By: Dr. Spence Pentland (Vancouver Fertility Acupuncturist)
Today Qigong is most often referred to as any set of breathing and Qi circulation techniques that are capable of improving health, preventing illness, and strengthening the body. Qigong is slow meditative exercise for the body, the breath, and the mind.
‘Qi’ is the vital force behind everything, everything is ‘Qi’ at differing densities; quoting Einstein, “matter = energy times the speed of light squared”. ‘Gong’ is cultivation, effect, attainment. Qigong can be translated as ‘cultivation of vital force’. It regulates the balance of Yin Yang energy returning the body to a balanced, normal physiological state.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the human body is treated as an integral system of interrelated networks with different physiological functions. This integral system uses the energy pathways to link the organs and other human systems into a unified whole, making the communication and interaction between parts of the body possible. The energy that flows in the energy pathways is called Qi. It extends internally to the organs and externally throughout the body, completing and interrelated system of networks.
Traditional Chinese Medical Qigong is a compilation of effective preventative, healing, and strengthening exercises derived from a long history of the Chinese peoples experience with nature and living in harmony with it.
Qigong is studied not merely for the health and strength of the body, but as an attempt to understand human nature and its interactions with the environment and the universe as a whole. Realizing that humans are part of nature, any attempt to understand human physiology inevitably involves the study of wholism.
From commoners to scientists, martial artists to government officials. Qigong studies span the masses of the Chinese population.
Supporting Research into the Health Benefits of Qigong
Qi Gong is a practice which combines relaxing movement, breathing and visualization. It is a tool to make Qi circulate in order to preserve one’s health, cure diseases and prolong life. The consistent practice has been shown to foster development of a profound inner calmness and non-reactivity of the mind, allowing individuals to face, and even embrace, all aspects of daily life, regardless of circumstances.
Science has proven the complementary healing effects of Qigong in medical science. Qigong can relieve chronic pain (including low back), reduce tension, increase activities of our immune system (even at the genetic level), improve heart health, mediates neuroendocrine responses, improve eyesight, and influence blood flow & biochemistry. There is also proof of its positive effects on depression, and stabilization of the autonomic nervous system and the emotional state. It induces a state of relaxation via the induction of alpha brain waves and the release of serotonin. Jang & Lee randomized study put forth Qigong as an effective complementary therapy for managing the symptoms of PMS. It has also been concluded that visualization was an effective intervention for long-term smoking cessation and abstinence in adult smokers. The Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, Harvard Medical School, study of the ‘Use of mind-body medical therapies’ stated that ‘much opportunity exists to increase use of mind-body therapies for indications with demonstrated efficacy’.
The cultivation or preservation of ones health through the complimentary practice of Qigong plays an integral part in any persons path to wellness and the accomplishment of their goals. Join a class, read a book, buy a video.
Dr. Spence Pentland is a board licensed Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and certified Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Since 2004 Spence has focused exclusively on the treatment of reproductive disorders in both men and women in Vancouver Canada. To book an appointment or for a free 15 minute phone consultation visit DrSpencePentland.com (Vancouver fertility acupuncture). He and his wife are also ‘bringing sexy back to baby-making’ with their new line of ‘fertility friendly’ men’s underwear!