Qi Gong, pronounced as Chi Kung, is an ancient Chinese medical, martial, and spiritual practice that involves the use of postures, breathing techniques, and mental focus. The name of this ancient practice is derived from two words: Qi, which means “vital force” and Gong, which means “achievement” or “skill”.
Qigong can be used to achieve a number of benefits. Some practices can be used to increase energy in a body, while others are used to aid in the circulation of energy. Still, there are practices that are used to heal and cleanse the body, while others can help improve a person’s emotional and mental well-being.
In various countries around the world, Qi Gong is being recognized by experts as a form of complementary/alternative medicine that can be used to assist conventional treatments. One of the conditions Qigong can help with is asthma.
By practicing Qigong, people with asthma can minimize the number of attacks and their severity. Qi Gong can help asthma sufferers in three ways: by stimulating the immune system, relaxing, and breathing effectively.
If you want to reap these benefits, there are two Qi Gong exercises you can do: Green Dragon Parting Water and Bow and Arrow Pose.
In addition to helping with asthma, the Green Dragon Separating Water exercise is useful for people struggling with depression, it can help improve posture, increase confidence, and help the respiratory system, specifically the heart and lungs.
The exercise is performed starting with an upright posture. The arms are placed in front of the body at shoulder height, while the palms face forward and the fingers of each hand point towards each other. From this position, slowly spread your arms apart, moving to either side with your palms facing your sides. As you transition into this position, be sure to breathe through your nose. From there, move to the starting position by bringing your arms together. Here, you need to exhale through your mouth. Repeat 10 times.
Bow and Arrow Pose, like the Green Dragon Parting Water exercise, is also beneficial for the respiratory system and can help people who are depressed, people with skin conditions, and people who want to strengthen the arms.
To perform this exercise, start in a horse riding stance. From here, raise both hands to chest level, making sure the palms face in/toward the body while the fingers point toward each other. Then cross both arms in front of your chest with your right arm placed on the outside of your left arm. Now, with your left hand, curl your middle, ring and little fingers. The index finger should be extended forward while the thumb is turned up. Now move your left arm horizontally at shoulder height to your left side, making sure to inhale. Your palm and forefinger should be placed at a right angle to your arm, and your eyes should look to the left. As you do this, make a fist with your right hand and move it at shoulder height to the right side. End this exercise by exhaling as you release both fists and cross your arms in front of your chest. Repeat this on the other side.