Qiqong is a form of self practice exercise, which requires the integration of posture/movement, some type of breathing technique and mental focus. It cultivates the qi (vital energy) and actively realigns all levels of the body together thus creating a new internal environment.
From a TCM viewpoint, the pathological changes in obesity are mainly spleen and kidney dysfunctions, sluggish qi (vital energy) flow, poor vaporization processing of body fluid and turbid phlegm obstruction. Qigong helps to regulate the qi (vital energy) and blood flow, promotes the metabolic functions and eliminates blockages caused by evils such as dampness and phlegm. Moreover, through the practice of qi-gong, the excitatory state of the spleen and stomach can be prohibited, which will relieve or clear the desire for food.
Sample of qi-gong exercise: The Jade Toad Practice
1. Posture: Sit up right on a chair with thighs and legs at a 90° angle, and the feet placed on the ground. The knees are separated shoulder-width apart; let the elbows rest on the knees separately. The right hand is made into a fist while the left hand wraps around it. The upper body leans forward slightly, with head lowered and the forehead is placed lightly onto the top part of the fist. The eyes are slightly closed; adjust the posture to the most comfortable degree.
2. Mental focusing: Focus on the happy things in your life and put on a smile on your face; that helps the body and mind to be relaxed and peaceful. Keep the mind focused and regulate mental activity to be calm in order to a enter qi-gong state. When entering the qi-gong state, the mind should completely follow the respiratory activities and not be disturbed by the outer influences.
3. Breathing: This is the stage where the real practice starts. Firstly inhale a breath freely, make the air go deep down to the abdomen, and then exhale by the mouth very slowly. Secondly, relax the whole body especially the abdomen to become totally loose and flabby. The third step is to inhale through the nose slowly until the abdomen is fully expanded; hold the breath for 2 seconds; take a short inhalation again and then immediately exhale slowly. Repeat the third step again and again. A practitioner should not have any chest movement at all; only abdominal expansion and contraction are performed during the whole process.
4. Closing the practice: After exercising for 15 minutes, raise the head, keep the eyes closed slightly, and then rub hands in front of the chest for over 10 times. Then comb the hair with fingers for several times and open the eyes. Lastly, raise up the hands while still holding the fist; inhale deeply and exhale slowly; release the hands and finish the practice.
For individuals who would like to practice, an experienced qi-gong practitioner should guide them. Doing this exercise improperly can lead to the occurrence of abnormal phenomena; which may be harmful. This exercise is contraindicated in people who are pregnant or have cardiovascular disease, cerebral vascular disease or liver and kidney dysfunctions. It is not advisable for those who feel unwell with symptoms of dizziness and weakness. Individuals should also maintain a healthy diet when applying this exercise.