Qi Gong, pronounced as Chi Kung, is an ancient Chinese medical, martial and spiritual practice that entails the use of postures, breathing techniques and mental focus. The name of this ancient practice is derived from two words: Qi which means “life force” and Gong which means “accomplishment” or “skill.”
Qi Gong can be used to achieve a number of benefits. Some practices can be used in order to increase the 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 aid in improving a person's emotional and mental well-being.
In various countries around the world, experts are recognizing Qi Gong as a form of alternative/complementary medicine which can be used to aid conventional treatments. One of the conditions wherein Qi Gong can help is asthma.
By practicing Qi Gong, asthma sufferers can minimize the number of attacks as well as the severity of these. Qi Gong can help asthma sufferers in three ways: boosting the immune system, relaxation, and effective breathing.
If you want to reap these benefits, there are two Qi Gong exercises that you can perform: Green Dragon Separating Water, and the Bow and Arrow Stance.
Apart from helping with asthma, the Green Dragon Separating Water exercise is useful for people battling depression, it can help improve posture, boost confidence, and aid the respiratory system, specifically the heart and lungs.
The exercise is performed beginning with an upright stance. The arms are placed in front of the body at shoulder level while the palms face forward and the fingers of each hand point to one another. From this position, slowly separate the arms, moving to either side with palms positioned sideward. While transitioning to this position, make sure that you breathe in through your nose. From there, move to the starting position by moving your arms close together. Here, you should breathe out through your mouth. Repeat 10 times.
The Bow and Arrow stance, like the Green Dragon Separating Water exercise, is also beneficial to the respiratory system and can help people who are depressed, those suffering from skin conditions, and people who want to strengthen the arms.
To perform this exercise, begin with a horse riding stance. From here, raise both hands to chest level, making sure that the palms face inward/toward the body while the fingers are pointing to each other. Next, cross both arms in front of your chest with the right arm positioned on the outside of the 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 upward. Now move your left arm horizontally while at shoulder height towards your left side, making sure that you inhale. The palm and forefinger should be positioned at a right angle to your arm and your eyes should look to your left. As you are doing thing this, make a loose fist with your right hand and move it to shoulder height toward your right side. Finish this exercise by exhaling while releasing both fists and crossing your arms in front of your chest. Repeat this on the other side.