Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivated energy. It comes from two Chinese words: qi which is the life force or vital energy that flows through all things; and gong meaning a skill or accomplishment mastered through practice.
The practice of Qigong is the alignment of breath, movement, and awareness. It involves posture, breathing techniques and mental focus.
The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It’s also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.
When our digestive system is weak, fuel doesn’t get transformed into energy. When it is strong, the food we eat is immediately transformed into energy instead of being stored as fat, causing weight gain, and imbalance.
Through deep breathing exercises, activating the body’s internal energy, muscle conditioning and flowing movements, Qigong will help you lose weight and feel balanced.
Here are some simple exercises to wake up your metabolism before a meal.
2 Minutes Before You Eat
Breathe deeply. Start with deep abdominal breathing. Bring both hands over the lower abdomen. Take a few long, slow, deep breaths. Feel the abdomen expand on the inhale, and relax on the exhale.
Next, practice ‘Fanning the Fire’. This is a faster breathing exercise to charge up the metabolism. First, focus on your exhale and squeeze all the air out, bringing the abdomen toward the spine. Don’t worry about inhaling, it will happen by itself. Continue this pattern of breathing, but speed up the pace. Do this exercise as quickly as you comfortably can for best results. It takes practice, so start slowly and enjoy.
2 Minutes After You Eat
After eating, the stomach needs energy and circulation to process and digest your meal. We eat for energy. When your organs are strong and healthy, they will absorb more energy from the food you eat. After you eat, try a simple Qigong massage to help the process of digestion.
- Bring both hands over the left side of your rib cage. This is where the stomach is located.
- Circle your hands over this area about 50 to 100 times.
In Qigong, they say this exercise is excellent for digestive health, and is said to increase longevity.