Medical qigong for chronic pain
This specifically designed Medical Qigong for Chronic Pain Management 10 week program is aimed for patients dealing with mild to serious health conditions.
The intention of this program is to guide participants to develop a daily exercise practice that is enjoyable and can be integrated into everyday life from the base of one’s home, using traditional Medical Qigong as the basis of the practice. No equipment or special clothing is required.
Medical Qigong is the synchronised practice of breathing, mindfulness and movement. Medical Qigong is both ‘External' in the way it builds muscle strength, tendon suppleness, fascia elasticity and joint mobility, and ‘Internal' as it optimises organ health and the neuroendocrine system. Medical Qigong works through the Acupuncture Meridians, Limbic and Central Nervous System.
Medical Qigong lends itself to the treatment of pain on many different levels. First, the re-establishment of normal deeper breathing patterns that are disrupted by chronic pain can improve the flow of oxygen and reduce anxiety.
Second, the performance of safe, simple movements can help overcome the fear of movement in someone who lives with pain. This movement can also help to mobilise a sensitive nervous system and desensitise it. Over time, movement can then become less and less painful.
Finally, Medical Qigong can improve general health by strengthening the life energy within each individual who practices this ancient form of Chinese medicine.
But, what does modern evidence-based medicine have to say about Qigong?
The results are very favourable. Researchers in Germany studied a group of individuals with chronic neck pain. Those who practiced Qigong for only three months experienced significant improvements compared to those who did nothing. Researchers in Sweden found that those who have fibromyalgia experienced pain relief after only seven weeks of Qigong sessions. These benefits continued to be maintained if not improved upon even four months after the lessons stopped. In the United States, researchers compared the effects of bogus Qigong to real Qigong and discovered that the pain relief with Qigong was more than just a placebo effect.
With results in as little as seven weeks, Medical Qigong is a viable alternative for treating many types of painful conditions. Significant benefits can be gained just by virtue of improving movement and breathing patterns while at the same time reducing fear and anxiety.
The cradle of the program is learning how to breathe correctly, using the diaphragm. Throughout the 10 weeks, the breathing practice is developed to massage the internal organs, each of which is intrinsically linked to our emotions. The trained movements consist of soft to dynamic, to accomplish ‘active relaxation’. The soft elements will initiate the ‘relaxation response’ to aid quality sleep and the more dynamic elements will promote a moderate, achievable whole-body exercise to manage pain. The mindfulness element is a constant visualisation practice with each movement that promotes a meditative effect. This meditation component of Medical Qigong is an example of the psychoneuroimmunological process that affects physical health and well-being of the participant. The moving meditation of Medical Qigong lowers stress, strengthens the immune system, reduces chronic inflammation, and improves cellular metabolism.
Participants will be encouraged to develop a positive-exercise-habit over the 10 weeks, and beyond. Starting off with just a few minutes every day, and building to a twenty-minute daily practice.
There is no expectation on the participant to continue with classes after the program, however, this is encouraged to continue to develop self-discipline and avoid poor practices.
Our experience suggests that positive emotions, robust social connections, and physical health influence one another in a self-sustaining upward spiral dynamic and feedback loop that promotes physical and psychological well-being.