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Qigong for Seniors

Category: Date: 30 August 2022 Comments: 0

Qigong for Seniors

Qigong for seniors should be adaptable, gentle, and productive. This Sitting Qigong Routine in the vlog above by White Tiger Qigong Senior Instructor, Sarah Divine, is best for seniors to have a practice suitable for their level. Systems of qigong such as the 8 Trigram Qigong and the Meridian Qigong are very helpful, gentle, and adaptable. Qigong for Seniors has a lot of benefits including, improving stability and vitality, increasing brain activation, and muscle and bone strength.

Qigong for Seniors - A senior woman smiling during qigong class

What is Qigong?

Qigong is an ancient practice dating from thousands of years. It is a practice of cultivating energy using movement and meditation. Through qigong, we help the body heal, gain and regain vitality, and improve overall body strength. 

 

Why is Qigong an Effective Exercise for Seniors? 

Qigong for seniors is an effective exercise because it is a gentle, easy, and adaptive exercise. It is a very flexible exercise that can be adjusted to all levels and different physical mobilities. It has been proven to help decrease muscle and bone stiffness, cultivate energy, and regain strength that has degenerated over the years. 

Qigong has also been proven to help improve brain activation, which benefits seniors who suffer from memory loss and other brain issues. This also benefits learning and enhances other functions controlled by the brain. 

 

Qigong for Senior’s Effect on Muscle and Bone Strength

Qigong helps us have a balanced development of muscles. When we do qigong, the muscles develop gently and slowly. When this happens, we limit tears in the muscles because of the imbalanced use of muscles. Sometimes when we start to build muscles in one part of the body, it can cause other parts of the body to be underdeveloped. This causes the stronger muscle area to pull the other parts and can cause injuries.

The unified movement in qigong allows full body mobility and stability. Even though the movements are gentle, muscles build up even if we do not seem to be using them.  This is good for seniors to limit the causes of injuries while still building strength. 

Qigong for seniors is very beneficial for bone and muscle strength because learning new movements allows the brain to expand and grow as well by creating new motor pathways. Through this, balance, coordination, positive stress and stimulation, and mobility allow muscles to have more strength and stability. 

 

Qigong for Senior’s Effect on Joint and Range of Motion

As the body gets older, due to stress, improper posture, and repetition of movements our joints and bones deplete. It is known that stagnant energy causes this depletion and deterioration. 

Doing seniors, this help regains vitality and energy in the joints and bones through Flossing

 

Flossing 

Qigong techniques and movement can be identified with the flossing technique. There are 3 types of flossing, Nerve Flossing, Tissue Flossing, and Joint Flossing. In qigong, we can use all of these flossing techniques. When we do Joint Flossing we aim to reach the full range of motion through our movement. Reaching the full range of motion regularly helps floss the joints and bones. When we do this we release any stagnations in the joints and help reduce the build-up of residue that blocks the joints from moving freely. This technique also helps produce fluid to help smoothen the movement of the joints. 

When the joints do not move to their full range of motion regularly, this causes production residue that blocks movement and reduction of fluid that is essential for smooth movements.  This causes friction in the joints, and when there is friction, it leads to pain, and eventually degeneration. Moving regularly allows bones and joints to produce more fluid to reduce friction and pain. 

Through qigong for seniors, it will help them have a practice that will enhance and restore the quality and vitality of the joints. 

 

What can Qigong for Seniors Heal?

 

Muscle and Bone Stiffness

As we age our strong muscles decrease in strength. Having strong muscles helps our body have stability, prevents injuries, protects our internal organs, allows us to move easily, and many more. Improving our strength also means having strong bones. This helps the body reduce the risk of bone-related problems such as osteoporosis 

Fascia

Fascia is all the collagenous, fibrous, and connective tissue that is distributed all over the body. It holds the body together through distributional force. This allows all functional systems to work together and move forces evenly in the body. It helps all functional systems of the body, muscles, bones, joints, skin, and organs to function together. 

Fascia grows as the human body grows, however, it also forms adhesions as the body grows older and it constantly diminishes in smoothness and flexibility due to everyday repetitive movements. Injuries, force applied to the body, repetitive movements, and other stress in the body may cause fascial adhesion to grow. This is a natural healing response of the body. These fascial adhesions are collagen that piles up without any alignment to the natural pattern of the body, thus tending to disrupt the natural patterns of these tissues. Ideally, fascias are very flexible, however, when it develops adhesions, it becomes thicker. It connects to the surrounding tissues which might cause these tissues to pull each other. This can cause the fascia to become stiff and limit movement. 

The gentle, soft, and repetitive movements of qigong, allow these fascial adhesions to become smoother again. These movements act like pulling a knot gently to untie it. Rather than pulling the knots strongly which can cause the knots to be tighter than letting them loose. 

 

Qigong for Seniors’ Muscle and Bone Stiffness 

Qigong movements consist of slow, soft, and gentle movements. Through these movements, fascial adhesions that limit movement slowly become softer again. This causes the body to regain flexibility and mobility.

 

Lack of Energy 

As the body grows older it also becomes more limited in energy. This is one of the unappealing side effects of aging.

 

Qigong for Seniors to Cultivate Energy 

Qigong is an exercise that helps cultivate energy through movement, breath, and intention. We cultivate energy through qigong by releasing stagnation and blockages that disrupt energy flow. This allows for the body to nurture the energy and have a smoother flow of energy. 

Doing qigong for seniors will also help send signals to the body to produce more energy as the body continues to demand it. Our body is very intelligent and knows what it needs. Qigong gives an exercise that will not be too extraneous that it will deplete energy, but also not too easy that it will be unmotivating. 

Also,  when we age, our muscles lose mass, and therefore some movements may tend to be harder than before. Moving may seem to take more energy than before. This may also result in being lazy to do anything and may discourage seniors to exercise. Having a practice like qigong which is very adaptable and gentle, helps seniors have a gentle and energy-appropriate practice.

 

Poor Strength

As we age our strong muscles decrease in strength. Having strong muscles helps our body have stability, prevents injuries, protects our internal organs, allows us to move easily, and many more. Improving our strength also means having strong bones. This helps the body reduce the risk of bone-related problems such as osteoporosis

 

Qigong for Seniors for Building Strength 

Through qigong for seniors, will help seniors to have strong muscles and bones. Doing consistent training allows the body to maintain and regain the body’s muscle memory of strength. This is more important as we age. 

 

Brain Activation

Qigong for seniors helps in improving brain activation. As we age, our brain tends to become slower in processing.

Qigong for Seniors to Improve Brain Activation

Through qigong, we allow more brain activation through learning and coordinating movements, improving focus, and allowing energy to flow more freely to the brain, and from the brain. Qigong helps the body systems that are necessary to send information to and from the brain to improve. 

It has been known that focused movement helps improve brain function. This helps activate the parts of the brain involving motor skills and movement. When this happens it helps release hormones that enable a nourishing atmosphere for the development of brain cells. Because of this cell development, it stimulates the formation of new neural connections with the brain cells in vital areas of the brain. Eye-to-body movement helps strengthen neural connections in the brain as well. Breathing techniques accompanying the movement in qigong also help circulate oxygen better, along with that, effectively oxygenating the brain. 

 

Best Qigong Exercise for Seniors

Sitting Qigong 

Sitting Qigong is one of the best qigong exercises for seniors. This helps seniors to have regular exercise without the thought of heavy physical consequences. Sitting qigong helps those who are coming from an inactive lifestyle have a program that will slowly and gently help them form a good exercise habit. This gives seniors an exercise that will not be too intimidating. Intimidating exercises may not be very encouraging in the long run. Doing qigong for seniors is a great way to start moving and allow energy to flow in the body. 

 

Qigong for Seniors Effective Exercise

Qigong for seniors is the most effective exercise. This will help our loved ones have an age-appropriate exercise. If you are looking for an exercise that will best suit your age, or if you are looking for an exercise for a loved one, you can try to begin with slow, repetitive movements such as the 8 Trigram Qigong. Qigong exercises that are simple, gentle, and not complicated like the Merdian Qigong are also very effective.

I hope that as you explore qigong this will also help you and your loved one have better health, strength, vitality, and overall well-being. 

 

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