- slide 1 of 2
What is Qigong?
Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of energy medicine and self-healing. It uses breathing techniques in conjunction with meditation and gentle movements to stimulate chi (pronounced “chee”), the Chinese term for life force energy.
Literally meaning “working with the chi,” Qigong involves improving the circulation of chi to promote a state of tranquility.
In Chinese Medicine, the circulation of chi is extremely important. The Chinese Medicine system functions on the principal that the causes of physical illness are related to the imbalance of chi. In the system there is no such thing as disease, only illness caused by either too much chi or too little chi in certain areas of the body. Qigong allows people to heal themselves by moving chi that has built up in the body.
Studies show that Qigong is an effective stress reliever. Practicing Qigong also has other benefits including:
- Reducing pan
- Aiding digestion
- Improving circulation
- Increasing cardiovascular and respiratory function
- Promoting a calm state of mind
- Reducing hypertension
- Decreasing the incidence of falling in the elderly
- slide 2 of 2
Qigong for Menopause
With so many benefits, it’s easy to see how practicing Qigong could benefit women experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Often called “the change of life,” menopause is viewed negatively by most women. Upset over the end of their childbearing years and dealing with hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, and weight gain among other side effects women see menopause as somehow signaling the end of their best years.
But in Chinese medicine, menopause is sometimes called the “Second Spring.” That’s because its side effects are seen simply as imbalances of chi that can be dealt with via Qigong and herbal supplements.
Women who practice Qigong for menopause relief can alleviate their irritability and even depression or anxiety related to the life change, according to several scientific studies. A Harvard Medical School study even found that the regular practice of Qigong may increase bone density after menopause.
The Harvard Medical School study results make sense when you consider the adverse effects of stress on the body. Stress hormones in depressed women have been known to cause bone loss. Because Qigong has a calming effect on the mind, it makes stress hormone levels decrease.
There is also evidence to suggest that Qigong menopause treatment programs can put sex hormones back into balance.
The real benefit of Qigong menopause treatment though is that it has no adverse side effects. Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been linked to an increased risk for breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. But Qigong doesn’t rely on drugs and is completely safe, not to mention easy to learn.