Breath with mindfulness and posture = qigong. All three, together, help to bring about the state in which we can improve digestion, remove energy blocks, and move stagnant energy, allowing Qi—life force energy—to flow. When Qi flows, we are healthy and can digest our food and our life experiences as nature intended.
Without proper digestion, a cascade of health imbalances may result, including allergies and food sensitivities, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, auto-intoxication, blood sugar imbalance and on and on and on. Digestion literally affects everything. Just as poor digestion affects the whole body, good digestion also affects the whole body—cultivating amazingly good health and energy.
Qigong’s approach to digestive function is through the stomach (yang) and spleen (yin) organs, which are associated with the Earth element and govern the process of digestion. Energetically, the stomach and spleen are where the body holds anxiety, over-thinking, and worry, all of which interfere with Qi flow and balance and, therefore, digestion. The natural energies of the stomach and spleen—the counter balance to anxiety, over-thinking, and worry—include trust, centredness, and balance itself. When we activate these energies within us and bring them in from the Earth, we can find the healthy Qi flow we need for relaxing and optimum digestion.
In addition, the gallbladder (yang) and liver (yin) organs, help to keep things moving smoothly, and the intestines, small and large, take in nutrients and remove wastes. In qigong, the gut is the location of the lower dantian (energy centre) and is considered the second brain, the only energy centre where energy can be stored. Master Mantak Chia, of the Universal Healing Tao (the teacher of two of my teachers) compares the structure of the intestines to a battery that can charge energy. This is where we can recharge the body with Qi, including food Qi, and the Qi we breathe in from our environment. Taking steps to nourish and strengthen these organs, and move Qi through their meridians (energy pathways) helps to address digestion on many levels, including physical, emotional, energetic, and even spiritual.
To heal, enhance and balance digestion, we will work with the classic inner smile meditation, specific acupressure points, and the mindful movement that switches the brain and body over to the parasympathetic nervous system, where healing and digestion take place.
If you’d like to join me for this important and empowering workshop, Sunday, November 17, 2 – 4 pm at Cran Hall, please email me to register as space is limited. The $40 workshop fee includes a 12-page, take-home booklet to support a home practice.
© Sandra Tonn