Pronounced Chee Gung, Qigong is the age-old Chinese practice of bolstering health by means of methodical breathing. The basics are easy to learn.
Qigong instructors tell their new students to take a deep breath before starting class. Many of these instructors have observed that their students’ shoulders rise and their chests puff out. Some start to feel dizzy and some begin to cough.
When their shoulders and chests rise, the students are observed to be taking inefficient breaths. The human lungs are extremely complicated and people need to initially work on breathing downwards so that their lungs will be properly filled.
The important thing is to sit or stand straight. As you breathe in, put your hands over your stomach and focus on pulling your breath down so that your abdomen pushes slightly outwards. This will make sure that your lungs are being fully filled with air.
What’s so important about this?
Imagine that you’re planning to climb several flights of stairs, and so you may require x amount of oxygen to have the energy and sustain it to reach the top without collapsing. If you just breathe into the top 50 percent of your lungs, you may then need a hundred breaths to reach the top.
However, if you’re using the entire capacity of your lungs, you may then need just fifty breaths to supply your lungs and muscles with the same amount of oxygen.
This is important in the sense that if you breathe properly, your heart has to only work half as hard to get you up the stairs. You’ll not be as exhausted as when using the top half of your lungs to breathe, since half of your effort goes to pumping sufficient amounts of oxygen throughout your system.
Therefore, your heart is spared the stress of normal breathing, you only work half as hard, and you reach the top without gasping for breath and sweating like a pig.
If you practice Qigong breathing every day, you’ll spend significantly less energy on breathing leaving you with a lot more spare energy to enjoy your day.
The important thing is to realize when you’re starting to puff, pause for a moment from whatever it is you’re doing and begin doing those deep and slow Qigong breaths. It’s extremely important to relax when you become stressed and start to breathe rapidly.
Just remember, pause and take a few deep breaths when you feel stressed out and after a little while, you’ll see that everything will be okay. Feed your brain with enough oxygen and you’ll be able to think more clearly. I mentioned at the beginning of this article that some people get dizzy.
This occurs when your breath is too shallow and too fast. When you make Qigong breathing a natural habit, you will never feel any dizziness. This type of breathing will remove the carbon dioxide from your blood stream and constantly feed oxygen to your brain.
Christina Prieto, AP
1617 Hillcrest St
Orlando, FL 32803