Dr. Sarah

Naturopathic Doctor

Simple Qigong Exercise

Qigong means "movement of energy." ​It is a popular Chinese practice that combines mental concentration, breathing exercises, and simple physical movements to increase the flow of energy in the body.

According to Chinese medicine philosophy, illness results from congestion and stagnation, and anything that creates movement, relieves congestion, and removes stagnation will be beneficial to health.  When energy or qi flows freely and evenly through the body, healing can take place. ​

Qigong is used to manage stress, relieve muscle tension, increase circulation, and improve sleep. Practice it in the morning to help you wake up and greet the new day, in the middle of a busy day to help you regain your focus and concentration for tasks at hand, or after a long day to help you unwind and relax.​

The practice of qigong can have many forms. The following exercise is a basic technique appropriate for all ages and skill levels:​

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Align your spine so that your head and shoulders are centered above your hips, knees, and feet. Relax ​your shoulders and let your arms hang at your sides. Relax your legs so that your knees are slightly bent.​
  2. As you stand in place, with small and smooth movements, flex and extend your knees in a gentle bouncing motion. Do not lock your knees. Find a comfortable rhythm and feel your arms loosening along with your shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers. Feel your neck relax, your back muscles relax, and your hips loosen.
  3. As you bounce, breathe slowly and deeply. Feel your lungs expand as you inhale fully. Feel them contract as you exhale fully. Focus on your breathing as you maintain a comfortable and regular bouncing rhythm.
  4. Shake out your shoulders, arms, and hands. Shake out muscle tension, stiffness, stress, and negative thoughts. Concentrate on releasing everything that weighs you down physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  5. After several minutes or when you feel refreshed, stop bouncing. Stand still and breathe quietly for a minute or two. Emerge energized, relaxed, and grounded.​