Qigong (pronounced chee-kong or chee-kung) is a mind/body practice that works to harmonize the body, breath, mind, energy, and spirit, which are the building blocks of our being. The study of Qigong teaches us how to enjoy and actively participate in our journey towards better health. Qigong involves the practice of mind/body techniques using different postures: lying, sitting, standing still, moving slowly (Tai Chi), and moving quickly (Kung Fu). Mind/body methods and techniques include stretching, strengthening, increasing the range of motion in the joints, learning how to use the body in the most effortless way possible, lengthening the spine, increasing lung capacity, and massaging the organs through movement. Techniques such as visualization may be used to improve relaxation, increase concentration, and utilize the mind and spirit as healing tools to achieve a higher quality of life. Preliminary studies suggest that Qigong can improve certain aspects of the immune system and can increase functioning of the human body.
Potential Benefits of Qigong for Individuals with Cancer
Qigong can help both the side effects of cancer and its treatments. Reducing blood pressure and heart rate are the first improvements that practicing deep levels of relaxation result in but, over time, inflammation and chronic pain may also be reduced. The gentle stretching, deep breathing and various meditations of Qigong strive, not only to exercise the body but, also to evoke the spirit and try to balance the energetic system. This leads to a higher quality of day-to-day living. Fine-tuning the body, breath, mind, energy and spirit empowers individuals with mind/body tools.
A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi – (PMC) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085832/
A Randomized Trial of Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia – http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0912611
Scientific Papers – http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/papers.php