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Page 5 - Qigong FAQ
Throughout its whole history, Qigong has been employed and developed as a method for curing illness and strengthening the body. Qigong's main therapeutic properties lie in its regulation of the activity of the cerebral cortex, the central nervous system and the cardio-vascular system, its effect in correcting abnormal reactions of the organism, massaging effect on the organs of the abdominal cavity, and its effect as a means of self-control over the physical functions of one's body.
As far as electro-encephalogram response is concerned, there is clear difference in such readings between practitioners and non-practitioners. An electro- encephalogram for a normal person in an ordinary waking state shows a great quantity of low amplitude, high frequency waves of about fifty micro-volts, with different regional brain waves showing poor synchronization. The brain waves of a Qigong practitioner, however, shows large frequency "A" waves of around eight hertz with amplitudes as high as 180 microvolts, as well as a tendency towards greater synchronization of regional brain waves. These characteristics are even more apparent in the frontal lobe and parietal lobe of the cerebrum. Moreover, the frontal lobe is the highest center of the C.N.S., controlling mental activity. The longer one practices the better the synchronization of the "A" wave band, while the expansion of the low frequency wave band can greatly increase the functions of the cerebrum. (data courtesy of "Chinese Qigong: A Unique Fitness Art", a "Facts and Figures" booklet published in China.)
Respiration: When one is practicing, the rate of respiration decreases while the duration of each breath increases. Such an increase in the period of inhalation and exhalation will enlarge the scope of the diaphragm's activity, causing a greater flow in the volume of air, increasing the practitioner's lung capacity. When one is practicing deep breathing, the breath often seems to stop, but actually becomes a series of micro- movements of the breathing muscles. Animal experiments have shown that the increased excitation of the C.N.S. when exhaling can spread to the parasympathetic nerve center, while the increased excitation when inhaling can spread to the sympathetic nerve center. This would suggest that through deliberate regulation of the respiration and deeper breathing one can promote the tendency to stabilize any functional imbalance of the autonomic nerve system.
Metabolism: When practicing sitting or lying qigong it has been shown that the body's consumption of oxygen decreases by about thirty percent, the level of the metabolic rate also dropping by about twenty percent, which is accompanied by a drop in the respiration rate as already mentioned. This condition of lowered metabolism is an aid to reducing the patient's physical consumption of energy, allowing the gradual accumulation of energy, fostering the body's strength, and providing the basis for the body to combat and defeat illness.
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