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Relieving Chronic Pain with Qigong

The definition of chronic pain is:

“Persistent pain that lasts weeks to years.

The pain may be caused by inflammation or dysfunctional nerves.

The primary symptom is persistent pain that lasts weeks to years.”

As someone who has practised Qigong for many years and who is in their mid 60’s I have plenty of experience of dealing with chronic pain within my own body and helping other people with chronic pain. I would like to share with you that Qigong has been revolutionary in helping me in dealing with chronic pain.

Firstly, I would say that if you suffer from any form of chronic pain, you should have it checked out from a qualified medical practitioner, so you understand clearly what’s going on in your body and to know if any medical intervention is necessary and/or would be helpful.

Chronic pain within the body may have been initially caused by an accident or a trauma which has caused an imbalance in the body leading to ongoing chronic pain. But often chronic pain is simply caused by repetitious exercise routines and general wear and tear through the day-to-day activities of life.

Adding Qigong in as an addition to your existing exercise routine is, in my experience a great way to go. A well-balanced exercise routine includes cardiovascular exercise, a strength and conditioning component and flexibility. Although Qigong classes can offer all these elements, unless we are advanced in the practice, I would recommend that you continue with your current exercises and begin adding Qigong in as an addition to what you are currently doing. If you are in Perth maybe consider joining one of my Perth Qigong classes, otherwise try one of the online Qigong classes on my website.

Qigong works the body through multiple planes of movement with fluidity and without tension. This has the effect of integrating and reducing the damaging effects of harder forms of exercise on the body. Most traditional exercise is very linear and highly repetitious so overtime there is a tendency for wear patterns and injury to occur which can lead to chronic pain. In Qigong classes we introduce new ways of moving and mobilising the joints, bones, muscles and ligaments to helps spread the load and refine our awareness of how we can better move in three dimensions.

From a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective Qigong adds in the emotional and spiritual aspects to movementwhich is often missing in a more traditional approach to exercise. For example, lower back pain, which is a common chronic condition, from a TCM perspective can be related to the energy centre of the lower dantien i.e., the lower stomach area. This energy centre relates to how we connect physically with the world, our sense of self, our sexual energy and our ability to make our way in the world. This is where we store our Jing or Essence the energy given to us at birth by our parents. If our lower back is locked up and giving us persistent pain, it is blocking this energy or Qi flow in the body which over time can deplete our Jing and potentially lead to other health issues. The kidneys from a TCM perspective – often directly relate to lower back pain, this is where we hold the emotion of fear so any feelings of instability, fear or lack may result in a contraction of the kidneys and affect the area of the lower back. With Qigong we learn subtle movements to mobilise the lower back in a much more gentle and refined way. We learn how to breathe into this energy centre and how to soften into the locked-up area rather than tightening up against the pain – or relying on constant medication to dull it down. Over time this reminds the body/mind how to move without excessive tension and allows the nervous system to start unwinding and switching off the automatic pain response, that is chronic pain.

In my video on chronic pain, I demonstrate the wonderful movements - The Wave, and Dragon Whips its Tail, which are fantastic for gradually opening the energy centres of the spine, gently mobilising and strengthening all the tiny inter costal muscles and ligaments in the spine and learning how to start flowing the Qi up and down the spine. I personally have three prolapsed discs in my lower back and with these and other Qigong movements regularly practised, my back rarely gives me any trouble at all – I was told a decade ago I would probably soon need a spinal fusion.

There are Qigong movements to help release and rebalance the energy around all the joints in the body, each area having an energetic connection to different organs and meridian energy lines. My Perth Qigong flow classes are one-hour long sessions which integrate a range of balanced Qigong movements into a flowing sequence, give them a try and see if Qigong is something that may help you to balance out any chronic pain you may be suffering from, or ideally stop you heading down a path towards chronic pain.

Peace and love


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