Healthy digestion is dictated by the food you eat and how you stimulate that food to move through you, here are 3 Qigong exercises to help with your digestion.
It goes without saying that the conventional food production system is horribly broken. The animals we eat are kept in terrible conditions, being fed food that is filled with toxic chemicals. The fruits and vegetables we eat are grown in soil devoid of nutrients on top of being sprayed once again with toxic chemicals. The fish we eat……… well, there is really no such thing as healthy fish to eat anymore. Due to the condition of the water they swim in, they are all simply…Toxic to some degree or another!
When it comes to the food we buy, the only healthy answer is to connect with those people who are raising the animals or growing the plants we eat, so you actually know what adverse processing has been added on the way to your fridge. Of course for those that can source it, and afford it, there is the option of certified organic food to ensure you limit your intake of chemical contaminants thus lowering your toxic load.
When it comes to the proper functioning of your body, the notion of, “you are what you eat” couldn’t be a more true statement. However, when it comes to the actual mechanical breakdown, assimilation and processing of the food we eat, there are a lot of steps we can take to aid our body’s food digestion and waste elimination processes.
This is where Qigong exercise can act as a powerful tool to stimulate and strengthen your digestion. Qigong incorporates what is called “beating and drumming the Qi” which effectively is an extended diaphragmatic breath. In essence, the practitioner physically pushes their abdomen out as they breathe in and vacuums it back in and they breathe out. This process mechanically stimulates peristaltic movement through the digestive tract resulting in more efficient digestion.
When this type of breathing is combined with specific bodyweight movements that flex, twist and massage the internal organs of the abdominal cavity, Qigong can be a huge help in healing your unhappy tummy.
Exercise #1 – Digestive Grounding
This exercise creates a mental connection to the physical direction that food travels through the large intestine. It can be used to increase movement to relieve constipation, or to decrease movement to relieve diarrhea, or simply balance the two so everything moves just right. Whatever your focus is during this exercise, creating a mental and physical connection by linking mind, breath and body, can have a powerful effect on how the food you eat, makes its way through your body.
Exercise #2 – 5 Yang Organ Exercise
This exercise incorporates a throwing and catching movement with the arms to the extended diaphragmatic breathing pattern. Both the Large and Small Intestine meridians travel the length of the arm, so this exercise provides a great deal of energetic stimulation on top of that of the breath. This exercise is done rather quickly and vigorously and will often leave the practitioner feeling tingly and sometimes slightly light-headed. These effects are temporary, but the positive digestive effects can last for hours.
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Exercise #3 – Rotating the North Star
This exercise with its intense torso rotations provides wonderful organ massage on both the Liver and Spleen. Both organs play an important role in the digestive process. Almost like twisting and untwisting a coiled spring, this exercise stimulates all the muscles of the abdominal cavity and back while it activates all the organs responsible for both the hormonal and mechanical components of digestion.
These three Qigong exercises should not be thought of as a replacement for mindfully healthy eating. In contrast, they are to be used as a physical supplement to positive dietary behavioural changes designed to build and new, healthier and much less toxic YOU! They can be performed at any time of the day. What’s most important is the regular practice of them. Never forget disease is a product of behaviour, but so is health!
…Give it a try!