One of the ways qigong is effective for those of us feeling stressed or anxious is through the power of the breath. In fact, the Harvard Medical School names qigong as one of the ways in which to “turn down your response to stress.”1 The breath can bring space and softness to tension and held or blocked emotion. The lower belly breathing we do—breathing into the lower dantian or energy field—loosens up tense muscles and signals the brain that we are relaxing, so it can turn off the flight or fight stress response. Long, smooth breaths, in and out of the nose, shift us from the sympathetic nervous system (where we react to stress) to the parasympathetic nervous system (where we can rest and also digest both nutrition and life experience).
There are a few spots left in the upcoming Qigong for Stress and Anxiety workshop where we will use the breath during guided meditation, dao yoga body breathing, and also our flowing qigong movements. We’ll also practice self-help sound healing and Qi self-massage to specifically move and address stress and anxiety.
Here is a link to more information about the workshop and to register: https://qisandra.ca/2018/02/19/qigong-for-stress-and-anxiety-workshop/
- Harvard Medical School. “Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response,” Harvard Health Publishing, Boston, March 18, 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response
© Sandra Tonn