1. Qigong loosens the muscles and builds power
Unlike other forms of exercises, qigong works with the muscles quite differently. While aerobics focuses on building strength and flexibility, qigong is more of a form of internal exercise which aims to build effortless power and loosens the muscles.
Typical Western exercise prevents the flow of chi (energy) - an aspect that qigong predominantly focuses on. In qigong, the feeling of muscular strength is considered inappropriate. The goal is a feeling of relaxed power. Relaxed power comes when the muscles, rather than fighting and straining to do something, just loosen and allow the energy to flow through.
2. Qigong strengthens the organs
Qigong techniques works to strengthen and balance all the internal organs. Qigong also features techniques to strengthen specific organs. For instance, it helps the liver recover from hepatitis, or the lungs from tuberculosis, or the heart from a heart attack.
If you're already convinced about the benefits of qigong and would like to give it a go, this beginners video is a great place to start.
3. Qigong improves cardio-pulmonary function
Unlike exercises like aerobics, qigong is a form of internal exercise, it focuses on the flow of chi. While most people think that aerobic exercise is necessary to strengthen the heart and lungs, it may come as a surprise to discover that qigong does the same thing. Qigong, however focuses on slow, deep, regular breathing and energy movement to work oxygen deeper into the tissues than regular exercise.
Take the following situation as an example: A qigong student who holds a normal, sedentary office job and engages in almost no aerobic activity has a brother who is a well-known mountaineer. He was invited to climb a mountain in Colorado with his brother. He imagined himself gasping for air as his brother marched ahead. But to his surprise, he found that his capacity for physical activity, in terms of breath had actually come to surpass that of his brother who has engaged in aerobic activity continuously.
4. Qigong improves vascular function
While most forms of Western exercise increases circulation by exercising the heart, qigong improves circulation by increasing the elasticity of the blood vessels themselves. In fact, in China, qigong exercises are prescribed for both high and low blood pressure as both are due to problems in vascular elasticity and strength.
In need of something to wake up your body's energies and move them in the right direction? Try this 15 minute video.
5. Qigong helps prevent injury to the joints, ligaments and bones
The joints and ligaments are particularly vulnerable. It is easy to lock the joints when falls or accidents occur. Consequently, a locked joint is an easily broken joint. Ligaments are easily overstretched in an accident and getting them back to normal is very difficult. Qigong, however, teaches better balance. It also teaches how to turn correctly without straining or locking the joints as well as how to relax during a fall.
Furthermore, it increases flexibility and the spring of ligaments. Qigong is like a gentle stretch and an acupuncture treatment combined. It provides circulation of fluids and energy in the body to lessen the impact of injuries and allow rapid healing. Qigong balances energy and improves the weaker areas in people's internal systems. It also works on preventing the body's weak links from causing problems down the road.
6. Qigong builds athletic and martial arts power
It is said that qigong's seemingly gentle, smooth movements enables the advanced practitioner to defeat the most violent street fighter. This capability is basically derived from the practice of qigong, which develops chi and internal power.
This energetic routine will help relax the nervous system and it is also shown to enhance brain function.
7. Qigong eases stress and balances emotions
One of the largest factors in determining stress levels is the emotions. And while most exercises are suitable for relieving anger, few help balance the emotions. But many of the problems of qigong can be refined to specifically address your problem area, such as depression, grief, frustration, irritability or a combination of such emotions.
In today's society, stress-related problems are worsening, so it is vital to convert the negative energy from destructive emotions to those that are more positive in nature. An excellent way to do is to release stress directly through the control of the central nervous system - this is where qigong comes in.
8. It can be practiced by those who are seriously ill
While Western exercise promotes strength and motion, those who are seriously ill or bed ridden do not have the capacity for vigorous exercise. Consequently, the muscles and organ systems get weaker during prolonged bed rest and it may take months to get back to normal after recovery.
Qigong has many techniques designed for the weak and immobile which aim to increase physical capacities without requiring movement. Qigong is also prescribed for terminally ill cancer patients. And those who do not have the initial strength to practice while standing or sitting can practice lying down until the strength builds up.