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Are Qigong Exercises a Form of Biohacking? 

Category: Date: 25 November 2022 Comments: 0

Biohacking your lifestyle can create an array of desirable benefits. By using biohacking, you maximize your physical and mental well-being. This helps in taking control of your athletic and cognitive performance. Biohacking has the potential to stack the deck in your favor to live a healthy, productive, and meaningful life.  

Though the term ‘biohacking’ only made its debut in 1988, the concept of consciously tapping into our biological potential is far from new. Qigong is mindful movement practice of classical Chinese medicine. It has been proven as an effective tool for optimal human health, performance, and longevity for the last 5,000 years. 

The Connection Between Qigong and Biohacking

Long before wearable fitness trackers and injectable microchips, the creators of classical Chinese medicine formed the concept of Qi (often translated as “life energy”) to promote physical and psychological balance and advancement. Early scientists in their own right, these ancient masters recognized many biohacks that modern research is now confirming, from the benefits of conscious breathing to the value of developing and maintaining functional mobility through multi-planar movements and a consistent exercise routine. What we now call flow states was what the early Qigong masters referred to as systemic harmony — a state in which Qi flows unobstructed throughout the body’s meridian system.         

What are Meridians? 

From earthing to rewilding, lifestyle biohackers emphasize reconnecting with the innate relationship humans have with nature. The ancient physicians of classical Chinese medicine did the exact same thing when they developed meridian theory, guided by the simple philosophical principle that humans and nature are inextricably linked. They observed that, just as rivers and streams flow through the landscape to provide nourishment and life energy to all living things, so too the human body — a microcosm of nature — has a network of channels (called jing luo) that circulate life-giving blood and Qi. 

Classical Chinese medicine describes both the tangible (yin) and intangible (yang) aspects of nature and the human body. Tangibly, meridians are a representation of the blood vessels that nourish our cells and eliminate cellular waste. Intangibly, meridians are a representation of the channels that deliver life energy. This life energy is needed by every organ and cell of the body to kindle optimal human health and vitality. When the flow of Qi becomes stagnant, excessive, or depleted, our physical and mental well-being can suffer. The aim of classical Chinese Medicine and Medical Qigong is to reclaim the free flow of Qi. Through this, we reach the highest potential for health and vitality. This is done through targeted treatments and exercises based on the individual’s needs.

How does Medical Qigong Activate Meridians?

In simple terms, Medical Qigong is a self-healing art that activates the meridians and promotes the free flow of Qi through the modality of meditative movement. Unlike other forms of exercise, the meditative movement stimulates your body’s regenerative (parasympathetic) response.  While doing so, helps in aligning your heartbeat and rate of respiration. Alongside making your blood circulation more efficient, the mindful movements of Medical Qigong can elevate your interoceptive awareness. Interoceptive awareness, which describes your nervous system’s dynamic inner mapping of your body, is associated with the ability to maintain homeostatic bodily functioning and improve mental well-being and mood regulation.

An original form of mobility training, Medical Qigong further activates the body’s meridians by moving the body’s muscles and joints in all directions and through their full ranges of motion. Medical Qigong also shares many of the same benefits associated with other forms of exercise. This includes stress reduction; improved sleep; better digestion; and increased musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and neurological fitness. 

An excellent ally for stress reduction, Medical Qigong has been shown to significantly lower stress-related biomarkers (cortisol, catecholamines) and symptoms of anxiety and depression. And as a well-developed mindfulness practice that incorporates movement, Medical Qigong offers many of the unique benefits that mindfulness brings, including improved postural awareness and habits and increased cognitive flexibility.  

A man practicing qigong by the beach  

Medical Qigong for Upgraded Health and Wellbeing

Though its an often unexplored or unknown resource, Medical Qigong is a self-directed mindfulness practice. This can help you tap into many of the claims, promises, and desires of mainstream biohacking. Alongside improved physiological health, psychological well-being, and grounding, the potential mindfulness benefits of Medical Qigong include counterbalancing the effects of long-term health conditions, including cancer, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction. 

Indeed, Medical Qigong is truly for anyone who is looking to prevent long-term illnesses. This helps enhance their current and future health, happiness, and well-being. To learn more about how you can directly experience the many biohacking benefits that Qigong brings, follow our blog, download one of our ebooks, or dive into one of our instructive online Qigong courses.    

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