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Relaxation

Relax in the mountains

SadahamYathra / Pixabay

One of the most important aspects you will learn as part of Qigong is relaxation. Relaxing is important to activate the body's healing response. Relaxing means to let go of tension and stress that is held in the body. It also means to let go of tension and stress in the mind.

Relaxing the mind allows for a deeper state of relaxation to occur in the body. So what exactly does it mean to relax your mind? The human mind is typically busy thinking tens of thousands of thoughts each day, most of which are the same thoughts day after day. On top of that, people are stressed out from work, the bills, the kids, their health issues, their families, etc. If you are experiencing similar thoughts, you may find it difficult to turn these thoughts off. Some have difficulty sleeping because they can't shut down the thoughts and worries.

If you learn Qigong, you will learn effective techniques to quiet your busy mind. Here are a few techniques. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Focus on each inhalation and exhalation. You can even count your breath cycles. Inhale, exhale, one, inhale, exhale, two, inhale, exhale, three, and continuing for five minutes or more. Another simple technique is to repeat a mantra. That is to repeat a word or phrase over and over again. The word or phrase can be as simple as "calm" or "calm, peace, relax" or it can be a complete sentence like: "I am calm, peaceful and relaxed in all situations". Just make sure it is something positive and empowering. Keep in mind that your mind may wander, especially in the beginning. If this happens, just bring your awareness back to your technique (count, matra, etc). It is important to practice one of these techniques consistently one or more times each day. The more you practice, the quicker you will notice the results of focusing and calming your mind.

As you learn to calm and quiet your mind, you will begin to feel less stress. This is a sign your mind is relaxing. Now it will be much easier to relax your body. Now you can use a simple progressive relaxation technique to relax your body. You can start with your head; put your attention on your face and head. Imagine all tension releasing from your head. You can lightly tense your head and face and release. Feel the tension melting away. Repeat for your neck, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, back, abdomen, pelvis, legs, feet, etc. You can spend extra time in areas that do not release. Once you finish at your feet, repeat the entire process two more times. Practice this at least once a day, following a technique to calm and quiet your mind. It is important to find a quiet place for your practice where you won't be interrupted. Sit in a comfortable chair. You can close your eyes, but don't fall asleep. If you tend to fall asleep, then slightly open your eyes. These simple techniques are quite effective. There are many other techniques in Qigong for training the mind and body to relax. Seek out a teacher if you want more information.

Living In Balance

Living in Balance

Wokandapix / Pixabay

From a Qigong point of view, illness can occur in the body when there are energetic imbalances. When Qi (energy) is either stagnant, blocked or weak, illness may follow if the imbalance is not corrected. Practicing Qigong can help to balance and restore proper energy flow. There are many reasons for getting out of balance. Here's a few: improper diet, improper breathing, not enough rest, too much exercise, strong emotions, etc. Anything that is excessive can lead to imbalance.

One way to understand balance and imbalance is to study the science of Yin and Yang. Yin is a characteristic that is feminine, dark, cold, inside, mental, etc. Yang is a characteristic that is masculine, light, hot, outside, physical, etc. The best way to balance your health and life is to balance Yin and Yang. If you sit too much (too yin), then you can find balance by doing more exercise (yang). When you are too mental (yin), then being more physical (yang) will help you become more balanced. If you are physically exhausted from exercising too much, then you will benefit from much rest (yin).

Qigong brings balance when movement forms (exercises) are balanced with quiet forms (breathing and meditation). Movement forms help to open energy channels and detoxify the body and restore proper energy flow. Quiet forms relax (yin) both the mind and body allowing the body to release tension (yang). Both of which allow the energy of the body to flow more freely. Both movement forms and quiet forms help to build energy in the body, improving the condition of energy depletion or exhaustion. As demonstrated by the following symbol

Yin Yang Symbol

referred to as the Yin/Yang Symbol, Yin and Yang are opposites that when balanced, live in harmony. The parts in black represent Yin and the parts in white represent Yang. The nature of Yin and Yang is to seek balance. Thus, if there is too much Yang, Yin will emerge to balance the Yang. If there is too much Yin, then Yang will emerge to balance the Yin. Thus as shown by the symbol, there is always a little Yin, in Yang and there is always a little Yang, in Yin. An example of this is that if there is a physical injury (yang), the body automatically increases blood flow (liquid is yin) to bring about healing and restore balance. By practicing Qigong on a daily basis, you will bring more energetic balance to your body and as a result, improved health.

Book Review “Relax Your Mind”

Relax Your Mind Ebook

I have written many times about how relaxation is an essential part of our Qigong daily practice.  In Qigong, when we talk about relaxation, we mean relaxation of both the body and the mind. It is very difficult to relax your body if your mind is not relaxed. Once we master relaxing our mind, then relaxing the body comes easier.

Since relaxation is important when it comes to healing and preventing illness, I decided to write an entire book on the subject. It is basically a practical guide to "Relax Your Mind". In my new book entitled "Relax Your Mind", I describe simple and effective meditation techniques for relieving stress and relaxing or quieting a busy mind.

Have you ever been lying in bed and your mind was racing and you couldn't stop it? And it prevented you from going to sleep? It happens to most people from time to time. Perhaps this has happened to you when you were trying to meditate. We get stressed out and overwhelmed and our mind can take over if we don't understand how it works and how to train it to our advantage.

In "Relax Your Mind", I cover stress and how it affects both the body and the mind. You will learn what a stress response is and how to stop it. You will also learn what a relaxation response is and how to induce one to relieve stress. I discuss how the mind and the subconscious mind work. I discuss simple techniques and practices for relaxing the mind, including living in the present moment, abdominal breathing, focusing the mind, calming the mind, and retraining the mind. I also go over visualization. And finally, I put the techniques together in a very specific sequence into a ten-minute relaxation meditation.

If you experience chronic stress and you find it difficult to tame your mind, then this book is a must-read for you. These are the same techniques that I use regularly to relax my mind. These techniques came about from my previous trainings and my own need to reduce stress and calm my mind. I have benefited tremendously from these simple techniques and I know you can benefit from them too.

The book is available ebook format (pdf, the pdf reader is free to download from Adobe, I will provide details on how to get it) initially. Also, there are some incredible bonuses like the audio version of the book (mp3 format), a "Relax Your Mind" workbook (also in pdf format), and other great bonuses. And I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the price considering all that you will get. I'm excited to bring this step-by-step information to help you along your life journey. Click this link to learn more and get started to "Relax Your Mind".

Haola! Haola! Haola!

 

Unseen Force

Tree Qi Field

Yuri_B / Pixabay

There are unseen forces all around us. There is gravity, electric, magnetic, and nuclear forces to name a few. We experience these in everything we do. Can you imagine what would happen if gravity was suspended? We would just fly off the planet. Whoosh! There we go floating in space. There would be nothing to anchor us to planet Earth. This is an essential force needed for life. Wouldn't you say?

Qi (pronounced chee) is an unseen life force that is not very well-known. Actually, it is more than just a life force. It is the force behind all hidden forces of nature. Nothing exists without Qi. There are many dimensions to Qi. Qi is basically the so-called "unified field" theory that is considered the "holy grail" of physics. Modern Physics, at this point in history, has failed to characterize or quantify this theory.

Qi has been known to humankind for thousands of years. The earliest known writing (2nd century BCE) that describes the flow of Qi in the pathways in the body is called the "Huangdi Neijing" or "The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine". [1] Modern Physics is still trying to catch up to this ancient technology.

The key to life is having a smooth and balanced movement of Qi in the body and having a balanced exchange of Qi with your surroundings (the Universe). When the flow or movement of Qi is restricted or blocked, illness or disease takes over in the body.

So, the key to prevent illness and disease is by doing practices that enhance the Qi flow in the body and with the environment. Thus, practices that relax body and mind, strengthen the body, and open energy channels in the body will help to prevent illness and disease. Mindfulness practices like Qigong, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Meditation are good places to start if you want to prevent illness and disease. They help you to tap into the unseen forces in and around the body to bring balance and harmony to your energy system.

Now it's up to you to make a choice. You can choose to harness the "unseen forces" in your life or you can choose to do nothing and risk becoming sick. Now I can't guarantee that if you do engage in mindfulness practices that you won't get sick. We are human and not perfect. However, I can tell you that mindfulness practices will give you a foundation from which you can deal with difficult times in a more structured and beneficial way. I hope you choose to take a closer look at this "unseen force", known as Qi, in your life.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi, accessed 06/28/2017

Tips To Avoid Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress

StockSnap / Pixabay

It is that time of year when a lot is expected of us to make the holidays perfect for everyone. We often sacrifice our sanity and endure a lot of stress to make it happen. Don't let the holiday season stress you out.

Here are some tips that I hope will help to bring balance to your holidays.

1. Don't sacrifice your health. If you exhaust yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically, then you will be of no use to anyone. Instead, put yourself first. Eat healthy, drink plenty of purified water, and get plenty of rest.

2. Remember that it is a joyful time of giving. The gifts are not the most important thing. Just being with your loved-ones is the most important thing.

3. Remember to be thankful for all of the abundance in your life. Sit quietly and take note of the people and things in your life that you are grateful for.

4. Don't forget to breathe. Take a break and sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Breathe deeply into your abdomen. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly.

I hope you have a joyful and stress-free holiday season. Email me or add a comment and let me know what you are thankful for. I am thankful for all of the readers and students of Inner Vitality Qigong. I look forward to working with you in the coming year.

Best Chi Wishes,
Inner Vitality Qigong

Change is the Only Constant

Monarch, Butterfly

skeeze / Pixabay

Change is inevitable. Change is the only constant in the universe. There will always be change because that is the nature of the universe. Change is the nature of life itself. The universe is expanding, hence changing. The earth revolves around the sun, thus constantly moving and changing. It is the nature of the atom. It is the nature of the stars. It is also the nature of humanity.

Human beings are always changing. We are born. We grow up. We grow old. We die. Did I say the "d" word? Yes, we will eventually die. It is the cycle of life. It is a fact. So, we must live with this reality.

We get so caught up in being comfortable and wanting things to stay the same that we resist change at all costs. We fear change because we fear the unknown. Guess what? The more we fear and resist change the more painful the change will be. We cannot avoid change. We are changing. We cannot resist something that is part of our core being.

It is only when we accept the fact that change is inevitable we will begin to live our best life. We must embrace change and live in the present moment. Let go of what might happen in the future. Fear only limits our potential. Look at change as another opportunity to expand your conscious awareness of life.

If we stop putting our energy into fearing and resisting change, where do we spend our time and energy? How about calming our minds and building our internal energy? How about being of service to others? How about doing something that we are passionate about? How about mastering our body? How about traveling to a country we haven't been before? How about learning a language? How about learning Tai Chi? How about learning Qigong?

Imagine the possibilities when we just let go and embrace change. We don't often know what is around the corner. Is it necessary to know what is around the corner? If we knew everything that was going to happen, then there would be no mystery in life. Life would quickly become boring. We can live with the mysteries of life. We can learn to trust ourselves and trust our intuition. That is how we can live with the mysteries and not know what every outcome will be.

It is your intuition that gives you a tingling sensation that you are in danger and you should go a different direction. It is your intuition that tells you that someone will call minutes before they actually do. It is your intuition that gives you the answer to a problem while you sleep. It is by trusting in your true self, that you learn to live in the present moment with change.  You can't avoid taxes and you can't avoid change. Embrace change and see how rich your life will be.

Please leave us your comments about this article below or you can ask about any Qigong questions you have. We love to answer your questions.

Best Chi Wishes,
Inner Vitality Qigong

The Power of the Present Moment

Present Moment

Do you ever find yourself worrying about something that might happen in the future? Do you ever find yourself going over a past experience and you just couldn't get it out of your mind? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you are not living in the present moment. The present moment is the only moment we ever have. You cannot live in the future or the past. But you can waste your present moments being stuck in thoughts about the future or the past.

The power of the present moment is that it releases your mind from worry and stress. Therefore, it shuts down the stress response in your body. If you just focus on the present moment, you will induce a relaxation response. Then you will unlock the openness and creativity of your mind.

If you want to live in the present moment, then you must be accepting of what is right now. You don't have to like what is happening now, but you must accept it. Often times people find much pain in their present moments and they try to escape through numbing with alcohol, drugs, food, and other things that eventually lead to an addiction.

Breathing is a great way to root yourself in the present moment. First, put your mind in your body and on your breathing. Then, breathe deeply and slowly into your abdomen. Focus your mind on your breathing and nothing else. If you find your mind wandering, just accept the reality and return your focus back to your breathing. If you find it difficult, you can count your breath cycles. For example, inhale, exhale, 1. Inhale, exhale, 2. Inhale, exhale, 3. Continue to count your breath cycles for five minutes or longer.

Be open to the things in your present moment without judging them, even if they make you uncomfortable. When we judge things in our present moment as good or bad, we place restrictions on our experiences. Then, we may begin to allow our fears and emotions to take over our present moments. Living in the present moment may not be easy, but it is worth the effort and the power it brings to your life.

Qigong is Empowering

Qigong is Empowering

There are various forms and purposes of Qigong. When you learn Qigong, you learn self-healing. That is powerful! Therefore, Qigong is empowering. It gives us the tools to take charge of our health and wellness. Qigong lowers stress, enhances relaxation and energy (Qi) circulation in the body and energy exchange with the Universe. By its very nature, Qigong enhances life itself. Yes, that is a bold statement, but it is very true. If you want to change your life for the better, then learn and practice Qigong daily.

Qigong is also a choice. It is the choices that we make that shapes our lives. We often make a lot of choices subconsciously. That is, without explicit and conscious effort, we just go through the motions of life, day after day. This means that we often forgo our ability to make choices. Choosing Qigong ultimately brings us to the present moment with conscious awareness. This give us additional opportunities to make conscious choices that can benefit our health and well-being. That is the power of Qigong. Everyone can experience it and everyone has the capacity for experiencing it. Now, though it is powerful, I didn't say that it will magically wipe away all problems from your life. But what it can do is to give you another way to look at and deal with issues that show up in your life. It will expand your awareness. This is its greatest gift.

Qigong infuses healing wisdom into every cell of your being. When you become conscious and you learn how to connect to the Universal energy around you, all of your cells experience it just as your mind experiences it. Your mind and your attention is what makes Qigong powerful. As I have said before, "Healing starts in the mind".  So now it's your time to make a choice. If you want to be empowered, choose Qigong.

To learn more about Qigong, and how to improve your health, email us at Admin@InnerVitalityQigong.com or call us at (440) 678-8244 for the latest class information.

Also, please leave us your comments about this article below or you can ask about any Qigong questions you have. We love to answer your questions.

Best Chi Wishes,
InnerVitalityQigong.com

 

Healing, Truth and Acceptance

SunriseWhen we talk about healing, we are talking about a situation, mental, emotional or physical, that we don't want. We are referring to a condition that we want to change so that we can feel whole and well again. We want it to be healed, changed, made better or released. This is generally what we mean when we use the term healing.

So the first step to healing is to acknowledge the situation that we want to heal. We must take a good look at our situation now and be truthful about what we see. It may be some health condition that has been limiting our life or activity. It may be sadness that has paralyzed us. Whatever it is, we need to acknowledge it.

Then we need to accept this condition or situation that we want to heal. We must accept the conditions of our lives right now. We only live in the now. So accept what we have right now. If we accept it, then we can move forward to change it.

If we resist what we don't want, then we give more energy to what we don't want. Whatever we give our attention and energy to, it grows and expands. This is also true of resistance. In this case, if we resist our disease, we give more fuel to the disease or condition. This does not mean that we deserve it. It doesn't matter how we got it. If we already have it right now, then we must accept that we have it before we can truly move forward to change it.

To learn more about Qigong, and how to improve your health, email us at Admin@InnerVitalityQigong.com or call us at (440) 678-8244 for the latest class information.

Also, please leave us your comments about this article below or you can ask about any Qigong questions you have. We love to answer your questions.

Best Chi Wishes,
Inner Vitality Qigong

Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology, Muscle Testing

Introduction

Applied Kinesiology is the study of muscles and the movements of the body, which employs muscle testing, and energy balancing through therapeutic touch to diagnose and treat many symptoms and underlying causes. Applied Kinesiology was developed by an American Chiropractor, George Goodheart DC in the mid 1960's. It is truly a holistic approach to health care because of its focus on three main aspects of health: chemical, structural and mental (referred to as the "Triad of Health").

Muscle Testing

In Applied Kinesiology, muscle testing is the principal method used for assessing the patient's health issue. It is based on the fact that problems in the body often show up as a weakness in related muscles or muscle groups. The reasons behind this fact was found in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to TCM, Chi (life force or life energy) flows through the body along pathways called meridians. An imbalance (blockage) of a meridian and/or its associated organs, sometimes results in a weakness of its associated muscles. Once the energy imbalance is removed and the muscle is strengthened, the healing process can begin. The practitioner identifies muscles to begin with based on the patients symptoms. A muscle to be tested, for instance the thigh muscle, is positioned by the kinesiologist. The kinesiologist will ask the patient to resist the pressure he/she will exert on the muscle and in a specific direction. If the resistance to the kinesiologist's pressure is weak, a blockage might be identified. Different muscles may be used to isolate the blockage.

Energy Balance and Treatment

The energy blockage is treated by massaging specific acupuncture point along the meridian to restore the flow of Chi. It may also require follow up treatments, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and dietary and life style changes to prevent future blockages. Applied Kinesiology may be used to treat a wide variety of conditions including, addictions, allergies, backache, constipation, depression, eye problems, headaches, joint pain, muscle aches and pains, and neuralgia to name a few.

References and Recommended Reading List

  • Thorsons Introductory Guide to Kinesiology, 1992, Maggie La Tourelle with Anthea Courtenay

 

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