How gentle and dynamic Qigong can help Dementia patients
Qigong offers a range of health benefits that are well-known to those who practiced. But fewer people knew the way of Qigong where it is used to help dementia – both as a preventative measure and as a means of slowing down or managing this condition.
Qigong works on the mind-body – breath-spirit, specific exercises increase the flow of blood to the brain. Each repetition of the exercises works to strengthen neural pathways to improve memory, learning, and reflexes. As the circuit of mind and body are recharged and refreshed, stress diminishes, and an increasing sense of well-being streams in to take its place, resulting in more vitality and health.
In an article, February 2011 edition of the Journal of Dementia Care entitled ‘The effects of Qigong exercise classes on people with dementia, researchers found that qigong can help maintain and improve bilateral coordination, proprioception (body awareness,) the ability to focus, and our relationship to our environment. And it was also noted that self-confidence and social skills were enhanced.
WHITE TIGER QIGONG A 2000-YEAR-OLD DAOIST MEDICAL QIGONG.
An ancient Daoist practice for spirit, body, and breath with a scientific focus, based on the principles of nature. Gently bringing the body back to natural balance. White Tiger Medical Qigong Dynamics for Dementia is a mix of repetitive dynamics but with gentle Qigong movements that help maintain and improve bilateral coordination, balance, concentration and reduce the high levels of anxiety. People that present with this condition can take advantage of these exercises. Both lobes of the brain can be stimulated equally by alternating both the left and right movements. Repeated movements can renew or reinforce the connections between the mind and body in addition to conscious breathing techniques. Many clinical studies have shown the effectiveness of slow deep abdominal breathing to reduce stress, which can affect the part of the brain that governs memory and learning.
From a Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective
A primary cause of dementia is kidney deficiency. Dementia can also be seen as a deficiency of energy, mainly from the kidney, heart, and spleen but more especially from the kidney system. The kidney/adrenals store fear. Scientific research has confirmed that fear and stress can weaken memory. Kidney essence produces marrow including cerebral marrow. The cerebral marrow nourishes the brain. If the marrow becomes deficient the brain and spinal cord do too. Qigong is vital to assist the normal flow of blood. It is said, “Where the Qi goes the Blood flows.”
PRESCRIPTION: White Tiger Qigong has a range of exercises that will bring many benefits. The following exercises will help increasing circulation to the brain, releasing and opening the neck allowing good blood flow /qi flow to the brain, and more. 20 weeks, 2 classes per week, each class of 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Shaking 5 mins.
- Heavenly Pillar A (Look Up and Down.)
- Increasing circulation to the brain, and relieving neck pain. To release and open the neck allowing good blood/ qi flow to the brain.
- Activating major acupuncture meridians, helping the qi to flow through those vessels.
Wrist and Ankle Flossing – Warms up the joints and untangles nerves. Balancing on alternate legs helps with balance, and activates the opposite sides of the brain. Activating the meridians, helping the qi to flow through those vessels.
Waking up the body, practicing this form slowly and very mindfully. This ancient practice is most rejuvenating and invaluable to balance as well as releasing toxic emotions, and all the while improving mental and physical health. Expelling toxins from the body brings clarity to the mind. Engages and strengthens the ankles. This opens the organs especially the heart and lungs as a result of expelling toxins from the body brings clarity to the spirit and mind. Engages and strengthens the ankles by compressing and squeezing the organs toxins are released and aids the function of the lungs as the rib cage expands
This movement is vital for this condition for its ability to nourish the spirit /brain, as the action of the wave pumps the cerebral spinal fluid up the spine to nourish the brain feeding the brain to revitalize brain health – promotes clear thinking and sound decision making. Most people hold their body in a continual state of tension, which in turn creates spinal misalignments, as a result, they can lose the Cerebral Spinal Fluid pumping mechanism, meaning nutrients are not delivered to the brain in the right quantity and quality. A poor spine-brain connection has been the cause of the average brain beginning to atrophy (shrink and deteriorate) by the age of 25. Simultaneously massaging the kidneys, spleen, and liver while squeezing out the toxins, and bringing fresh blood to nourish the organs, and at the same time creating a supple spine.
Loosens the spine and hips through the gentle lower back motion. Making sure the movement is done fairly slowly and mindfully loosens the neck through the full neck rotation, opening the energy pathways to the brain. Loosens and opens up the shoulders, wrist, and elbow joints. Opens the chest, and stretches the intercostal muscles and rib cage. It exercises and compresses the organs, bringing fresh qi / and blood to nourish them squeezing and wringing out toxins.
Working the kidneys to squeeze and release the fear and toxins. wringing out the kidneys. (maximum twist to the torso and rooting into the ground with your feet) The Kidneys are the residence of courage, and when out of balance can hold fear, when this meridian is not flowing as it should the result can be feelings of fearfulness and sometimes even paranoia. Kidney essence produces marrow, including cerebral marrow, this marrow nourishes the brain. If the Kidney energy is deficient, this can lead to headache, dizziness, and delayed response. Nourishing the Kidney system is the key to longevity. In addition to these exercises, White Tiger Qigong has many meditation/breathing techniques such as White Tiger Breath, that can bring benefit by releasing the stress hormones to calm and clear the mind and enhance emotional wellbeing. Sharpens memory and recall. Restores & Increases Energy Levels and much more.
4 GATE BREATHING – Clearing the meridians (energy pathways) of any blockages.
- Heavenly upholding the palm and Holding the moon.
- Filling with a violet energy meditation,
- Filling the kidneys with blue-black energy-releasing fear and bringing in courage. Packing the pink pearl. Settling the Qi in the Lower Dantian and calming the mind.
- After the closing, drinking a cup of Tevia’s Organic Pu-erh Tea, helping bring connection between the students and more importantly for its full oxidative properties, to deliver increased levels of oxygen, which enhances circulation and blood flow. By delivering more oxygen to the brain, Pu-erh tea can help to reduce free radicals that can cause serious illnesses.
- In traditional Chinese herbalism, pu-erh tea is considered to open the meridians, the energy pathways, and be beneficial to ‘blood cleansing’ and digestion. Some studies have shown that pu-erh may lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and increase metabolism. In my opinion, Tevia’s pu-erh tea is the best you can buy.
CONCLUSION – Regular classes are designed to improve cognitive function and rewire neural pathways, increase physical mobility, work to reduce high anxiety levels. It will increase overall health, vitality and provide a safe and sociable environment.