Qigong is a practice that combines rhythmic breathing with slow fluid movements, a calm state of mind, and a focus on guiding qi, or energy, through the body. Millions of people around the world practice Qigong today and, according to Dr. Oz, "If you want to live to be 100, do Qigong—it is the best longevity exercise!"
In Qigong, the blood is mobilized to flow powerfully through the body. Because you are relaxed during the exercises, there is no stress response to contract blood vessels, so blood can enter areas that may have been blocked—areas where disease is most likely to occur. What's fascinating to me that when you are doing qigong, you feel like you're not doing much at all, yet qigong stimulates the same amount of blood circulation as jogging. In fact, a 45-minute qigong class gives you the same cardiovascular benefits of jogging two miles. And since Qigong is low impact and can be done lying down, sitting, or standing, people who are disabled, seniors, and people recovering from injuries are able to do the exercises and get the benefits—without pain. Blood flow to the brain and organs is improved and they feel a difference—sometimes after one class.
While learning qigong, I also became certified to teach Breath Empowerment exercises, another component of Qigong that may well account for the healing benefits. Studies have documented live blood analysis in laboratories that shows blood cells before Breath Empowerment exercises—and after. Before, blood cells were rectangular, clumped together, and not moving freely. After oxygenating the blood with Breath Empowerment, the same cells are round and moving freely. Oxygenating the blood also prevents disease because bacteria, fungi and viruses can't survive in an oxygenated environment.
In simple terms, Qigong and Breath Empowerment are a way for people of all ages to harness their own life force energy—qi—and use it to step into their potential. As people begin to activate the life force energy, and learn how to move it through the body, not only do they feel more positive and more grounded, they can more easily get in touch with all the things that are holding them back and keeping them from reaching their full potential.