of your brain work with your body; qi gong brings them together so that your whole body learns something. The messages travel from one neuron to another again and again, and eventually, the brain starts to create connections or pathways between the neurons so that things become easier and you do them better and faster. This is the process by which the cerebral cells of the brain are enriched with vigorously circulating blood and the nerve cells in the deep layers of the brain release more bioenergy. Qi gong can be a practical practice for cultivating mental potential, at the very least, and increasing the memory at the very best.One of the greatest benefits of qi gong is that the nervous system shifts more into a parasympathetic than a sympathetic system. Many qi gong movements strive to enhance a well-functioning central nervous system that will coordinate all other organs and improve their balances. The brain is the boss that controls many things in life, but it does not work alone–it works with the nervous system to let the messages flow back and forth between the brain and body. Qi gong exercise takes care of brain health by gently stretching the spine–there is a long bundle of nerves inside of your spinal column—and exercising the vertebrae that protect the nervous system. We all have very busy lives and surround ourselves with situations that introduce stress, but there are not many people who notice this and properly exercise their spine to counteract it. Over time stress creates a chronic tensing of the body and destroys the awareness of the mind. This leaves many people living with an arched spine that causes a loss of coordination–the messages get stuck between the body and the mind. Qi gong exercise will specifically help to release the tension in the nervous system by strengthening the spine.Qi Gong Regulates the Functions of the Circulatory SystemQi gong does a good job of promoting efficient blood circulation. Unlike other exercises, qi gong creates energy through relaxed exercise without causing too much physical tension. This kind of soft movement can easily increase the blood circulation in the tips of the limbs, where there is normally less blood than in most other parts of the body. Many practitioners who have always complained of having cold hands and feet have found that qi gong effectively regulates the temperature in their limbs. This good biological effect of qi gong also helps regulate blood pressure.Qi Gong Strengthens the Immune SystemWe all struggle with the natural world; disease and physical stress are always part of our lives. Therefore, the immune system is the foundation of good health. We practice qi gong to exercise every part of the body and move the blood throughout every area, which improves the functions of all internal organs and strengthens the entire immune system. Qi gong exercises also squeeze and stretch the lymph nodes in the inguinal crease (where the legs join the torso), as well as the nodes in the armpits. This, along with the constant twisting of the muscles, efficiently pumps the lymphatic fluid through the body. This lymphatic fluid is a major factor in the power of the body’s immune system, but it has no built-in pump, like the blood has the heart. Lymphatic fluid relies completely on the movements of the body for its own movement. This is why it is extremely important to do at least a little movement practice when you don’t feel well. But you can’t build a stronger immune system by simply doing a few qi gong sessions; you must develop a lifelong regimen of correct practice. Qi gong must be practiced as a daily or regular exercise to improve the function of the immune system and maintain one’s overall health.Qi Gong Improves the Function of the Respiratory SystemIn qi gong, breathing through the dan tian is very important. This practice eventually makes the use of oxygen by the body decrease, while the ability to absorb oxygen increases. Every low, deep, even, and long breath increases the power of the lungs. The way of breathing in qi gong is the same as that practiced in the internal martial arts of tai ji quan and ba gua zhang. This type of breathing helps qi to really sink down to the dan tian to store energy. Breathing with the diaphragm wall instead of the muscles between the ribs also opens the space for the expansion of the bottom third of the lungs, thereby more efficiently oxygenating the body. Breathing with the diaphragm also lowers one’s center of gravity by lowering the chest, which helps in rooting oneself to the earth. Rooting helps martial artists avoid being knocked down, and the same process helps the old and infirm to keep from falling down.Qi Gong Improves the Functions of the Digestive SystemGood circulation to the stomach is achieved by way of the coiling and twisting motions in qi gong practice. This allows more absorption of nutrients from the food you take in every day and also helps to massage the intestines for proper elimination. Almost daily we are bombarded by new statistics that tell us what we should eat or shouldn’t eat or explain the best methods for losing weight. In actuality, it’s not only one’s lifestyle that can determine weight problems; abnormal weight loss or weight gain can also be caused by an abnormal digestion system. Qi gong practice is a practical exercise that raises the metabolism and increases the fluids in the stomach and intestines to help their functions and solve many problems of the digestive system. This, in conjunction with the discipline developed by a daily qi gong regimen, often helps lead the practitioner to a healthy weight for his or her frame.Qi Gong Improves the Functions of the Endocrine SystemThe overall health of a person is often closely related to his or her hormone levels. A great number of health problems have their origin in endocrine disorders. Qi gong widens the diameter of Traditional Chinese Medicine theory in which people lose their sexual function or desire because their kidneys are weak. Therefore, part of qi gong practice focuses on improving the function of the kidneys. Often, after practicing qi gong, people have more sexual energy and better-balanced hormone levels. For example, the Deer Walk exercise has significantly helped women to retain their qi, or essence, which makes them much stronger, and every woman should do this exercise, which has had proven success for more than a millennium. Tapping into this healing energy of the body is a part of being naturally healthy and healing without medicine.Qi Gong Improves the Skeletal and Muscular SystemsQi gong helps maintain a strong skeleton by including a lot of low-impact movements. We know that a low level of estrogen is correlated with osteoporosis, so a healthy endocrine system is the foundation of bone health, especially as we get older. When blood circulation is good and hormones are regulated naturally, the amount of collagen in the bones does not necessarily decrease with age. Qi gong has specific movements that were designed to strengthen the joints and bones throughout the body. This helps prevent injury from falls and helps to arrest or cure arthritis. Qi gong movements also stretch the ligaments that connect the bones. When the ligaments are stretched, the synovial membrane that surrounds the joint is also stretched. When this membrane is stretched, it will secrete synovial fluid the lubricating fluid of the skeleton—if the joint is in need of it. This is another way in which qi gong helps to cure joint injuries, arrest joint diseases, and allow the skeleton to work like a well-oiled machine, thereby lasting longer.Qi Gong Reveals Its Benefits to All PractitionersQi gong practice helps to cultivate energy, strengthen the immune system, regulate the circulatory system, exercise the respiratory system, and balance the nervous system, all in order to help us maintain general health. Adding a qi gong set to your regular workout routine exercises the parts of your body that have never been exercised before and allows you to enjoy lifelong benefits from this practice. You can expect to feel the great benefits of qi gong practice, even if you have only practiced for a relatively short period of time. These benefits include the following abilities:• Clearing your mind• Enjoying restful sleep• Mastering tension and being able to relax more easily• Balancing your emotions• Building a physically strong body• Accumulating and maintaining your energy• Elevating and balancing hormone levels• Restoring your internal organs and systems to optimal function• Improving the immune system to better protect you from disease, whether caused by an internal or external threat
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