The Power of Qi and Your Health
The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact and change the way we work, live and socialize with others. As we cannot return to our old way of life, perhaps it’s time to accept and adapt to a new way of living. Fostering a stronger mind-body-spirit connection is a great place to start.
Listening to Our Bodies
The human body generally knows what it needs to feel better. Sometimes it’s sunshine, other times it’s rest. Or we may just be hungry. While sweets and snacks can ease immediate hunger pangs, they don’t do much to improve overall health and longevity.
The Godfather of Fitness
Around the turn of the century, a young teenager named Jack LaLanne was eating himself sick. His mom realized she had to do something quick, so she took him to a lecture by Paul Bragg, who was an advocate for healthy food and fitness. Jack LaLanne said a prayer the night after the lecture and asked God to give him the strength to stay away from junk food, as he believed it was killing him.
That prayer was a turning point. LaLanne studied the human body and became a fitness buff. In time, he became an Olympic athlete, started a fitness studio, became a chiropractor, invented equipment to exercise specific muscles of the body, and ultimately had a national TV show which encouraged people to “Get off your seat and on to your feet.”
He was the first to comprehend the value of juicing together raw fruits and vegetables and considered it to be a “fountain of youth.” Powered by a combination of healthy food and exercise, Jack LaLanne performed amazing athletic feats for many years and lived to the ripe old age of 96.
Going Back to the Farm
Farmers have always understood the importance of eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Meat, too, was procured from animals on the farm.
Diets were much less complex than they are now. Today, many of us eat processed foods that don’t provide the nutrients we need to be healthy.
“If you can’t pronounce the names of the ingredients (in food), don’t eat it.” – J. Michael Zenn, “The Self Health Revolution”
Eating a lot of fresh greens, especially vegetables and fruit, is a great way to improve overall health. I started juicing together fruits, nuts, vegetables and herbs in June. I can honestly say I feel better: my eyesight has improved; I have more stamina, and I feel stronger than I did a few short months ago.
Eating the right food is important, but it’s only part of the good health equation. Exercising outdoors offers benefits too, as does meditation, deep breathing, and energy activation.
Life Force Energy
Every living being has “life force” energy. In Chinese culture that energy is called qi or chi (pronounced chee). By keeping our qi balanced, we can maintain good health, which makes it harder for sickness to take root.
The easiest way to understand what qi feels like is to create an energy ball between your hands. Place your hands in front of you at the sternum level with palms facing each other but not touching. Slowly pull your hands apart while inhaling. Slowly push your hands together while exhaling. After a short while you should feel energy moving back and forth between your hands as your hands get closer together. For a video demonstration check out Qi Gong Energy Ball Training for Beginners.
There are other ways to experience qi energy activation as well. Acupuncture is one way to release qi and clear energy flow blockages, as energy blockages are believed to be a contributing factor to illness. Another method of moving energy is through a process I call “waking up the body.” Still another method is learning how to recognize and control qi energy through Qigong, which is a form of meditative practice.
“Developing your chi can be a way to heal your body – both physically and mentally – as well as a path to reaching your full potential.” – https://www.wikihow.com/Develop-Your-Chi
Rebalancing the Yin and Yang Flow Through Acupuncture and Other Practices
Acupuncture practitioners, according to the Mayo Clinic, are able to re-balance energy flow (qi) by inserting needles along specific pathways (meridians), which unblocks the qi so it can move again. There are more than 2,000 acupuncture points connecting these pathways. When the energy is balanced and flowing, we experience a marked improvement in overall health.
For those who don’t like needles, there is a more direct approach to activating qi energy. By tapping the body in a pattern you can create and encourage energy flow. Qigong Tapping for Beginners, is a great video that offers a step-by-step method to energize the body.
Another video, Qi Gong by Ksney, offers easy-to-follow instructions combining body tapping and breath work to activate qi energy.
Moving Qi to Address Pain
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to attend to a body ache but you were not in a place to do so (such as a church or meeting room)? By learning to work with qi energy in your body, you can address pain points without moving at all.
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in seated QiGong meditation practice weekly over the course of a year. While it is challenging to stay seated in a specific position without moving for one hour, we learned how much influence the mind has over the body. Through micro-movements of the body, we were able to address the pain of holding the position, without actually moving at all. Additionally, we learned how to move qi around the body, which was as fascinating as it was helpful. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the audio QiGong meditation I have, please contact me by email, and I will make it available to you.
Life may never be the same as it once was. And while the impact of the virus should fade over time, our best defense is to be as healthy as we can be to fight off the potential for infection. By incorporating healthy eating habits, getting outside for a good dose of sunshine, activating our qi and exercising to the extent we can, we can feel better and make it more difficult for illness to get a head start.