If you are having trouble sleeping, qigong for insomnia is one of the best practices you can do. One of the biggest issues people experience nowadays is a lack of sleep. Unfortunately, in many cases, these sleep disorders not only affect sleep time but also our daily life activities as well. Insomnia causes us to feel exhausted and not able to function very well throughout the day. The aim of qigong for insomnia is to help you get back to proper sleeping patterns. It can help you get back to sleep when insomnia strikes at night as well as help you get ready for sleep if you are having a hard time sleeping to begin with.
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What is Qigong?
In the ancient art of qigong, each movement and exercise inspires the body to heal itself. Qigong is a mind-body practice that has been around for thousands of years. It offers you a way to improve your health and well-being by influencing energy and energy channels in the body. You can use qigong to improve endurance and stamina, relieve insomnia, reduce stress and depression, ease chronic aches and pains, strengthen the immune system, maintain good tissue tone, and more.
Qigong for insomnia can help you wind down as your nervous system becomes more relaxed and your brain functions are enhanced. Practicing qigong can help you sleep better.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. It may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back to sleep. This can result in many other problems such as daytime fatigue, mood changes, and more. Sometimes insomnia may result from other health issues such as depression, anxiety, or an overactive mind. These are often caused by daily stress and lifestyle.
Causes of Insomnia
Daily stress is one major factor that causes insomnia. Stress can cause a mind that is overactive at night. If you are having sleeping problems, it may be because your brain becomes very active at night. The brain sees your sleep time as a perfect opportunity to process things that it hasn’t got time to process during the day.
Tension in the Body
Tension and stress can give you a difficult time sleeping. When we get into a more peaceful place of being balanced and centered, it’s easier to go to sleep. Practicing qigong helps you release tension in the body that comes from different stressors. When the body is tense it is difficult to relax because tension can cause pain and discomfort in the body. When there is pain and tension in the body there are stagnations and blockages which means the energy doesn’t flow smoothly in the body. As we release tension in the body through qigong, it also helps us release tension in the mind as well. This helps you create and connect to a more peaceful place within.
Our lifestyle may cause an imbalance in our energy flow and the function of our organs. This causes us to wake up roughly at the same time every night when otherwise we should be sleeping. An unhealthy lifestyle might be causing an imbalance in the organs which affects the distribution of qi, blood, and other vital fluids through our body. There is a particular time when our organs are most active.
When there are imbalances in that particular organ, you might find yourself waking up at a particular time every night when that organ is most active. In Chinese Medicine, it is referred to as the Organ Qi Clock. An organ qi clock is a tool that practitioners use in Traditional Chinese Medicine to determine which organ is most active during certain times of day or night. Certain practices such as qigong and acupuncture practices are effective in addressing imbalances in the organs that cause insomnia.
How does Qigong for Insomnia work?
Qigong for Insomnia uses gentle movements that are safe, relaxing, and of course effective. It is developed to help you balance your body and mind thus creating a sense of inner peace. The result is a deeper understanding of your own energy – specifically how it moves through your body. Qigong uses the 3 Harmonies, namely body, breath, and spirit. Through the body, we use movements to release tension, stagnation, and blockages in the body. The breathing techniques in qigong help harmonize the body and release old and stagnant qi. This helps bring in even deeper relaxation that helps release tension and restlessness. Through the spirit mechanics, we set our intention in our practice allowing us to reach the goals we set for our practice deeper. These 3 Harmonies all make up our qigong practice and each one is essential to feel the maximum benefits of qigong.
Benefits of Qigong for Insomnia
Qigong for Insomnia Exercises
These qigong for insomnia exercises are self-care techniques that will help release any tension from the body and open up pathways for energy flow that we need when we sleep. Doing this before sleep will help you center your body before you get a good night’s rest.
Meridian Qigong for Insomnia
Shaking it Out
Shaking it Out is also known as the exercise of letting go. This is an exercise that helps to release tension and stress in the body. It can also help you get rid of emotions and thoughts that you may have been holding onto. The key with this exercise is to release and relax and let go of whatever it is that’s in your body, or mind, rather than resisting holding onto control.
Rolling the Ball
Rolling the Ball is a gentle practice that helps loosen up lower body tension, which may be contributing to your insomnia. As we roll from hip to hip, we also stretch the sides of our legs and open up energy pathways in that area.
Heavenly Pillar 1 – Looking Up and Down
Looking up and down is a very simple exercise, but it has a profound effect on the body. Looking up and down helps us to release tension in the lower spine, knees, and hips. This releases tension in the centerline of the body allowing a better mind-body flow of energy, which can help us relax more easily upon falling asleep.
Heavenly Pillar 2 – Turtle Looks Behind
Turtle Looks Behind is another qigong exercise that can help people sleep better, especially those suffering from insomnia. This exercise gently twists the spine and the arms. These gentle twisting movements squeeze out stagnations and toxins just like squeezing out a sponge of excess water. Many people do not realize that their brains and bodies are connected. This simple but powerful movement helps stimulate circulation through your mind-body. The result is a feeling of freshness and well-being, in addition to a deeper restful sleep!
Heavenly Pillar 4 –
Gentle rotation of the head allows to loosen up the tension in the neck. The neck can hold a lot of tension and may become stiff due to pressure, wrong posture, injuries, compression, and many more. It allows you to relax the neck muscles, which helps in relieving tension and tension-related disorders like insomnia and headaches. The gentle rotation of the head can also improve your posture and maintain good sleep habits at night. Doing this qigong exercise is a quick way to relax the body leaving the mind more relaxed as well.
Girdle Vessel Rotation
If you are having trouble getting to sleep, try Girdle Vessel rotation. The Girdle Vessel Rotation is a gentle exercise that loosens up the hips. The hip area is often stiff especially when it is not mobilized regularly. The girdle vessel is a belt of energy pathways that goes around the hips.
Girdle Vessel’s main function divides the body into two halves. If it is too tight, then energy can’t flow properly in the upper and lower part of the body. This causes stagnation, and pain which leaves a feeling of heaviness throughout the whole body. If the Girdle Vessel is too weak or loose, then energy can’t rise efficiently which leaves you feeling weak or lacking in energy. This is also because when the Girdle Vessel is loose, fluids and dampness can be pent up due to lack of circulation.
The Girdle Vessel also holds important essence in the body, if it is weak, energy cannot adequately hold essence from the organs specifically the kidney. This also depletes energy in surrounding organs and energy channels. When these energy channels are weak, they cannot function well to hold and circulate qi.
Two Hands Holding the Kidneys
This qigong is great for insomnia. The kidney is known to hold jing or life essence. Doing this qigong will help cultivate and preserve our life essence. This exercise is also a great overall exercise for the body, opening up and stretching the front and back parts of the body which helps release tension and stagnation in the body.
Two Hands Moving Heaven – Liver and Spleen Meridian
If you have trouble sleeping, this qigong for Insomnia exercise is a great way to relax your body and mind. Doing Two Hands Moving Heaven clears out stagnations in the liver and spleen meridian at the same time and stretches out any tensions in your upper body. This is a great way to get some energy flowing and feel refreshed after a good sleep.
Learn More about Qigong for Insomnia
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