Stress: In a medical or biological context is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the “fight or flight” response, a complex reaction of neurologic and endocrinologic systems.” (Medicinenet.com)
In today’s world one of the biggest factors affecting our society is the constant stress and anxiety people are living with. We seem to be engulfed in a never-ending cycle of “fight or flight” mode. I am not referring to the big traumas of life such as death of a loved one, divorce, chronic illness or injury, etc. I am referring to the smaller stresses of life that people find themselves confronted with daily and their reactions to these situations. The way people tell themselves how stressed they are has become the norm. These thoughts and feelings are creating elevated cortisol levels leading to heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, insomnia, to name a few, and on an emotional level, depression, anxiety, concentration and memory problems.
White Tiger Medical Qigong as a prescription to letting go of stress and bringing in relaxation.
White Tiger Qigong will give people the skills needed to let go of stress and move into a more calm and parasympathetic state through movement and meditation.
The simple, yet highly effective, pose of Zhan Zhuang (standing post), brings the body, breath and mind back into balance and alignment. This posture cultivates Qi (energy) and allows it to flow through the body creating a calming effect. It strengthens the central nervous system and helps with mental clarity and internal strength.
When standing in a relaxed manner, elongate the spine and connect the crown point of the head to heaven and root the feet to the earth, grabbing the ground with 10% tension. Relax the knees and drop the sacrum to the earth. I recommend closing your eyes and looking within to sense your organs and energy inside – Ting Jing, a listening energy. Rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth. Become aware of any tension in the body and relax that area with each exhalation. This is a time to do deep abdominal breathing, the cleansing breath or 4 gate breathing.
Shaking of the body is a Taoist method of letting go. It releases energy blockages and promotes circulation and relaxation. It opens the joints and gently bounces the organs, detoxifying and toning every cell.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, gently shake your entire body for 5 – 10 minutes. Breathe freely and fully, visualize tension leaving the body with every exhalation. As you shake old stagnant energy will be released and transformed into fresh vital energy.
5 Elements Dragon Qigong exercise will wring out the kidneys that hold the emotion of fear. Fear is linked to stress, and this exercise will transform fear into courage. When the kidneys are healthy, they provide strength, energy and life force needed to counteract the effects of stress.
5 Elements Snake Qigong exercise to squeeze out the spleen and let go of worry and anxiety. Anxiety comes from unnecessary stress in the body. When we release this emotion, we bring in fresh nurturing and supportive energy to calm the mind, body and spirit.
Cultivating the three harmonies, body, breath and spirit, will bring relaxation. This will slow down the breath allowing your mind and spirit to become more centered, calm and relaxed.
One should do these exercises daily to maintain a state of calm and peace.
Remember to Breathe.