Qigong is an ancient Chinese healing art that assists in regulating the flow of energy, or qi, within the body. It also offers health benefits for the mind and spirit. Regular qigong helps to regulate the chakras and meridians so that your life force energy is kept fresh, clean and flowing optimally. This balance can help to heal or prevent disease at its source: at the energetic level.
While qigong has many styles and forms, you don’t have to study for years or be an expert to reap its benefits. The following two qigong exercises take around 10 minutes to complete, and they can have a profound effect on your quality of life.
The Liver Cleanse
Start by visualizing a tree or large bush that needs some good energy; you will be sending your spent/stale liver qi to it. Just as trees drink in our CO2, they also love our spent qi and take it in as nourishment. You can do this exercise outdoors in front of the tree or bush, but it’s not required; simply intending to help it will work as well. (Do not send your spent chi to smaller plants, as it can be too much for them. Also, take care not to do this exercise too close to other people, pets or plants.)
- From a standing position, extend your right toe slightly upward toward an opened exterior door or window, heel on the ground.
- Draw your arms upward from your sides slowly and draw in fresh qi from all around you.
- Form a ball of chi over your head, then press it downward in front of you to your chest area.
- At your chest, move the ball of energy to the right, over your liver meridian; press the chi downward through your liver area, down the inside of your right leg, and completely off your right toe, into the image of the tree or bush you’re visualizing.
- Repeat this cleansing process nine times.
Follow the liver cleanse by cupping your hands into a funnel shape over your lower dantian, an energy center located about four inches below your navel near your spine. Intend for fresh, nourishing qi from all around you to flow into this center, recharging it. The lower dantian is like your body’s battery pack, and pulling in fresh qi helps to charge it up, giving you more life force energy for your day. (This is a wonderful exercise to do in a park setting or in front of a body of water, but again, it’s not requred; fresh qi can be drawn in from anywhere using your intention.)
Hold this position for several minutes, feeling the qi stream in, until you feel recharged. You will likely feel a warmth near your lower dantian as the fresh qi flows in; consider holding this pose until you feel the flow of warmth subside, as this will indicate your lower dantian is has drawn in what it needs at this time.
These two foundational qigong exercises can give you increased energy and well being throughout your day. They are well worth the 10 minutes they take to complete; why not try them for a few days and see what happens?