Category Archives: Qigong

Taiji Shibashi Instructor Course – Autumn 2017

Taiji Shibashi Instructor Course – Autumn 2017

The Taiji Qigong Shibashi Instructor course is designed to provide Qigong instructors with all the tools and information needed to teach the Shibashi as true Qigong.

The Shibashi (also known as the Eighteen Postures of Taiji Qigong) is a set of Qigong exercises based on Taiji that adheres to the rules governing Taiji stances (in particular, the Wuji stance). These stances are fundamentally important if the practitioner wishes to get the most out of the Qigong.

Since the early 1980′s, when the Shibashi was introduced, in, the significance of the Taiji stances has been lost and their true use as Qigong has been diminished and the beneficial qualities have depleted.  Without a solid base (root) there is a conflict of focus and the cognitive mind (Yi) cannot be fully focused on guiding the Qi.  This being the case, during the course a lot of time is spent on attaining and recognizing proper posture.

Testimonials:

  • “Hi Des,thank you very much for this and for the course, it was brilliant and I very much enjoyed it all………… I would love to attend more classes or courses with you and will be in touch hopefully in the near future.”
  • “Subtly expanded upon at each session, so different aspects were lit up once others had been digested/settled into the body/psyche. Update of online info fantastic as a back up and to expand and stay safe as a practitioner.”
  • “Attending this Workshop was a very motivational experience; an exercise of discovery providing a brief insight into the amazing power of QiGong. I would recommend this inspirational workshop to all who have an interest in QiGong”
  • “I discovered that qigong was more powerful than I had ever imagined.  An excellent weekend and I learned so much more about myself that can be brought into my classes, I now feel more confident that I can deliver qigong more effectively to my students and also enjoy the benefits for myself, thank you so much.”
  • “I am so glad that I made the decision to attend a truly inspirational workshop and to have benefited from an introduction to the amazing powers of QiGong. I am aware that we only experienced an ‘insight’ but even so I consider that I am now in a better position to pass on quality teaching to my students, and having been an FE Lecturer for many years, I believe delivering quality is of paramount importance.
    I also thank you (and your wife) for your hospitality in providing delicious lunches and snacks – greatly appreciated!”
  • “Just thought I should send you a wee message to let you know how much doing the Qigong instructors course has helped me personally. I had just started 4th year at Uni when I came on the course. Uni has been horrendous and a few times it has been bad enough to make me consider leaving but doing Qigong has been a life saver. It has got me through some very tough times.
    Big thank you to you for teaching me this beautiful art. Qigong had definitely came into my life at the right time.”
  • “Thanks des. Really exceeded expectations. Will take time to assimilate the information properly before introducing to my classes.”
  • “Really interesting weekend – it has inspired me to continue on my path for which I thank you so much.”
  • “Learning about Chi and feeling the Chi was an experience.”
  • “Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.”
  • “Thank you Des. Really enjoyed the workshop and your style of teaching the group.”
  • “Excellent instructor, easily understood, good analysis, some helpful tips and suggestions. Thank you.”
  • “Really interesting course. Made me want to learn more about he background and how move have different effects on the various parts of the body.”
  • “Felt better about the postures and learning to be aware about the postures.”
  • “This has been a truly wonderful course.”
  • “A brilliant training course.”

Taiji Shibashi Instructor Course – Autumn 2017

Next course: –

Dates: July 22nd & 23rd, Aug 19th, Oct 14th & 15th 2017
Times: 10:00 till 17:00
Location: East Kilbride, Lanarkshire
Cost: £360.00
Booking: Pro Holistic Taiji Shibashi Qigong Instructor Course

A deposit of £60.00 is required, with the balance to be paid on the first day of the course. As spaces are limited, advanced booking is essential.

Embroidered Brocade Qigong courses – 2017

Embroidered Brocade QigongEmbroidered Brocade Qigong is rooted in the principles of Taiji.  It takes around  20 –30 minutes to do the whole set.

Course dates: 11th November 2017

Embroidered Brocade Qigong

Embroidered Brocade QigongSequence:

  • Folding Over
  • Circle of Light
  • Catching a Ball (aka Billowing Sail)
  • The Five Elements (aka The Sun and the Moon)
  • The White Crane
  • The Snake
  • The Taiji Walk

 

Workshop details:

  • Location – East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire – location map
  • Dates – Saturday 14th May, and Saturday 26th November 2016
  • Time – 10.00 till 17:00
  • Cost – £60.00
  • Details – Focusing on posture, on learning Qigong, in depth, and gaining awareness of Qi flow.
  • Instructor – Des Lawton
  • Guidelines – Can be viewed here

For further datails and booking, visit Pro Holistic – Embroidered Brocade Qigong course

Online Qigong courses – Connecting Heaven and Earth

Sanbao Taiji & Qigong have created the second of a series of online Qigong courses and have hosted them at Udemy.  There are previews available for each of the online Qigong courses, allowing you to get a better idea of what each course has to offer.  Occasionally, we will be providing discount codes for our courses and these will be found at the bottom of each course description.

Save £10.00 on each course by using the coupon codes!

 

Online Qigong courses

Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong

A Five Elements, stand-alone Qigong exercise.

Coupon code (£10.00 discount – expires 31/3/2017) CHAE.50_FEB717

What Will I Learn?

  • Attain Wuji posture, create a quiet body/mind.
  • The six movements of the Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong.

Requirements

  • No prior knowledge of Qigong required. This course is for all levels.

View Curriculum

DescriptionOnline qigong courses - connecting heaven and earth qigong

This course is for people who are serious about Qigong, no matter what their current level of experience is. It is for people who want to practice true Qigong, to work Internally, rather than practicing slowed down aerobics.

Qigong is an Internal skill with the function of enhancing the practitioner’s Qi (energy) and the flow of Qi within the meridian system and energy body.

The movements and postures that Qigong uses are NOT Qigong in its entirety. They are one of the tools used to guide the Qi………………. just ONE of the tools.

In this course you will learn

  • To create a quiet body/mind through the use of Wuji stance. Poor posture creates distraction, noise, that interferes with the focus needed to guide the Qi.
  • To make use of the subtleties within the movements and postures to accurately guide the Qi.
  • To use the breath to guide the Qi and to help change the brainwave pattern from Beta wave to Alpha wave.
  • To use listening jing in order to gain tangible awareness of the Qi and the changes produced during Qigong. If you do not know what it is that you are meant to be guiding how can you guide it?
  • To become passionate about Qigong.

You can preview this course at Udemy

Cost: £60.00
Coupon code (£10.00 discount – expires 31/3/2017) CHAE.50_FEB717

Online Qigong course – the 8 Exceptional Vessels

Sanbao Taij & Qigong  have created their first online Qigong course and have hosted them at Udemy.  There are previews available for each of the online Qigong course, allowing you to get a better idea of what each course has to offer.  Occasionally, we will be providing discount codes for our courses and these will be found at the bottom of each course description.

Save £10.00 on each course by using the coupon codes!

The Eight Exceptional Vessels Qigong

Working with the Qi of the Extraordinary Meridians

Coupon code (£10.00 discount – expires 31/3/2017) 09MMH45_7_G2

What Will I Learn?

  • Create a quiet body/mind by using Wuji stance.
  • Practice three Qigong exercises that work specifically with the Extraordinary Meridians, the Exceptional Vessels.

Requirements

  • No previous knowledge of Qigong required. This course is suitable for all levels.

View Curriculum

DescriptionOnline qigong course - eight exceptional vessels qigong

These Qigong exercises work with the Qi that is stored in the Eight Exceptional Vessels (aka the Extraordinary Meridians). These vessels are often likened to reservoirs that store Qi and blood while the Meridians can be likened to rivers that carry the Qi.

As well as using the Yi (that is the brain), the eyes and the breath to guide the Qi, these exercises also make use of the Master Points and the Coupled Points.

The quality, essence, of the Qi of the Exceptional Vessels is tangibly different to that of the Twelve Meridians. These exercises will open out an opportunity for you to experience this for yourself.

You can preview the course at Udemy

Cost: £60.00
Coupon code (£10.00 discount – expires 31/3/2017) 09MMH45_7_G2

Taiji Shibashi (十八) Instructors course

Taiji Shibashi Instructors Course – 2017

The Taiji Qigong Shibashi (十八) Instructor course is designed to provide Qigong instructors with all the tools and information needed to teach the Shibashi as true Qigong.

The Shibashi (also known as the Eighteen Postures of Taiji Qigong) is a set of Qigong exercises based on Taiji that adheres to the rules governing Taiji stances (in particular, the Wuji stance). These stances are fundamentally important if the practitioner wishes to get the most out of the Qigong.

Since the early 1980′s, when the Shibashi was introduced, in, the significance of the Taiji stances has been lost and their true use as Qigong has been diminished and the beneficial qualities have depleted.  Without a solid base (root) there is a conflict of focus and the cognitive mind (Yi) cannot be fully focused on guiding the Qi.  This being the case, during the course a lot of time is spent on attaining and recognizing proper posture.

Testimonials:

  • “……………… just wanted to thank you for a wonderful weekend.  It was brilliant, I really enjoyed it.  I gained much more than I expected to.  Thanks for opening my eyes.”
  • “Attending this Workshop was a very motivational experience; an exercise of discovery providing a brief insight into the amazing power of QiGong. I would recommend this inspirational workshop to all who have an interest in QiGong”
  • “I discovered that qigong was more powerful than I had ever imagined.  An excellent weekend and I learned so much more about myself that can be brought into my classes, I now feel more confident that I can deliver qigong more effectively to my students and also enjoy the benefits for myself, thank you so much.”
  • “I am so glad that I made the decision to attend a truly inspirational workshop and to have benefited from an introduction to the amazing powers of QiGong. I am aware that we only experienced an ‘insight’ but even so I consider that I am now in a better position to pass on quality teaching to my students, and having been an FE Lecturer for many years, I believe delivering quality is of paramount importance.
    I also thank you (and your wife) for your hospitality in providing delicious lunches and snacks – greatly appreciated!”
  • “Just thought I should send you a wee message to let you know how much doing the Qigong instructors course has helped me personally. I had just started 4th year at Uni when I came on the course. Uni has been horrendous and a few times it has been bad enough to make me consider leaving but doing Qigong has been a life saver. It has got me through some very tough times.
    Big thank you to you for teaching me this beautiful art. Qigong had definitely came into my life at the right time.”
  • “Thanks des. Really exceeded expectations. Will take time to assimilate the information properly before introducing to my classes.”
  • “Really interesting weekend – it has inspired me to continue on my path for which I thank you so much.”
  • “Learning about Chi and feeling the Chi was an experience.”
  • “Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.”
  • “Thank you Des. Really enjoyed the workshop and your style of teaching the group.”
  • “Excellent instructor, easily understood, good analysis, some helpful tips and suggestions. Thank you.”
  • “Really interesting course. Made me want to learn more about he background and how move have different effects on the various parts of the body.”
  • “Felt better about the postures and learning to be aware about the postures.”
  • “This has been a truly wonderful course.”
  • “A brilliant training course.”

 

Next course: –

Dates: Jan 28th & 29th, Feb 25th, and April 1st & 2nd 2017
Times: 10:00 till 17:00
Location: East Kilbride, Lanarkshire
Cost: £360.00
Booking: Pro Holistic Taiji Shibashi Qigong Instructor Course

A deposit of £60.00 is required, with the balance to be paid on the first day of the course. As spaces are limited, advanced booking is essential.

 

Taiji Shibashi Qigong Course

Taiji Shibashi Qigong Course –  2016

The Tai Chi Chi Kung Shibashi (十八), or the eighteen postures of Tai Chi Chi Kung, is a set of Chi Kung exercises that utilise Tai Chi stances and adhere to the rules governing them. Although this set was brought together in the 1980’s the individual exercises themselves date back centuries, even millenia.

The Shibashi Chi Kung focus on health and well-being, directing and promoting the flow of chi through the meridians. Although each of them can be practiced individually, or in any variation, the set flows beautifully, from one posture to the next,producing a feeling of inner calmness and wellbeing.

The health benefits from the Shibashi become clear when they are practiced regularly and, in effect, you are being proactive with your health and wellbeing. The Shibashi are easy to learn and can easily be practiced in a restricted space where the Tai Chi forms would be impossible.

Feedback from previous workshops

  • Did the workshop meet your expectations? – 100% Yes.
  • Did the workshop cover the syllabus? – 100% Yes.
  • Were the methods taught useful? – 100% Yes.
  • Would you recommend this workshop? – 100% Yes.
  • Is there anything you would like to see added to the syllabus? “Perhaps guidlines about how best to practice with a view to building confidence to teach others” *This is included in the Instructor Course.

“Really enjoyed this workshop – couldn’t have been better, fantastic day and I feel like I learned an enormous amount and had fun doing it!”
“I really liked that the meridians were mentioned within the exercises and found this useful.”
“I felt very well lead throughout the exercises and supported – thought it was a great course.”

 

The Shibashi Qigong course is suitable for everyone including: –

  • Beginners
  • Tai Chi practitioners
  • Chi Kung practitioners
  • Reiki practitioners
  • Shiatsu practitioners
  • Physiotherapists
  • Rehabilitation therapists
  • Exercise instructors
  • Group leaders

This Shibashi Qigong course, which can be used towards our certificated Shibashi Instructor course, provides a firm grounding in the Tai Chi Shibashi Chi Kung system.

Shibashi Qigong course information: –

Dates: Jan 23rd, Feb 27th & March 26th  2016
Times: 10:00 till 17:00
Location: East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
Cost: £70.00 per workshop, or £180.00 for the block of three.
Booking:  Pro-Holistic Taiji Shibashi Course

A deposit of £30.00 per workshop is required, with the balance to be paid on the first day of the course. Advanced booking is essential.

Further details of courses on Pro-Holistic Courses

This course is being provided by San Bao Martial Arts

Taiji, the calm within the storm

Taiji

Taiji benefits all ages. You are never too young, or too old, to learn.

Originating in ancient China, Taiji (also written as Taiji Quan, Tai Chi, Tai Chi Chuan) has gained enormous popularity throughout the world as its health benefits have become more recognised.

Taiji, as practiced in the west today, is a usually seen as a slow, choreographed, set of posture that is used for exercise, relaxation and health. It can perhaps best be thought of as a moving meditation.

There are a number of different styles (family styles such as Chen, Yang, Li, Wu & Sun as well as the more recently formalised Beijing styles) and within these styles there are various forms which consist of a sequence of movements and postures. Originally developed as a martial art, each of these movements was formulated with self-defence in mind.

Taiji has its origins in Taoism and Taoist martial arts. The literal translation of Taiji Quan is “Supreme Ultimate Boxing.” This is not a big-headed, boastful, claim to be the supreme martial art as the term “Supreme Ultimate” refers to the Tao. The symbol that is usually referred to as the Yin/Yang symbol is actually called Taiji and it represents the duality of our perception of Tao, of which the universe is only part. Taiji, in this context, can be seen as a microcosm of the Tao (universe) as its movements, shapes and breathing patterns reflect dynamic forces and interactions of the universe.

The concept of Qi is a fundamental part of Chinese medicine and philosophy. Qi is the intrinsic energy that the universe is made of, and it is also the energy that animates the body. The movements of Taiji promote the circulation of Qi within the body creating health and vitality. The Qi circulates through pathways that are known as meridians and the meridian contain the access points that are used by acupuncture, shiatsu, tuina, etc. for their healing properties and by martial arts for their harming properties.

Using these principals, Taiji Quan is a sophisticated method of combat where the Taiji Quan practitioner aims to neutralize his opponent’s use of force (strength – Li) before “borrowing it” and applying a countering force (focus – Jing) of his own. This is the interplay of Yang and Yin.

To the uninformed, it is hard to see how these slow, graceful and fluid movements could be used for defence against someone who is attacking with speed and strength. In any confrontation, the Taiji practitioner will also move faster………… with a speed to match his attacker’s but with the same fluid, relaxed and rooted movement that has been practiced in the form. It is by practicing at a slow pace that perfection in balance, rooting and technique can be gained.

However, for the vast majority of Taiji players, the martial aspect is never really touched on and the emphasis is on the tranquillity of mind and body, along with all the health benefits, that Taiji provides.

Taiji fosters calmness and tranquillity of mind as the focus of the practitioner is solely on the precise execution of the forms. The precision that is required within the postures also helps correct poor postural alignment that can contribute to tension, excess pressure on joints, or injury.

Today we may use Taiji to rid ourselves of the fatigue that stress, overwork, poor posture and the lack of atunement with our own body can bring. It is aid that Taiji increases longevity…………. This is something that modern scientific research is starting to agree with. This longevity does not mean that you will live forever. What it does mean is that daily practice promotes a healthy body, clarity of mind, better balance, denser bones, better circulation, more balanced blood pressure, lower (more efficient) respiration, and a more efficient and active lymphatic system (assisting the immune system. The list goes on! One more thing that Taiji can do for you is that you smile more……… Great big smiles, that
come from deep within.

 

In the words of Aldous Huxley (from Island):

“No leaps, no high kicks, no running. The feet always firmly on the ground…movements intrinsically beautiful and at the same time charged with symbolic meaning. Thought taking shape in ritual and stylized gesture. The whole body transformed into a hieroglyph, a succession of hieroglyphs, of attitudes modulating from significance to significance, like a poem or a piece of music. Movements of the muscles representing movements of the consciousness…It’s meditation in action; the metaphysics of the Mahayana expressed not in words, but through symbolic movements and gestures.”

 

Therapist info

Taiji has great health benefits.

 

If you wish your website to be included on this page please see our Resources Page for details.

 

 

Taiji, Taiji Quan & Neijia, Lanarkshire

San Bao Martial Arts School, Lanarkshire

T’ai-Chi London

Town & Village Tai Chi and Qigong is based in Carlisle but covers a large area within Northern Cumbria, running classes as far south as Shap and Penrith and as far north as Brampton.
 

 

Resources

Further information on Taiji including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Taiji please contact us with the details.

 

Please note that Holistic-Pages.com makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness.
Holistic-Pages.com is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.

 

 

Qigong Basics, getting the most from Qigong

Qigong Basics

Qigong Basics - Qigong for health being practiced at sunset.

Qigong (pronounced Chi-Kung) is an ancient Chinese art for the promotion of health and, when written in Chinese, the word Qigong is comprised of two characters: Qi (anima, vital energy) and Gong (work, cultivation)…………… Qigong literally means energy work, or energy cultivation.  Before this work can be carried out effectively, the Qigong basics must be understood.

There are four main divisions of Qigong, and two methods.

Firstly, let us deal with the divisions of Qigong

  • Spiritual
  • Medical
  • Martial
  • Athletic

The choice of which method that is used is dependent on the goal of the practitioner. However, there is some overlap between the each of the methods.

 

Secondly, the two methods

  • Active qigong – Where physical movement is used to help the practitioner to guide the Qi.
  • Passive Qigong – Where there is no physical movement and it is purely the Yi (cognitive mind) that is used to guide the Qi.

The division of Qigong that we are dealing with here is Medical Qigong. This is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and according to TCM, Qi is life energy and the health of the body is reliant upon smooth, harmonious, flow of Qi within the body and disease is the result of poor Qi circulation and through Qigong it is possible to balance the flow of Qi allowing the body to heal itself.

The Qi is the intrinsic energy, the life force that we share with the rest of the natural world. Qi also refers to energy in the largest sense, it is the stuff of the universe, it is both matter and energy and link that bonds them together. Qi transcends and is not bounded by time or space.

Qigong works by using specific postures and movements of the body whilst combining them with focus (using directed breath) and intention. Through the use of these exercises, the Qi can be cultivated and replenished.

As previously stated, in the precept of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that all diseases are a result of blockage in the meridians (energy channels), causing obstructions and sluggishness in the flow of Qi. A person is healthy only when the Qi freely circulates through the meridians, nourishing all vital organs and tissues. The “Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine” (circa 250BC) states: “When the Qi is blocked, there is sickness. No blockage – no sickness”.

Literally thousands of styles of Qi Gong exist so it is a matter of finding the one that is suitable for your needs. Some styles are designed for general health and wellbeing and require daily practice. Other styles/exercises have specific therapeutic qualities and have been developed to treat specific ailments.

Qi Gong can be practiced by just about anyone, whether they are young or old, active, sedentary, or disabled.

Although there are many styles, they are founded on similar principles

  • A relaxed, grounded posture
  • A straight, supple spine
  • Breathing that uses the diaphragm
  • Fluid movement
  • Tranquil awareness

The quality of the Qi Gong practice is far more important than how often the practice is undertaken. Any aerobic exercise can be slowed down to the point where it appears, superficially, to resemble Qigong but as there is no intent, no focus and no guidance of the Qi, it is NOT Qigong.

It is far more beneficial to concentrate one or two styles, learning through experiential awareness than to learn many exercises superficially. It is vitally important to find a good Qigong teacher who has experience of Qi rather than experience of books.

 

Qigong Teachers

Qigong Basics - Painting rainbows,qigong style.

 

If you wish your website to be included on this page please see our Resources Page for details.

 

 

Healing Qigong at Pro Holistic, Lanarkshire

San Bao Martial Arts School

 

Resources

Further information on Qigong including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Qigong please contact us with the details.us with the details.

 

Please note that Holistic-Pages.com makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness.
Holistic-Pages.com is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.

 

 

Qigong for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Qigong for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a symptom that can have a multitude of causes.  Any, gentle, exercise where the muscles are being relaxed and toned and the vertebrae are being manipulated tend to be good for alleviating back pain.  Using simple exercises, Qigong for chronic lower back pain, can speed up recovery  and continued practice maintains mobility flexibility and strength.

For example, one Qigong exercise that can be done (both standing and seated) is from the set known as the Shibashi.  It is easy to learn and you only need to do 6 to 8 repetitions on a daily basis to gain the benefits.  It is not an instant cure, it will take time and that time is dependent on the current pain levels and mobility.

This is the seated variation of “Rowing the Boat”.

 

Sitting, upright, on a firm chair (dining chair, etc) with the visualisation that your head is suspended by a single thread, from the crown. The arms hang, loosely, at the sides and the feet are placed flat on the floor.  The speed of the movement is guided by your speed of breathing…………. try to relax and take your time.

Qigong for chronic lower back pain

 

 

On inhalation, bring both hands above the head (as though surrendering) and gently curl the fingers as though you were holding the oars of a boat.

 

 

 

Qigong for chronic lower back pain

 

As you exhale, bend the body forward at the waist, letting the chest drop onto the thighs, circling the arms forward and down.  As the arms swing to their lowest point, let the head hang down (this will increase the gentle stretch on the lower back).  Finally swing the arms to the rear.

 

 

On inhalation, continue swinging the arms back, to your comfortable limit, and slowly straighten up (uncurling from the lower back,  keeping the chin gently tucked in until the body is upright), and raise the arms above the head, opening the hands and turning the palms forward.

 

Remember to uncurl from the lower back, keeping the head hanging forward with the chin tucked in.  Repeat six to eight times.

Arthritis relief through Qigong

About Arthritis

Arthritis means “joint inflammation” and there are over 100 types including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Inflammation is one of the body’s natural reactions to disease or injury, and includes swelling, pain and stiffness. Prolonged, chronic, inflammation can lead to tissue damage.

Where two or more bones come together, such as the knee or hip they are covered with a smooth, spongy material called articular cartilage.  This cartilage cushions the bones and allows the joint to move, as it has no nerve supply, without pain. The joint is encapsulated by a thin film of tissue called the synovium and the synovium lining produces a slippery fluid called synovial fluid that reduces friction, acts as a shock absorber, nourishes the joint (supplies oxygen and nutrients) and allows the body’s waste management system to remove carbon dioxide and metabolic waste from the chondrocytes within the surrounding cartilage . The articulating bones are stabilised and held together by strong bands of tissue, called ligaments. Muscles and tendons also support the joints enabling movement.

With arthritis, an area in or around a joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, stiffness and, sometimes, difficulty moving. Some types of arthritis also affect other parts of the body, such as the skin and internal organs.

About Qigong

Qigong can help in the relief of arthritis pain.

Although the exercises that are now termed Qigong are estimated to be at least 5,000 years old, Qigong is a relatively new term to describe them (first used in the early 20th Century).  The type of Qigong that this article relates to is health giving, beneficial to Mind, Body and Spirit. Qigong combines graceful, flowing, movements with focus and breathing to increase and balance your vital energy (in Qigong speak this is the Mind – the Yi guiding the Qi). In “Active Qigong” there is movement of the body that gently utilize the full range of motion in your joints. Because Qigong is low-impact it has minimal impact on your joints and can be performed by almost anyone and although it is normally practiced in a standing position many of the exercises can be adapted for a seated posture.

There are numerous studies for the effect of Qigong on arthritis.  Here are a couple: –

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3200004/?tool=pubmed
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19389743

Benefits of Qigong

Qigong can be done while moving, lying down, sitting or standing, making it an ideal exercise for arthritis patients. With part of the focus being on correct posture, Qigong reduces the load/strain on joints.  Incorrect posture can lead to injuries and joint strain and blocks Qi flow.  The relaxed, deep, abdominal breathing increases oxygenation, benefits the cellular processes and can reduce stress and tension.  Not all Qigong is beneficial for arthritis so it is best to talk to an experienced qigong instructor about which exercises are right for you.

Here is one example of a simple Qigong exercise that can help.

This is good for regulating the breathing allowing the lowering of the breathing rate.  It is also good for maintaining the balance of the blood pressure, it strengthens the function of the Kidney meridian, calms the nerves (Shen), and it has a therapeutic action in the alleviation of arthritis.

Commencement:

Standing with the feet shoulder width apart, the knees unlocked (very slightly bent), the feet parallel, the shoulders relaxed and the tailbone (coccyx) tucked under.  Breathing should be relaxed, through the nose and into the abdomen (deep abdominal breathing using the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm).  The breath should be silent (with no tension in the throat) and the tip of the tongue should rest against the palate.
The movement should follow the pace of respiration…………. If you breath fast you move fast, breathe slow you move slow.  As you become more familiar with the movement you will notice that you start to relax more and your respiration slows down.  This bio-feedback will continue until your movement and breath are harmonious, relaxed and slow.

  1. Inhalation – With the palms facing downward, slowly raise the arms so that the hands are slightly higher than the shoulders, and extend the fingers.
  2. Exhalation – Keeping the spine erect, simultaneously lower the hands gently to waist level with the palms facing downward whilst bending the knees.  When bending the knees, the movement should not be excessive, and the knees should not extend beyond the toes (i.e. when looking down, with the back erect, you should just be able to see your toes).

N.B.  Make sure that the shoulders are relaxed and that the elbows are pointed down, with a “rounded” rather than angular feel/look to the arms.  There should be a harmonious co-ordination between the raising and lowering of the arms and stance.

This is the first of the Shibashi Qigong exercises and would normally be repeated six times if it was being done as part of the full Shibashi set.  However, as a solo exercise it can be repeated to your own comfortable limit……………… Take your time to build this up.

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