What if you could start your day energized and revitalized by doing a simple movement for a few minutes... no caffeine necessary?!
There is such an exercise which can be done at any age... and you can easily integrate it into your morning routine by watching the video at the bottom of this blog.
Yet, if you’re like me, you’ll want to know what it is and how it works before you dive in...
The practice is called Qigong (pronounced “chee-Gong”) and literally means energy (Qi) and practice of (Gong). It’s based on the 5,000-year-old use of Qi (life force energy) in cultivating optimal health and greater consciousness.
Rooted in Chinese medicine, philosophy and martials arts, this ancient healing art has even been documented as helping to heal chronic diseases, including cancer, Lyme disease and Parkinson’s.
Qigong works by helping the body to release energy blocks and cultivate abundant life force energy, which promotes greater vitality, happiness and fulfilment for one’s self and all of life.
Internationally renowned Qigong master Mingtong Gu calls this gentle, yet potent, modality “being within” or “coming home,” because it calls for us to slow down from our highly stimulating, stress-filled lives.
It helps us collect our scattered thoughts and to be gentle with our tired bodies –– to focus on this “home” and the energy in and around it.
Mingtong teaches Wisdom Healing Qigong™, which incorporates movements, sounds, meditations and visualizations to call our attention to and cultivate abundant energy.
This is achieved through movements that are slow and gentle and require less energy, and which encourage us to connect with a wider spectrum of energy –– available both externally and internally –– thus reserving and recharging our overall energy.
Here are the 3 types of energy Mingtong has his Qigong students work with to renew and restore vitality and promote happiness and longevity:
1. Physical Energy
Our physical energy is comprised of our conditioned energy patterns formed by our life experiences and by how we hold the stories of these experiences in our bodies. It is also made up of the newest “stories” of our lives, such as what we’ve eaten today, how we slept the night before, and any illnesses or emotions we are experiencing.
Through the easy and fluid motions of Qigong –– different from the limited training and muscular capacity of traditional exercise –– we form a new relationship with this energy, encouraging our muscles, ligaments, joints and organs to release any stuck energy.
2. Subtle Energy
Beyond the physical body, we have an invisible “body” known as the subtle energy body. This energy body does not have the same boundaries or limitations as the physical body. For example, when you send a smile to someone across a room, you are extending your energy body to greet the other person with your happiness.
When practicing Qigong, we become aware of sensations and feelings as we notice the subtle energy beyond our physical body. And, we can detect and discern the different qualities of energy that come with our emotions: fear feels contracted, anger feels hot, sorrow feels heavy-hearted. Working with this experiential knowledge, we can open to the qualities of openness, lightness and warmth in our inner energetic world, which are key contributors to health and longevity.
3. Source Energy
Source energy is available to all unconditionally –– like the sun nourishing all of life on the planet –– and it is the energy available for the regeneration of every cell in our bodies. This is the energy we access as we fulfill our deepest desires, and Qigong guides us to consciously choose to connect to and engage with it.
Following is a Qigong practice that optimizes spine health and energizes the body. The spine is related directly to the health of our nervous system, our organs, and to the body’s communication system. Each vertebra offers a pathway to a unique portion of the nervous system.
If you wish to have more energy in your life –– for creativity, health and happiness –– it’s necessary to connect with the unhealthy patterns you follow and to change them, says Mingtong.
The following Spinal Bone Marrow practice focuses on the posture of the body, allowing you to release the physical and energetic habits which do not serve you.
Without this release, you carry around within you each day, memories of work projects, pain and illness which are imprinted in your stiff neck and sore lower back, and evident in your sleepless nights and unfocused mind…
Qigong Spinal Bone Marrow Practice with Master Mingtong Gu
When we recognize the gift of “going within” through Qigong, according to Mingtong, we open to living a life with more energy, vitality and joy.
Qigong helps us train our minds, hearts and bodies to connect with the energies available to us, and, in doing so, our whole sense of self shifts and expands naturally and we have much more renewable energy for our lives.
PS - Enjoy the insights and video shared above? You're invited to join Qigong master, teacher and healer Mingtong Gu for a free virtual video event, Qigong for Abundant Energy & Vibrant Health:
(This blog was created with the help of Claire Henjum and includes material excerpted from the following books by Mingtong Gu: More Energy, More Life; Awaken Vitality; and Wisdom Healing Qigong.)