Happy New Year and post Holidays! I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been busy on vacation & getting refreshed for the new year and the ominous winter quarter that is upon us at OCOM (Oregon College of Oriental Medicine). Winter quarter has just about every student dreading the next few months, you may think this is due to the gloomy skies and dark rainy days but it’s not. Every winter quarter is packed full with extra classes and more time spent in books; it makes methink that they do this on purpose since the days are so short and generally gloomy or way or they are just sadistic. Either way, it’s a rough few months ahead of us which makes it all the more necessary to work on balance, relaxation and ways to de-stress.
And, since it is the new year, I thought I’d share at least one of my many new years resolutions: Do more Qi-Gong… and more specifically, Do Qi-Gong twice a week outside of class (Qi-Gong is an elective class that we can take once a week). I just was reading one of my favorite websites, www.mercola.com and there was an article about Meditation and how it’s been shown to lower blood pressure & reduce a persons affinity towards hypertension in the future. So one could extrapolate that it could reduce your chances of developing heart disease as well?! There have been many studies on the effects of Meditation practices on our health, a regular practice has been shown to have positive effects on stress management, blood pressure, diabetes, sleeping habits, pain management, memory, gastro-intestinal disorders & the list goes on.
A just-published study suggests the practice of meditation may bring cardiovascular and mental-health benefits.
The research, followed close to 300 students, half of whom practiced transcendental meditation for 20 minutes once or twice daily over three months. A subgroup of subjects in the meditation group who were at increased risk for hypertension significantly lowered their blood pressure and psychological distress, and also bolstered their coping ability.
The average reduction in blood pressure in this group — a 6.3-mm Hg decrease in the top (systolic) number of a blood pressure reading and a 4-mm Hg decrease in the lower (diastolic) number — was associated with a 52 percent reduction in the risk of developing hypertension in the future.
Meditators who were not at increased risk for hypertension saw a reduction in psychological distress, depression, and anxiety as well as increased coping ability.
QiGong is a Chinese practice of energy healing and exercise. It means to work (Gong) with the life energy (Qi). It is the practice of learning how to control the flow and distribution of qi to improve the health and harmony of mind and body. The aim is to eliminate the impure by using the breathe and specific movements and to inspire the pure to enhance ones health. There are many different forms of Qi-Gong, many of which are passed down through families and used for different reasons. Many Chinese Medical Doctors prescribe Qi-Gong to their patients as a means of self healing; it’s something their patients (not to mention themselves) can do everyday to maintain a healthy body and mind. (Cohen, 3-5).
This study is a great reminder for me, that yes, I NEED to commit to my new year’s resolution and do as much Qi-Gong as I can this quarter and every quarter (let alone for the rest of my life). If there are this many health benefits associated with something so easy, cheap and non-time consuming, shouldn’t we all just take 20 minutes out of our days and find our own way to meditate, whether it be through Qi-Gong, Meditation, or Yoga (just to name a few). With this post, I am holding myself accountable for my resolution and I hope it sparks some inspiration in you to learn how to de-stress, relax and improve your health from the inside out.
If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, and want to try some Qi-Gong classes, there are classes available to the public through OCOM, if you are interested please let me know or visit the school website or contact the school for more information. www.ocom.org
Till next time,
Sources: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/09/Try-Meditation-to-Lower-Your-Blood-Pressure-and-Protect-Your-Heart.aspx, Jan. 12th 10; Cohen, Kenneth S. The Way of QiGong New York, Ballantine Books 1997