Qigong is a traditional health care system that combines physical postures, focused intention and proper breathing. Similar to other health care systems, it is not an all-cure system (panacea) but it is surely a very effective health practice. Many health professionals suggest Qigong as a vital form of holistic health practice.
Importance of Good Breathing Techniques
Numerous important physiological processes are triggered when we focus our attention to our breath. Doing so will significantly increase the air volume inspired. When the breathing rate, air volume and attention level are changed, dramatic changes can happen on the emotional and physiological aspect of the person.
Our breath is our main source of oxygen of the body and the key player in energy production. Relaxed full breathing promotes homeostasis or balances to the autonomic nervous system. If you consider the principles of the ancient traditions, good breathing techniques are vital for health.
Think about it, why would they keep on employing these techniques if they were not effective? Inspiration (‘breathing in’) is the force that pushes one to move forward in life, the rush when we are taken by spiritual energy and the divine influence that brings vitality and creativity. Breath is the link to the vital ‘cure’ that is within us. This almost unconscious action – that is, breathing – is simple yet holds a profound healing capability.
Using Proper Breathing Techniques in Qigong
Correct breathing technique is very vital in all Qigong exercises. Watch this video on how healthy breathing can reduce stress.
The way you breathe will have a great effect on how you feel. More than that, it can have a huge impact on your health. Heavy breathing won’t be helpful as this can lead to hyperventilation, especially for those with anxiety or panic attacks. Another reason for employing breathing techniques is because of the theory that Qigong can help in the flow of Qi along the meridians of the body. When the flow of Qi is enhanced with proper breathing techniques , you can enjoy significant improvements in almost all areas of your health.
Another interesting benefits of deep breathing techniques through Qigong is that one can create a stronger connection to its spiritual world through proper breathing. It is because the breath is believed to link the natural to the spiritual world. And, Qi flow is enhanced with better breathing which can contribute to prevention of body illnesses.
When using breathing exercises for qigong, the focus is placed on abdominal breathing. The air is inhaled via nose deeply and gently while letting the mind relax as the lungs are filled with air and the lower abdomen slowly becomes inflated. Each breath should be low, deep, slow and regular. To lessen stress or correct your breathing, you have to make an effort to breathe from your abdomen.
The best way to breath in qigong is:
1. When inhaling, let your lower abdomen rise with air before the lungs.
2. Exhale by contracting your abdomen so it goes down into your body.
When doing qigong movements, you will have to place emphasis not only on breathing from the abdomen but in ensuring that your breathing follows the slow movement of Qigong practice. Such method makes sure that your body achieve balance between the carbon dioxide expelled and the oxygen inhaled. In addition, this can ease your heart’s function because slow, deep breaths promote better circulation by dilating the blood vessels.
In addition, proper qigong breathing techniques promote optimal lymphatic health. Our bodies rely on strong lymphatic system for body detoxification. In tai chi and qigong, the lungs are considered as the core of lymphatic system. Qigong has numerous physiological effects such as improving our focus and concentration, lowering stress levels, releasing repressed emotions and alleviating negative emotions. It is also an easy to learn and gentle exercise that is suitable for all ages.
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