What do you like more, summer or winter? This simple question divides humanity into two camps. But our long winter is cold and uncomfortable even for those who love snow very much. Oriental gymnastics and warming massage are two effective ways to fill the body with energy and bring back the joy of life.
What is qigong?
The ancient Chinese healing technique qigong (in Latin spelling – qi gong) was born more than 4 thousand years ago and today has thousands of adherents all over the world. Its name translates as “work with energy.”
This is a universal life energy, which is called differently: “qi”, “ki”, “chi”. The purpose of qigong exercises is to establish the correct movement of energy flows inside the body, restore the harmony of the body and soul, and restore vitality.
Warm up with exercise
Oriental qigong gymnastics helps to awaken the endocrine system and activate the movement of energy flows in the body. By understanding the logic and sequence of movements, you will master the technique, which will quickly give a feeling of warmth. The French doctor, Qigong specialist Yves Requin offers a special complex, representing a chain of smoothly changing movements. Each of them is a vicious circle, which describes the hands, folded palms to each other. You have to complete six laps.
1. Stand straight, feet together, arms bent at the elbows, elbows raised, palms “prayerfully” folded together in front of the chest. Return to this position after each round. Throughout the exercise, breathe freely and do not open your palms.
2. Slightly bend your left leg at the knee. Start a circular motion with joined palms to the left, raising your right elbow. “Draw” a curved line, extending the arms to the left and up. When the palms are at the top point (above the head), straighten the arms and legs. Continuing the movement, return the hands to the starting position through the right side, while bending the right leg.
3. Bend your left leg at the knee. With joined palms, begin a circular motion to the left and down, bending until your fingers touch the floor – arms and legs are straightened and tense at this moment. Complete the movement through the right side, bending the right leg.
4. Standing on straight legs, turn the folded palms so that the back of the left is facing the floor. The right one, respectively, lies on top. Start moving your palms to the left – while the right hand straightens. Describe a horizontal circle with your hands, gradually returning them to their original position. At the same time, the upper part of the body stretches after the hands, slightly leaning forward.
5. Turn your joined palms so that the back of your left is facing the floor. Turn your body to the left and extend your arms. Start moving to the right – the body turns after the hands – gradually turning over the closed palms. By the time the outstretched arms are directly in front of you, the right palm should be down. Bend your elbows. In the same way, start the second circle, now turning the body to the right.
6. Point your folded palms towards the floor. Lean forward, stretch your body and arms to your feet. Straighten up, drawing a large circle in front of you with outstretched arms until they are above your head. Bend your elbows, lowering them in front of your face to chest level. Now repeat the whole series of movements … 20 times!
Qi energy, yin and yang forces
The nature of qi energy causes a lot of controversy. According to the general theory, our internal qi is connected with the external qi of the surrounding world, which, when inhaled, partially turns into internal qi, and when exhaled, it is again transformed into external.
In the book Secrets of Chinese Medicine. 300 Qigong Questions describes how scientists at the Shanghai Institute of Chinese Medicine conducted experiments in 1978 with the participation of qigong masters Cheng Zhijiu, Liu Jinrong, and Chhao Wei. Their qi energy was recorded by instruments that registered infrared radiation, magnetic waves and static electricity.
On the other hand, the doctor of Chinese medicine, Weixin, in the book “The Ancient Chinese Health System of Qigong” argues that qi is too subtle a substance to be caught by instruments or senses.
There is a connection between the concept of qi and the philosophical doctrine of the beginnings of yin and yang, which underlies Chinese medicine. Yin and yang are competing and complementary manifestations of a single universal qi energy. Yin is a feminine principle, it is associated with the earth, with everything hidden, passive, dark, cold and weak. Yang is masculine. It is the sun and sky, strength, heat, light, fire. Not only human behavior, but also the state of his health depends on the balance and harmony between these principles.
Who’s too hot?
Do you love the cold, do you languish in the heat in summer and come to life only with a drop in temperature? From the point of view of Chinese medicine, you have a yin/yang imbalance. In Chinese medicine, heat is associated with yang and cold with yin. The balance of these two principles guarantees a person good mental and physical health.
In people who love the cold, the balance is likely to be tilted towards the predominance of yang. By nature, these are most often extroverts, burning their energy in violent activity, often leading them to overwork.
Trying to restore strength, they sometimes begin to abuse stimulants. And completely in vain: if you are this type of person, know that it is good for you to pause from time to time to relax and meditate. Give preference to foods that strengthen yin: these are pears, peaches, apples, cucumbers, celery, green beans, broccoli. Food should be warm or cold. Avoid hot foods, eat slowly.
Self-massage: express stimulation
Hands and feet usually freeze first. Following them is the back, along which, according to the ideas of Chinese medicine, yang energy circulates – it is traditionally associated with heat. Then the stomach begins to freeze, which is considered an area of uXNUMXbuXNUMXbyin energy, and the lower back, where all vital energy accumulates.
Another way to warm up is self-massage, developed by Karol Baudrier, a specialist in Chinese health gymnastics.
1. Belly, lower back, back
Massage the stomach in a clockwise direction, rub the lower back with the other hand from top to bottom. The lumbar vertebrae can also be gently massaged by lightly tapping with the fist. Do this not with the back (not with the phalanges of the fingers), but with the inside, holding the thumb inside the palm of your hand.
When you’re cold, rub your feet. Leaning forward, place one hand on the outside and the other on the inside of the leg. One hand massages from top to bottom from the thigh to the ankle, the other – from the bottom up from the foot to the groin.
3. From hand to head
Vigorously massage your hand in the direction from top to bottom on the inner surface and from bottom to top – on the outer. Then rub the shoulder, back of the head and gently massage the scalp. Repeat the same with the other hand.
Rub the edge of the auricle from the bottom up. Start with gentle movements, gradually making them more intense.
Use your index fingers to rub the wings of your nose. Next, continue the massage along the eyebrow line. These movements also improve vision and bowel function, which often suffers from cold.
6. Fingers and toes
With twisting movements, massage your fingers from the nail to the base. Rub the entire brush up to the wrist. Repeat the same with your toes. Another massage technique: squeeze the points located on the sides at the base of the nail with the index and thumb. Their stimulation allows you to energize all the organs of the body.