Qigong: The art and skill of working with the body, breath, mind, and subtle energies to attain health, vitality and longevity.
Highly Accessible Healing
I created the Super Gentle Qigong set for seniors as a highly accessible way to get some of the great healing benefits of Qigong. It is also an excellent practice for those new to Qigong, people recovering for surgery or serious trauma, and people with other physical issues, whether from injury or long-term illness.
Standing, Seated, or Lying
Each movement can be done seated or standing, or even lying down (except for #4).
Practice each movement until you sense shifts of energy with it, maybe 12 to 20 reps.
Key Results to Expect
- Easier breathing
- More energy
- Stress relief
- Improved lymph flow
- Better disease resistance
- A sense of greater peace and inner ease
Super-Gentle Qigong Emphasizes
- Hand and arm motions
- Slow motions
- Synchronizing breath with the movement of the hands and arms
- Simple, non-Oriental, non-philosophical, not technical terms
- Smooth movement
- Equal speed of movement in both directions
Key Lessons for all the Movements
- Belly Breathing
- Equal Breathing (inhale and exhale the same rate)
- Time breathing with movements
- No muscle force
- Feel all of your body
1. Hands Up and Down
Palms up-fingertips face each other at the level of the lower belly. Slowly raise hands to the chest. Turn palms over and slowly push them to the pelvis.
Main Principle: Keep shoulders down. Don’t use the shoulders to lift the hands.
Other Principles: Move smoothly.
2. Turn Palms Over
Upper arms hang at your sides. Elbows are bent 90 degrees. Palms face down to begin.
Inhale: Slowly turn palms to face up.
Exhale Turn palms to face down.
Main Principle: Move hands at a continuous even rate. Do not speed up, slow down, or stop.
Other Principle: Palms face Earth/Palms face the stars.
3. Open and Close Palms
Palms face each other at the level of the lower abdomen, not touching.
Inhale: Separate hands sideways, keeping the palms facing each other.
Exhale: Bring the palms closer together, but not touching.
Main Principle: Feel energy in the hands (heat, tingling, magnetic sensations, etc.)
4. Forward and Backward Rocking
Inhale: Rock forward on your feet while letting the relaxed arms rise forward a little
Exhale: Rock back while lowering the arms
Main Principle: Let body rest on the feet.
Other Principles: Build balance.
Become aware of the ground.
Relax the shoulders.
5. Belly Breathing
With hands on the lower belly, slightly press inward to activate muscle awareness there.
Inhale: The hands will be pushed forward by the belly moving forward.
Exhale: The hands will relax backward.
Main Principle: Breathe with the diaphragm.
Other Principles: Relax the abdomen.
Relax the chest, shoulders, and neck. Don’t use them to breathe.
Use breath to massage the abdominal organs.
6. Rotating Palms
Arms hang. Elbows bent 90 degrees at the sides. Left palm faces up to begin; right palm faces down.
Inhale: Slowly turn the palms over. Now left palm is down and right palm faces up.
Exhale: Slowly return the palms to the original position.
Main Principle: Rocking left and right balances the nervous system.
7. Rub Around the Belly Button
Brush your palms in a circle around your umbilicus, the inner aspect of your abdomen. The circle will start on the left and move to the right before circling around the belly button.
Inhale on the upper part of the brushing.
Exhale on the lower part of the brushing.
Main Principle: Aid digestion with hands and intent.
8. Rub the Outer Belly
Brush your palms around the outer aspect of your abdomen. Brush up the right side, then over across the top of the belly, then down the left side, then across the lower abdomen.
Inhale on the right side and upper part of the brushing.
Exhale on the left side and lower part of the brushing.
Main Principle: Aid elimination with hands and intent.
Extra Technique: Tapping Your Knees
In the sitting position, tap your knees with your palms. In Chinese medicine the knees are understood to be connected to the life force powers of the Kidneys. Tapping your knees give you energy, helps your bones, strengthens your brain, and helps you sleep more deeply.