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(6 pages total)

Page 6 - Qigong FAQ

Self-Control and Bio-Feedback:

When Qigong and bio-feedback are combined, the aim of developing health through self-control becomes considerably easy to achieve. Bio-feedback is the monitoring of certain physiological functions (blood pressure, muscle tension, etc.) using electromyographic equipment, demometers etc., and then allowing the patient to sense, visually or audibly, the fluctuations in signals. This enables patients to appreciate what is happening in the body and use their own will to try to control the fluctuations of his or her physiological functions, helping them to revert to normality and hence aiding in their treatment.

Internal Massage:

It has been readily shown that abdominal breathing has the effect of massaging the internal organs of the abdominal cavity. This effect is even more marked when practicing the "stopping" or "reversed" breathing methods. During practice gastric secretion also increases, hence improving digestion. The range of the abdominal and diaphragmatic muscular activity may increase by up to three or four times, and the resulting periodic fluctuation of pressure in the abdomen will massage the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen and other internal organs. This will promote peristalsis in the stomach and intestines, reduce blood stasis in the abdominal cavity, and improve regulation of internal secretions, further helping to improve digestion and assimilation. As a result appetite is likely to improve, enabling patients to eat more, a great help in the process of treatment of many ailments.

The Circulation System:

Blood vessel activity during practice depends on which form one is practicing. During the practice of "internal cultivation" and "relaxation and quiet" qigong, blood vessels in the hands manifest expansion in over half of the subjects, this being more marked in the case of the latter style, whilst blood vessel contraction sometimes appears in practitioners of "standing pole" qigong. In experienced practitioners, however, transition of the blood vessels remains relatively stable. In those who inhale longer than they exhale, an increase in cardiac output is registered, while a decrease is registered in those who exhale longer than they inhale. This is the result of the influence of the respiratory center on the cardiac-vagal center and heart rate. However, tests on practitioners of both "internal cultivation" and "relaxation and quiet" qigong register a general drop in heart rate. A clear lowering of blood pressure also appears in those who persist in daily practice.

All in all, we can see that the most important effects of practice are that it lessens the intrusions of emotions, allowing the body to reach a state of high physiological and bio-chemical efficiency through greater relaxation and concentration. Furthermore, the relaxation, contemplation and breathing aspects of Qigong can enable the cerebral cortex to prepare to meet any urgent need, provide advantageous conditions for the organism's rest, recuperation and regulating functions, and through gradual adjustment reduce the overall consumption of energy and increase the body's ability to resist illness.

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