Seven Qigong Practices for Hypertension

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It is a known fact we cannot survive more than a few minutes without oxygen. Without sufficient oxygen our cells — particularly brain cells begin to die. We become listless, sluggish, and easily fatigued. We suffer headaches, migraines and high altitude sickness. Oxygen feeds our body and our brain; it gives us energy, clarity of thought and mental/physical alertness.

One way to increase our oxygen intake is to get plenty of fresh air. In China, millions of people practice tai chi/qigong in the parks every morning at the crack of dawn. Running water and fresh vegetation are excellent primary sources for negative ions that clean and freshen the air.

That is why we enjoy practicing tai chi/qigong out in nature, particularly near running water, such as rivers, streams, brooks and waterfalls, and near fresh dense vegetation, such as in parks, forests and jungles.

That is also the reason we avoid exercising outside on windy days or just before it's going to rain. Such times are when the air is dense with positive ions that create "bad chi" and stress-related illnesses.

On such days, practice tai chi/qigong indoors with an ion generator in the room. A negative ion generator creates negative ions, attracting dust particles and contaminants in the air and filtering them out, making the air smell fresh and clean, just like after a recent thunderstorm. It also clears the air of positive ions, which are contraindicative to good health, creating ill humor and irritability, leading to hypertension and other stress-related illnesses.

Finally, practice qigong/chi kung yogic breathing. All qigong/chi kung exercises are accompanied by yogic breathing, which increases the efficiency of oxygen consumption and circulation in the blood.

Qigong/chi kung teaches many kinds of yogic breathing to increase our oxygen intake and blood circulation, to promote digestion, organ efficiency, detoxification and efficient elimination.

The easiest and most common method is diaphragmatic breathing. Also inappropriately dubbed "belly breathing," diaphragmatic breathing expands the lungs to its fullest capacity by pulling down the membranous diaphragm located just below the rib cage, separating the thoracic cavity and the abdomen.

To practice diaphragmatic breathing, imagine filling up your belly with air as you inhale: your abdomen expands, pulling down the diaphragm and allowing your lungs to expand and fill up with life-giving oxygen. As you exhale, imagine a balloon deflating: let your belly collapse as you breathe out. Practice this purposefully until it becomes natural and automatic. Click to learn how Chinese medicine treats Hypertension (High Blood Pressure).

Diaphragmatic breathing will increase your oxygen intake up to ten times more efficiently, enabling you to breathe more slowly and more deeply, because more oxygen is getting into your system.

More oxygen in the blood means more energy, more efficient organ function and less stress. Your body secretes less stress-producing cortisol — too much of this hormone can lead to anxiety, depression, hypertension and other stress-related diseases.

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