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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.

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 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,


Chi Reaction

When you are recovering from a disease or an injury, it is common to experience a so-called "Healing Crisis". It seems like you are getting worse, then suddenly you get better. This can also happen when practicing Qigong. As the energy begins to flow again to the place of disease, injury or weakness, it may feel more painful or you may have more intense symptoms. This is called a "Chi Reaction". This is a good thing, this is a "Healing Crisis", but it is temporary. It is during these times that it is important to keep practicing as much as you can. You must have faith in your body's ability to heal. And you must have faith in your teachers and your practice.

When a student begins to practice Balance Standing (Inner Dan Arts Qigong) or other standing meditations for the first time, often times their legs begin to shake within a minute or two. This is because of the body's resistance to chi flow. In other words, there is a blockage or reduced chi flow in the energy channels of the legs. The legs may also feel heavy. They may feel like they are burning. This is a chi reaction. With practice, these sensations will go away as the energy channels open and the chi flows smoother. Eventually, the legs will feel stronger and steady. It happened with me and it happens with almost everyone when beginning Qigong practice.

Click here to learn more about Inner Dan Arts Qigong.

I also experienced this when practicing an exercise called “Spinal Bone Marrow Practice” (Wisdom Healing Qigong). It is known for helping issues with the spine and lower back and more. When I had a low back issue, I had to start slow. It was tight and painful. I did very short practices in the beginning and gradually built up over time. I got over the pain and my low back pain when away. It takes consistent practice and patience when you experience a chi reaction.

Qigong can restore chi and blood flow in the body with practice. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Qigong, it is known that disease occurs in the body when chi flow is disturbed (reduced, blocked or deficient). Through Qigong exercises and meditations, you can improve your health and enhance the quality of your life.

To learn more about Qigong, and how to improve your health, email us at 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

Qigong Benefits

If you are wonder what the benefits are for practicing Qigong, then you have come to the right place. Did you know that there are studies that suggest that between 70-90% of doctor's visits are stress related [1]. If that is true, then stress is an epidemic. Stress causes many issues in the body, including suppressing the immune system and digestion, hypertension, and many others. Also, U.S. Health care cost are about 17% of GDP or $2.7 trillion [2]. It's staggering. This means that it costs about $8,508 per year per capita [2]. Of course if you have any major issues that requires hospitalization, it could be much, much more. Now here's the good news. Qigong classes are low-cost and effective at reducing stress and improving your health, which will inevitably reduce medical costs.

Qigong Benefits InfoGraphic

So how does it work? Qigong practice relaxes the body and the mind. It opens the energy channels in the body, which improves the energy circulation to the organs and the entire body. Through practicing Qigong, you can build more energy in the body. And overtime, Qigong practice will improve your physical body condition.

For more information about Qigong Benefits, check out our article, “The Benefits of Practicing Qigong”.


Truth in Health Care

Medicine and Stethoscope

It is interesting to watch all the debate around so-called “health care” these days. It is more about health care insurance than it is about health care. I see nothing wrong with expanding access to health care insurance. However, I see nothing that indicates that it will reduce the costs of health care. Furthermore, I believe that our country is discussing the wrong topic. I believe that we should focus on true health care. We should ask the following questions. What can we do to increase the quality of life for everyone? How can we improve the health of everyone?

When we focus on these questions, then we must awaken to some fundamental truths about our society. First, the majority of health issues that we face are chronic in nature. They stem from the lifestyle choices that we make. Of course most of these choices are made unconsciously. We are so busy living our lives, trying to be everything to everyone else but ourselves. We take care of everyone but ourselves. So we sacrifice our health by eating fast food, living stressful lives, working jobs to pay the bills, but feeling unfulfilled. We over indulge in things to escape the life we are living. There is a void that we can't fill. And then when we do go see a doctor, for the most part, we get drugs to cover-up the pain or health issues that we are living with. Or the doctors want to cut-out or remove through surgery the diseased part of our body. Why is it that most traditional western doctors don't want to get at the truth of our illnesses? Now I'm not referring to acute issues like those caused by accidents. Of course we want the best emergency care in these cases. The root causes are more clear in these cases. But for chronic issues, we are denied the truth. Oftentimes, the doctor is so busy reaching patient quotas, as dictated by the medical institutions that they are working, that a quick pill is dispensed. Most patients are willing participants and accept it. I have been through this exact thing and in the long run it didn't work and my symptoms got worse.

So what is the truth? I am pleased to see that more medical professionals and researchers are really looking for true causes to our health issues and not just quick fixes. We are seeing more studies linking our eating habits to most of the common diseases that plague our western society like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and many, many more diseases. Yes eating real food, instead of food that is processed and combined with chemicals, does give the nutrients the body needs to heal. Yes the body heals itself when it is given a chance. The nutrient density is more important than calories, because not all calories are beneficial to the body. Yes, eating food that is closest to that found in nature is best. The quality of food matters. Food that is genetically modified and grown with high levels of pesticides is bad for you and the environment. Why can't we be honest with ourselves? Eating organic food is not more costly. Eating food that causes disease is more costly. Don't sacrifice your health for money. It is an illusion.

I fell for the illusion for many years because I didn't know better and no one would tell me the truth. If you eat crap, you will feel like crap. It is inevitable. Period. I didn't know what it meant to eat health until I started studying anatomy, physiology, and natural and alternative healing practices. Not everyone is willing to do this and they shouldn't have to. We should be guided by our health care professionals. So now in an age of information, spurred by the internet, information about healthy eating and living practices is one click away. Of course you must find credible sources backed by science, but they are out there. You can't trust the first article you read, but you can do some research and find out if there is any truth to the claims.

Of course a discussion about truth in health wouldn't be complete without discussing stress. I know you were thinking, what about exercise? Doctor's are more willing to tell you about exercise than stress. Some statistics show that about 70-90% of reasons for visits to doctors are directly linked to stress. If this is true, it is an epidemic. Living as dictated by society can lead to overwhelming stress. I completely changed my diet and was eating more healthy than ever and still I was feeling sick. How many of you have had the same experience? I was lucky to find a holistic health care practitioner that had stress on his radar screen and wasn't afraid to tell me the truth. The first step is to realize that stress is contributing to your health issues. However, I must warn you that it is often more difficult to eliminate stress than to change your diet. It may take a lot of support to understand the root cause of the stress before you can eliminate it, but it will we worth it in the end.

So why are doctor's not honest with their patients? There are many reasons and sometimes they are complex. I want my doctor to tell me that my habits and lifestyle choices are causing my illnesses. If they had told me the truth when I was a child, I most likely would have avoided a lot of the issues that I faced as an adult. I want them to tell me that my food choices are harming me. I want them to tell me that anger can lead to hypertension or inflammation. I want them to tell me that if I don't reduce the amount of stress in my life that my condition may get worse.

Now with that said, I know that more and more doctors are turning their attention to prevention and lifestyle choices in their practices. I commend all doctors that are looking for real answers to health issues and have stopped trying to cover-up the symptoms. I give you a round of applause. As for the patients that have found yourself in similar situations that I faced, take a stance and don't be afraid to ask questions of your doctors. After all you are paying for their services. If you are not getting answers, don't be afraid to seek out other opinions. Don't stop until you get the answers you deserve.

One last thing. You may have asked, why did I write this on a Qigong blog? Because Qigong is a natural solution for reducing stress and improving your health. I can only imagine the kind of shift that would happen if more people around the world began practicing Qigong on a daily basis. Actually, the shift has already begun. There are already millions of people from around the world practicing Qigong. This is the kind of health care solutions we need. This is the truth of ancient wisdom that is already making a difference. This is true health care.

Here's a list of links to doctor's and alternative practitioners that are making a difference and that we can all learn from:

1. Dr. Andrew Weil, MD -
2. Dr. Joel Fuhrman MD -
3. Dr. Mark Hyman, MD -
4. Dr. Neal Bernard, MD -
5. Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD -
6. Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD -
7. Dr. Micharl Roizen, MD -
8. Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD -
9. Dr. Maoshing Ni -
10. Dr. Daniel Amen, MD -
11. Dr. Keith Jordan, DC -
12. Qigong Master Tianyou Hao -
13.Qigong Master Mingtong Gu -
14. Qigong Master Mantak Chia -
15. Qigong Master Qinyin -



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.


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

Reduce Stress

geralt / Pixabay

Here are ten 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 nowhere.” 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.

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