July, 2005, Vol. 06, Issue 07
Integrating Qigong into Your Treatment Plan
By Shoshanna Katzman, CA, Dipl. Ac., CH
Gentle, health-enhancing qigong exercises can easily become an integral aspect of an acupuncturist's treatment strategy. The detoxification, qi cultivation, storage and refinement that result from qigong practice helps patients take charge of their healing process and increases the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
It is a powerful self-healing tool that can be utilized between visits, and has even been likened to "giving oneself acupuncture."
A typical qigong workout includes stretching and strengthening exercises, breathwork, creative visualization, self-massage, vocalization of sounds, and meditation through movement and stillness. Qigong is suitable for all ages and abilities, and can be performed standing, sitting or lying down.
Twenty minutes of qigong practice on a regular basis tones not only the body, but also the mind and spirit. It opens and strengthens qi and blood flow, removes qi blockages, opens the eight extra meridians, nourishes shen, strengthens organ function, balances hormones, enhances sexual vitality, and fortifies the bones. Qigong is touted to "retard the aging process" and can create youthful skin, eyes and hair, and strong yet flexible muscles and tendons, in addition to a clear mind and peaceful spirit.
The following three options are ways to integrate qigong into your work as a Chinese medical provider.
Providing private lessons in your office gives patients a sense of participation in their own healing process and draws new patients to your practice. Lessons can be taught in a hallway or treatment room. Natural lighting, views of nature, and clean air without draft or odors is preferable. Practicing within a small space reinforces that qigong can be done anywhere.