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Archives for 2013

The Healing Mind and the Busy Mind

The conscious mind is the mind that is aware of our beingness, our sensory perceptions and our gut feelings (intuition). That is, we are aware of our state of being and can think and act based on sensory inputs (five senses) and our intuition. The subconscious mind is the mind of automation and control in the body. It regulates bodily functions automatically, like blood pressure, hormones, body temperature and many, many other functions without conscious thoughts.

In Qigong, when we talk about developing a healing mind, we are referring to developing the conscious mind. So what are the characteristics of the “healing mind”? These characteristics include, but are not limited to, being positive, open, loving, kind, compassionate, generous, conscious and focused in the present moment, relaxed (yes, the mind can relax, we explore this idea later) and trusting.

In the Chinese language, the word for heart, xin, means "heart-mind". The heart and the mind are considered one. Being heart-centered is important for developing a healing mind. When these characteristics are used for the purposes of healing, then we are using our healing mind. Our healing mind is most effective when our thoughts, feelings, visualizations (imagination) and actions are congruent or in alignment with healing principles.

The healing mind is often limited by our busy mind. The busy mind starts when our conscious mind habitually repeats thoughts about what we are dealing with in life. There are so many things to think about these days. It is more likely that we will go over things and circumstances that are stressful and negative because of our fears. We may find ourselves going over the “What If” scenarios to protect ourselves from pain and misery. What if I get an illness? What if I lose my job? The thoughts of the busy mind become unconscious over time. These thoughts are more difficult to change once they are programmed into the subconscious (unconscious) mind.

While it may be difficult to quiet the busy mind, it is important to replace the negativity with positive and uplifting thoughts. Then, when the busy mind takes over (consciously or unconsciously), the thoughts will be positive. And with patience and repetition, we can reprogram our subconscious mind by staying conscious, living in the present moment, and being consistently positive  and trusting in ourselves.

Qigong provides techniques that empower the busy mind until you get to the place where you can completely relax it. A relaxed mind is a quiet and trusting mind. Being relaxed means letting go of unnecessary and unbeneficial thoughts and being in the present moment. Once our mind is relaxed, the healing mind becomes more effective and healing results begin to manifest in the body. I invite you to find out how Qigong can feed and nourish both your conscious and subconscious minds. It's never too late to begin your journey and develop a healing mind.

I would love to share more insights about Qigong and/or healing with you. If you have had any healing experiences related to practicing Qigong or any other form of healing practice, including meditation, please leave a comment. Or if you have any questions, leave a question and I will do my best to answer it.

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www.InnerVitalityQigong.com

Inner Vitality Qigong is dedicated to providing useful information about Qigong and other natural health solutions for living a healthy and abundant life. We provide in-person and home study courses in Qigong exercises and meditations. We also provide Qigong Wellness coaching.

Inner Medicine

In Qigong, we often talk about developing our inner medicine. This inner medicine cannot be easily seen, but you definitely know when you have developed it to be strong and active. “Dan” in Chinese means elixir or medicine. One of the major forms of Qigong that I practice is called Inner Dan Arts Qigong. It could be called “Inner Medicine Arts Qigong”. This inner medicine is the Qi that you develop in your energy centers as a result of practicing Qigong (exercises and meditations).

When your inner medicine is strong, it will protect you from stress and illness and you will feel healthy and vibrant. With consistent practice of Qigong, energy blockages are released and the Qi flows easier through the energy channels in your body. This Qi flow nourishes your entire body. The major forms of Inner Dan Arts Qigong are standing form, movement forms, breathing form, and meditation forms. Each form depends the power of your mind and visualization.

Mental concentration is important to let go of busy thoughts and distractions. This allows us to just “be” in the present moment. This mind power is necessary to relax both the mind and body. As we attain deeper relaxation with practice, the energy channels open wider and allow more Qi to flow where it's needed in the body. We learn to connect with the energy in the universe that constantly surrounds us to build our own internal energy. Then we can guide the energy with our minds to the places in our body that are in need of healing. This is why we refer to Qigong as a self-healing technology. So I invite you to take a journey to develop your own inner medicine and take control of your health and your life. With consistent practice, you can develop your inner medicine and realize your full life potential and inner vitality.

Click here to learn more about Inner Dan Arts Qigong.

10 Tips To Reduce Stress

1. Create a realistic plan for perceived stressful events ahead of time. Being prepared can take the edge off of stressful situations. For example, if you are doing some public speaking, either prepare an outline of your speech or write out your speech word for word. If you are traveling, print your itinerary ahead of time and leave plenty of time for rush-hour traffic.
2. Get plenty of rest. Getting enough sleep will allow you to be refreshed and focused on the situation at hand. Eight hours of sleep is optimal. If you have difficulty falling asleep, just count your breaths. This will calm your mind and you will be sleeping in no time.
3. Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to burn off stress related hormones in the body. Exercise will also increase your energy and endurance, which will help you to handle physical stress more easily.
4. Participate in some mindful activity like Qigong, meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi or prayer. Mindful activities allow your mind to take a break from the mental chatter and stress. They will help you to focus your mind, which will allow you to handle stressful situations easier.
5. Eat healthy well balanced meals daily. Never skip a meal. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar. It is difficult to deal with normal situations, let along stressful situations when your blood sugar is low. Low blood sugar can make you confused, moody and weak. Eating three regular healthy meals a day with some snacks in between is best.
6. Cut down or eliminate all refined foods and beverages. Stay with natural and whole foods with minimal processing. Foods that are processed typically have all of the nutrients stripped away. Then the manufactures add salt and fat to make them taste better. Don't fall for this gimmick.
7. Engage in laughter as much as possible. Don't take life too seriously. Take a break and do something fun now and then. Watch a comedy with family and friends. Laughter activates healing and feel-good hormones in the body. These counteract the effects of stress.
8. Spend time with loved ones. Doing things with loved ones always makes you feel connected and loved. Sharing little moments as well as big planned events. Let them know you care. This will reduce the effects of stress.
9. Breath deeply into the abdomen. Abdominal breathing relaxes and energizes the body. It also massages the internal organs. Do this routinely to relax and prevent the effects of stress from building up in the body and mind.
10. Don't take on too many responsibilities. If you feel overwhelmed, say no. You must take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Learn to say no if you are already extended. Speaking your truth will keep you from running yourself into the ground. True loved ones and friends will respect you even more for being honest.
11. Here's a bonus tip. In the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “Have a mind that is open to everything and attached no where.” Let go of all expectations and judgments and just live in the moment. If your mind doesn't expect it to be stressful, then it won't be. Normal stress is typically a product of an overactive imagination based on fear. Let go and let God, as the saying goes.

Qigong Exercises

Qigong exercises are sometimes called “movement forms”. These including standing postures, moving exercises and martial arts forms like Tai Chi. Qigong exercises are a great way to reduce stress, strengthen, heal and energize the body. Since the meditation aspects of Qigong are yin (still, mental, internal), it is necessary to balance the body with Qigong exercises, which are yang (movement, physical, external). Even gentle Qigong exercises are yang (remember yin and yang are relative). Maintaining yin and yang balance is important for having a healthy mind, body and spirit.

While doing regular exercises like weight lifting and running, we focus on the physical aspects of the exercise and we exert a tremendous amount of energy. This tends to leave one feeling fatigued or exhausted afterwards. This is not the case with Qigong exercises. Don't get me wrong, you may still feel sore after practice, if you are out of shape and have energy blockages, that is normal. However, the practice of Qigong brings the mind to the present moment, which allows you to be very clear about whatever you choose to focus on. So while practicing Qigong exercises (or meditation), we choose to focus our mind in our body for healing, strengthening and energizing our body. Therefore, it's the mindfulness of focusing the mind into the body with visualization and concentration on relaxation and healing that energizes the body during the Qigong exercises.

Some Qigong exercises target specific areas of the body, including the hands, internal organs, to increase and improve the flow of energy. For example, the "Hip Rotations" exercise of Wisdom Healing Qigong enhances the energy flow in the kidney energy system (kidneys, bladder, sex organs, hormones, fluid regulation). Some exercises target the entire body. A standing form, called "Balance Standing", of Inner Dan Arts Qigong, energizes and opens the energy channels in the entire body. When you first begin to practice "Balance Standing", the legs may shake. This means that there are blockages to the flow of energy in the legs. Consistent daily practice will open the energy channels over time and the legs will stop shaking. A doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a specialty in Qigong may prescribe a particular Qigong exercise to heal a specific illness. So Qigong exercises are practiced for prevention and longevity, as well as to heal illnesses. There are so many different Qigong forms that any person is bound to find an exercise that they will benefit from.

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www.InnerVitalityQigong.com

Inner Vitality Qigong is dedicated to providing useful information about Qigong and other natural health solutions for living a healthy and abundant life. We provide in-person and home study courses in Qigong exercises and meditations. We also provide Qigong Wellness coaching.

What is Qigong?

Qigong is a general Chinese term for exercises, meditations and breathing techniques that are practiced daily for reducing stress, improving  and maintaining good health and promoting longevity. Qi, pronounced "chee", is the life force or energy within all living things. While Qi is actually in everything, living and non-living, this discussion will focus on the energy within humans. Gong refers to ones ability or skill. Thus, Qigong refers to one's Qi ability. A person that practices Qigong, develops the ability to work with and improve their own Qi, thus improving their health.

Qigong has been around for over three thousand years and  has its roots in Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM). In fact, Qigong is often referred to as the Grandfather of TCM. There are more than 35,000 forms of Qigong around the world. According to the theory of TCM and Qigong, disease occurs in the human body when the Qi flow is disturbed (excess, deficient or blocked). The practice of Qigong will help to smooth out the flow of Qi in the body, thus restoring balance and improving one's health.

Qigong has gotten much attention over the last 20 years or so in the U.S. and has been featured on PBS documentaries and even more recently on more mainstream shows like the Dr Oz show. According to Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D., "If you want to be healthy and live to 100, do Qigong." One major benefit from practicing is stress reduction through relaxation. I invite you to explore Qigong with me and see for yourself what other benefits come from practicing Qigong.

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www.InnerVitalityQigong.com

Inner Vitality Qigong is dedicated to providing useful information about Qigong and other natural health solutions for living a healthy and abundant life. We provide in-person and home study courses in Qigong exercises and meditations. We also provide Qigong Wellness coaching.

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