Asthma relief through this ancient Chinese practice

Wang Yan
Wang Yan

Global Courant

Qi Gong, pronounced Chi Kung, is an ancient Chinese medical, martial and spiritual practice that involves the use of postures, breathing techniques and mental focus. The name of this ancient practice is derived from two words: Qi meaning ‘life force’ and Gong meaning ‘achievement’ or ‘skill’.

Qi Gong can be used to achieve a number of benefits. Some exercises can be used to increase energy in a body, while others are used to promote the circulation of energy. Still, there are practices that are used to heal and cleanse the body, while others can help improve one’s emotional and mental well-being.

In several countries around the world, experts recognize Qi Gong as a form of alternative/complementary medicine that can be used in support of conventional treatments. One of the conditions that Qi Gong can help with is asthma.

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By practicing Qi Gong, asthmatics can minimize the number and severity of attacks. Qi Gong can help asthmatics in three ways: strengthening the immune system, relaxation and effective breathing.

If you want to take advantage of these benefits, there are two Qi Gong exercises you can perform: Green Dragon Separating Water and the Bow and Arrow Stance.

Aside from helping with asthma, the Green Dragon Separating Water exercise is helpful for those battling depression, it can help improve posture, boost self-confidence and support the respiratory system, especially the heart and lungs.

The exercise is performed starting with an upright position. The arms are placed in front of the body at shoulder height with the palms facing forward and the fingers of each hand pointing towards each other. From this position, slowly separate the arms, moving to either side with the palms positioned sideways. As you transition into this position, make sure you breathe in through your nose. From there, get to the starting position by moving your arms close together. Here you need to exhale through your mouth. Repeat 10 times.

The bow and arrow stance, like the Green Dragon Separating Water exercise, is also beneficial for the respiratory system and can help people who are depressed, those who suffer from skin conditions and those who want to strengthen the arms.

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To perform this exercise, start in a horse riding position. From here, raise both hands to chest height and make sure the palms face inward/toward the body while the fingers point together. Then cross both arms in front of your chest with the right arm on the outside of the left arm. Now curl your middle finger, ring finger and little finger with your left hand. The index finger should be stretched forward while the thumb is rotated upwards. Now move your left arm horizontally while at shoulder height to your left side, making sure to inhale. The palm and index finger should be at a right angle to your arm and your eyes should look to the left. As you do this, make a loose fist with your right hand and move it to your right side at shoulder height. End this exercise by exhaling as you release both fists and cross your arms in front of your chest. Repeat on the other side.

Asthma relief through this ancient Chinese practice

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