Qigong is a traditional Chinese exercise that translates to cultivated energy. Its origin is from two Chinese words: Qi which means vital flowing energy or simply put life force and Gong which means a mastered practice. The practice of qigong exercises for weight loss involves breathing techniques, mental focus, and posture.
How Qigong Exercises For Weight Loss Affects Body Weight
Qigong exercises activate the body’s internal energy through deep breathing exercises, stretching, flowing movements, and muscle conditioning. This process not only improves the body balance, but also helps it lose weight.
When the body’s digestive system becomes weak it starts to store whatever we consume as fat instead of converting it into energy. This fat is what causes weight gain and body imbalance.
The rhythmic and gentle movements of qigong have been found to enhance the immune system, and improve circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and lymphatic functions. Qigong is reported to work differently than regular exercises. Hence, these movements help the body to cultivate and balance its internal energy.
What Types of Exercises Do You Need?
The following sets of exercises can be performed in different positions before or after having a meal. They positively improve the functions of the body’s digestive system and ensure whatever is consumed is converted into energy.
There are three main techniques to effectively practice these exercises. These techniques are:
- Posture: This differs according to the qigong routine. Each posture has a different effect on the body.
- Mental focus: This requires you to keep your body and mind free enough to enter the qigong’s meditative state.
- Breathing: This stage is where the actual exercise is performed. It requires concentration to be properly done.
Warm-up Exercise Letting Go or Shaking Qigong
It is recommended to warm the body up using some quick and soft exercises before you start your qigong practice. Your warm-up session can be as little as two minutes or as much as ten minutes. These exercises generally include jogging or light skipping. These movements help to loosen the body and muscles. You can also try this simple qigong warm-up exercise.
- Start by gently jumping off the ground. Lightly shake or bounce the body
- Maintain this repetitive movement for at least 10 minutes
- Once this is done, stop and hold a Qi ball between your palms. Breathe in to expand the ball and out to compress the ball.
- Allow your hands to settle to the side as soon as you are done practicing this move
This warm-up exercise is simple and packed with benefits. They are easier to perform for people with injuries or weak bones. They also shake up and warm the body up both internally and externally.
Tun Shi Hu—Tiger Swallows Its Food
This exercise involves the entire body and as such helps with full-body weight loss.
- Step out with your left leg, while bringing the left arm up simultaneously. Rotate the left arm to turn downwards and align with your shoulders.
- Keep your top arm level
- Twist to your left and keep your eyes on your back foot
- Clench your teeth and make a strong hissing sound until you feel your Dan Tian completely empty
- Extend your tongue through your lips three times to lick. Swallow the saliva (Golden Elixir) and then move to the right side.
- Breathe in, step out and slowly turn
- Breathe out and hiss.
- Feel the energy coming out when you hiss. Focus this energy down.
- Imagine eating and acting as if you were chewing down on something. Then swallow it.
- According to Chinese Medical Qigong, biting down on the teeth brings great benefits to the bones and the kidney.
- Saliva production and swallowing boost enzyme production which aids digestion and improves kidney function.
- The whole body is involved in the rotational movements of this exercise. It works out all the muscles in the body where fat is stored.
This exercise improves digestion and helps the body to break down food quickly. It also helps to propel waste expulsion. The energy cultivated during this exercise is evenly distributed around the body to prevent unwanted weight gain and also trim down excess fat.
When Should You Practice These Exercises?
Qigong exercises are powerful movements that strengthen and stimulate digestion. These exercises not only improve quick digestion, but they also stimulate the liver, kidney, and spleen through pressure exercises. This means they can expel the harmful toxins from the body and absorb fresh nutrients.
These exercises should be practiced two minutes before each meal and two minutes after each meal. These breathing exercises, when done correctly, improve the body’s metabolism and strengthen the digestive system. They also help the body manage excess feeding and cravings better by getting rid of imbalances.
What Are the Benefits of Qigong Exercises?
Qigong exercises primarily work to get rid of sicknesses and discomfort in the body that arises as a result of energy imbalance in the body. There are several benefits to practicing qigong exercises for weight loss that include:
- Qigong’s rhythmic movements focus on stretching the muscles and joints of the body gently. These movements increase the flow of energy and blood to all parts of the body.
- Qigong exercises relieve stress and can effectively improve mental and emotional health and improve overall body balance.
- Qigong’s breathing exercises strengthen and improve the functions of the body’s internal organs.
These benefits are just some of the numerous effects of practicing qigong exercises, especially at the early stages. The more you become aware of your body and master the techniques, the better you feel the effects of qigong exercises. A joint study by researchers from the University of Washington and Bastyr University further confirmed the effects of specific qigong exercises on weight loss.
Deep breathing in qigong exercises for weight loss is extremely important. Each breath should be slow, deep, relaxed, and should originate from the diaphragm. This type of breathing technique has a balancing, lasting and calming effect on the mind. When done correctly, they improve the body’s overall health and increase the free flow of energy.
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