Qigong for Flexibility and Improved Mobility
Sep 02, 2019 07:46PM
● By Janet Lindsay
by S. Yevette Sutter, RN, CCT
Flexibility and mobility—what’s the difference? Flexibility measures ROM distance, while mobility measures dynamic ROM strength and control. Qigong exercise and meditation is a unified process dedicated to creating balance, strength, agility and grace to ensure both vitality and healthy aging. Anyone, no matter their stage of life or physical condition, can practice Qigong.
The dynamic movements of Qigong can achieve what no other medicine can—help your body, mind and spirit to connect and function in harmony. This reawakens and strengthens your body’s innate healing abilities. Qigong offers immediate gratification without the impact of an aerobics routine, and it offers the benefits of running or weight training without the risks.
Flexibility training is not a matter of intensity, but a matter of frequency. A correct and consistent practice of Qigong can improve your self-awareness, focus, strength, bone health, balance and proprioception. As your body responds to the demands that you most frequently put upon it, you will experience the most benefits through a regular, diverse and moderate flexibility training. The movements of Qigong promote eccentric muscle contractions that occur while the muscle is actively lengthening.
These eccentric contractions can help to increase flexibility and connective tissues strength more than classic stretches or the passive stretches found in some yoga practices. Flexibility is also influenced by how the body moves and functions most of the time. For instance, if you spend your time hunched over a desk, the nervous system and postural muscles will adapt to make it easier for the body to assume this habitual position. As a result, you will be less able to access, initiate and control other expressions of movement.
There are flexibility benefits from Qigong mindfulness too. As mindful movement increases your capacity to focus on and respect your current bodily experience, instead of just pushing through it, mindful movement can develop your self-awareness. Qigong places emphasis on improving your most vital function—the breath. Mindful breathing is the link between your consciousness and autonomic nervous system which regulates your stress and relaxation responses. Mindful breathing is a form of neurological conditioning. When you partner mindful breathing with flexibility training, you communicate with and retrain your nervous system which will bring a sense of calm and safety, while reducing stress and muscle tension.
Qigong is one of the most powerful prescriptions a Traditional Chinese Medical doctor can use because it works directly on the body’s energy system. Thousands of Asian studies confirm the success of Qigong. In addition, forward thinking American businesses, especially in high-stress technology areas like Silicon Valley, incorporate Qigong exercise breaks as a daily routine to increase productivity and success.
So what can Qigong offer you? This practice will improve circulation, posture, flexibility, balance and strength; prevent or reduce falling injuries in the elderly; relieve chronic pain from injuries, surgery, arthritis and fibromyalgia; balance brain chemistry and reduce anxiety, obsessive compulsive symptoms or depression; and accelerate elimination of toxins and wastes for natural detoxification. Qigong is truly a system for a lifetime which is the reason so many people over 60 in China practice Qigong. The effects can be powerful, but the routines themselves are gentle. Qigong can certainly improve the quality of life of everyone who practices it.
Sandhill Healing Center and Sandhill Medical Thermography is an integrative clinic that combines Western conventional medicine with Eastern therapies. The center is located at 24901 Sandhill Blvd., Suite 8, Port Charlotte. For more information on the innovative modalities offered and to schedule an appointment or inquire about our Beginner’s Qigong classes, call 941-235-8929.