Seven Qigong Practices for Hypertension #7

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Seven Qigong Practices for Hypertension #7

A large factor contributing to hypertension is stress, and any healthy lifestyle has to include solutions to reducing stress in our lives. Besides getting adequate, regular sleep and rest, there is one other way to reduce mental, emotional and physical stress.

Qigong (a.k.a. chi kung) is an excellent way to reduce stress. One reason is because it provides a physical workout and another reason is that qigong involves yogic meditation — an opportunity to relax mentally and remove ourselves for an hour or two from the daily stresses so prevalent in modern society.

There are many kinds of qigong meditation. The more well-known types include moving meditation such as tai chi chuan. There is also the still type of meditation known as jinggong in Chinese. With still meditation, we can meditate standing up, sitting down and even lying down.

During still meditation, we can focus our mind on yogic breathing, some quiet meditative music, an object for visualization or a mantra. Or we can practice mindfulness, wherein we empty our minds of extraneous thoughts and become passive observers, mindful of everything around us, but not mentally, emotionally or physically involved in any way.

Since a growing number of studies indicate qigong and yogic meditation to be especially beneficial to health, particularly when reducing high blood pressure, we should include at least twenty minutes of qigong still meditation as part of our daily routine.

Most people who have never meditated before think it is difficult to “still the running horses” of our mind and think of nothing. If you are new to qigong meditation, here is a simple exercise you can try out, focusing on your breath.

Find a quiet place where you can meditate undisturbed. Sit cross-legged or on a chair with your vertebrae vertically straight, chin withdrawn slightly to align your head with the rest of your spine.

Relax your shoulders. Relax your chest by letting it slump slightly forward. Close your eyes or keep them partially closed to help remove some of the visual distractions around you.

In qigong we concentrate on generating internal life energy in our body and manipulating it for preventive health, healing and longevity. Rest your tongue against the palate and ridge of your upper teeth. Your tongue acts as a bridge for the energy to flow down from your head to the rest of your torso.

Practice diaphragmatic breathing to maximize your breathing capacity. Inhale slowly and visualize bright golden healing energy entering from the top of your head and flowing down from your head through your palate and your tongue down to the rest of your trunk.

Pause briefly before exhaling slowly and gently as you visualize the energy collecting in a point three inches below your navel. This very important area is known as the lower dantian or Field of Elixir, and is the source of your primordial energy — the intrinsic lifeforce you were born with and which gave you life. Imagine your dantian getting very hot with every breath, filling you with warm healing energy.

Pause briefly again before inhaling and repeating the steps outlined. Focus your mind on the visualization and your slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing. In time, you will find your dantian actually becoming very hot, as you begin generating more and more of this healing energy in your body.

At first, you may only be able to sit for five to ten minutes before becoming too restless and easily distracted. Try to work your way up to a minimum of twenty minutes to half an hour. Regular meditation, in addition to qigong exercise, diet and all the other healthy practices I’ve mentioned here will help not only to reduce hypertension, but also provide you with vibrant energy, health and well-being.

As a teenager, H. Wei Williams trained intensively in qigong/chi kung and tai chi chuan for health, self-defence and spiritual growth — several hours a day, 365 days a year! Her 30 years of extensive knowledge and teaching experience in martial arts, Chinese medicine, meditation, and yogic breathing is reflected in the wide range of topics offered on her website. Readers can visit Chi Kung Unlimited at to see how qigong/chi kung can best meet their individual needs.

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