Winter Qi Gong


Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 33.

According to Taoist theory, health is the steady supply and easy flow of energy throughout our body, mind and spirit. Proper self-care helps to maintain this energy, leaving us fully awake, and open to our greatest potential.
OK, so that’s the theory; one that was developed by monks in the pristine mountains of ancient China. It’s not quite the modern day London that so many experience: an hour commute, frustrated, kids, sitting at desks, stressed, in pain, and really tired.
So what can I do to begin taking care of myself, in the face of real life, modern day challenges where I barely have time for my family, let alone myself?
Through acupuncture, we can assist nature’s ability to build up and move energy. However there are many other great ways that each one of us can begin helping ourselves by ourselves. One method that I’ll discuss here is the practice of Qi Gong.

Using the metaphor of a dam, Qi Gong, like acupuncture, has the ability to open and release waterways, draining areas of excess and filling areas of depletion. The beautiful thing about Qi Gong is you can do it any time you want: all you need is your breath. At its essence Qi Gong is the practice of using your breath to move energy around the body, so that you feel better. Next time you feel frustrated, anxious or low in energy, take one minute to sit up a little straighter, close your eyes, and take five deep breaths. This, at it’s most basic, is the wonderful practice of Qi Gong.

Moving on from here, you can begin a slightly more physical breathing practice, linking gentle movements to the breath. The first Qi Gong practice of this kind is designed for supporting the energy of the kidneys and the bladder, the two organs which correspond to the Water element, and are most closely connected to winter in Five Element theory. On an energetic level, the kidneys and the bladder can be compared to an internal reservoir. The replenishing of this pool is essential not only for our physical well-being but for our mental and emotional stability as well.

It is vital that we have the security needed for moving deep within ourselves, and trusting that there is an unseen reservoir or support system that will keep us safe. Nourishing the kidneys and bladder and bringing a healthy flow of energy to these organs and meridians will bolster the presence of this support.
As in nature, where the underground waterways provide the strength and stamina to sustain life through the dark harsh winter, healthy kidneys and a strong bladder gives us the reserve we need to grow and be active.

The above Qi Gong sequence is not intended to take the place of therapy or treatment by a practitioner or physician, but rather to offer you another tool for taking care of yourself. If you have any back injury please speak to your practitioner or doctor before practicing any of these sequences.

The sequence is about 2 minutes long, and [so] can be repeated as many times as you see fit. In practicing any and all exercise, please adhere to the 3 golden rules (as taught by Erich Schiffmann):
1. It should never hurt. If it hurts you’re doing it wrong.
2. You have options and choices, modify the poses to feel good.
3. Be as relaxed as you can be as you do what you do.
I hope you enjoy the practice, and if you have any questions always feel free to contact us

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