When people escape and addiction they will suddenly have a great deal of free time on their hands. In order to successfully build a recovery it is important that the individual finds useful ways of filling this time. An activity like the Chinese art of Qigong can be a good option for people. It not only leads to improved mental and physical health, but it can also lead to spiritual development as well. Those who take up this health practice are likely to find that it is a great asset to their recovery.
Qigong (sometimes written as chi kung or chi gung) is a Chinese health practice that has its roots in martial arts. The purpose of this technique is to align awareness, breath, and movement and balance an energy force (known as chi) in the body. It is believed that the practice of these techniques can be traced back for thousands of years, but modern Qigong developed in the mid twentieth century.
Anyone who becomes involve in Qigong is almost certainly going to hear a great deal about chi (also written as qi). This can be described as a type of energy that exists inside humans. It is their life-force so any problems with chi can have serious consequences for the individual. Health problems are believed to be caused by blockages to the flow of chi. The aim of the practice is to encourage the flow of chi and remove any blockages in the body.
The benefits of Qigong are said to include:
* Qigong can have many of the same benefits of meditation. It helps people improve their concentration and focus levels.
* It can be good for stress reduction.
* It can help people sleep better at nighttime.
* Many of those who practice Qigong claim that it leads to improved mental well-being.
* It is a spiritual practice that can allow the individual to develop this important side of their life.
* It improves physical stamina.
* It can help the individual cultivate a positive attitude to life.
* It is claimed that regularly practicing Qigong can slow down the aging process.
* This practice can help to increase body strength.
* It can strengthen the cardiovascular system.
* It increases body suppleness and flexibility.
* It boosts the immune system so that people are better able to fight off illness.
* It is said to lead to clean smooth looking and healthy skin.
* Increases sexual vitality.
* This practice can help to reduce or eliminate chronic pain.
* It can help people deal better with pain and discomfort.
* These techniques cause feelings of warmth to appear in the body.
* Qigong can help to eliminate negative emotions such as anger and pessimism.
* Regularly practice can lead to improved emotional stability.
* Some of the techniques Qigong can also be used as a martial art.
Qigong actually covers a wide range of different practices including:
* Martial Qigong can help fighters or other athletes improve their strength, flexibility, stamina, and speed.
* Medical Qigong is used for improving general health and giving people vitality. This is a practice that can be enjoyed by people of any age, and it is common to see elderly people performing these techniques in parks around the world early in the morning.
* Spiritual Qigong is where people use these techniques to better understand themselves and their place in the universe. It is even suggested that those who devote themselves to the practice may even one day become enlightened.
Within the different types of Qigong there can be found a variety of exercises and practices including:
* Static training involves holding a pose for a certain period of time.
* Dynamic training involves flowing movements similar to what can be found in Tai Chi.
* Meditative training involves a number of techniques that help the individual achieve deep levels of relaxation and concentration.
* Chinese herbal medicine can be used to remedy ailments and fix irregularities in chi.
* Massage can also be a part of this practice.
Tai Chi Chuan is closely connected to Qigong. These two activities share many techniques, and they are based on the same philosophy. It is usual for practitioners to combine these two practices together, and most Tai Chi classes in the west will devote a part of the class to Qigong exercises. The main difference between these two methodologies is that tai chi is more closely related to martial arts, and the techniques have self defense applications.
Qigong may be a particularly useful practice for those people who are recovering from an addiction. The benefits for such individuals can include:
* When people are in early sobriety they can find it difficult to develop a normal sleeping pattern. Practicing Qigong should help with this.
* People often find that the early weeks and months of recovery are like an emotional rollercoaster. Those who practice this technique may find that it helps to stabilize their mood.
* Stinking thinking is a type of negativity that can get in the way of recovery. This practice can help the individual cultivate a more positive frame of mind.
* Addicts tend to suffer from low self-esteem, and they can carry this with them into recovery. By regularly practicing Qigong it can allow them to develop a sense of mastery over their own body and mind, and this will help to improve their self-esteem.
* It is fairly common for addicts to develop post acute withdrawal syndrome and one of the most unpleasant symptoms of this is mental fog. If the individual practices Qigong regularly it can help to improve mental clarity and focus.
* The physical symptoms of withdrawal can be uncomfortable, and this practice may make to make this process more manageable.
* One of the main tasks of long-term recovery is to develop emotional sobriety. Those who regularly practice these techniques find that it can be a great aid for developing emotional sobriety.
* When people give up an addiction they will tend to be in poor health. This type of activity will help restore their body to good physical shape.
* Boredom can be a problem for people in early recovery, and it is a common reason for why people decide to relapse. Activities like this give meaning to life in sobriety, and help the individual avoid boredom.
* Many people find that following a spiritual path provides them with a purpose in recovery. Qigong can be a good tool for the spiritual warrior.
* Going to this type of class is a good opportunity to socialize and meet new people. Those who are newly sober will likely have needed to break away from their old drinking or drugging buddies, and so they need to start building a new social network.
The decision to take up this type of practice can bring huge benefits, but there are also some things worth considering:
* The addict’s logic that, if a little is good then more is better can get people into trouble when it comes to this type of activity. The individual needs to avoid swapping one addiction with another one so they should only practice in moderation.
* There are many books and websites devoted to this topic, but it is advisable to get the assistance of a proper teacher at least in the beginning. There are many wrong paths that people can take with this type of practice.
* In order to get the most from Qigong it is necessary to practice regularly. If this is something that people only do infrequently it will be unlikely to bring them much benefit.
* It is important that people have realistic expectations of this type of practice. They should not expect miraculous results overnight.
* In order to get the most from these techniques it is best to perform them outdoors in nature. It is believed that the early morning is the ideal time to practice.
* It is not necessary for people to buy special clothing to practice these techniques – although some people do. The main thing is that garments are loose and comfortable so that they do not impede movement.
* It is believed that some of the techniques of this practice can prove dangerous if practiced wrongly or for too long. Like everything else in life the key to success is balance and moderation.
* If people suffer from any type of existing knee problem they may want to speak to their doctor before taking up Qigong. This type or practice can be tough on the knees and may exacerbate an existing injury.
* Older people who have problems with balance may be at risk of falls and injury because of some of the positions used in the practice. It may be best to avoid those techniques that require a great deal of balancing for long periods of time.