(Natural News) Poor posture is one of the common causes of neck pain. Hunching over your desk for hours strains your muscles in the neck, which results in pain. Researchers from the U.S. recommend qigong, pronounced as “chee-kong,” as a natural way to treat neck pain.
Similar to other forms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), qigong, which is a form of exercise-related activity, is based on the principle of harmonizing the opposite energies of Yin and Yang and regulating the balance of qi, “vital energy,” in the body to promote and maintain health and well-being.
The practice of qigong dates back over 2,000 years. There are many forms of qigong, and most of them use a combination of breathing exercises, gentle movement, visualization, and mental focus. Today, many people practice this form of exercise to improve physical health and psycho-spiritual wellness. It is popular in older people because most qigong forms are light and gentle and can be practiced by people who are generally weak or frail.
Evidence on the effectiveness of qigong for neck pain relief
For the study, the U.S. researchers looked at the effects of qigong in people with neck pain, which is a common musculoskeletal condition. To do this, they gathered studies published from January 2000 to September 2017 on qigong and neck pain. A total of five studies passed the criteria and were included in the review.
Four out of five included studies reported that qigong had a significant effect on neck-related disability or pain. However, it was not generally more effective than other exercise therapies.
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Published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, the findings of this systematic review indicate that qigong may be an effective natural therapy for neck pain.
More reasons to try qigong
Qigong is not only good for relieving neck pain. It has other benefits on both mental and physical health. Here are some of them:
- Qigong relaxes the muscles and builds power: The goal of qigong is to produce a feeling of relaxed power. This occurs when the muscles loosen, which allows the energy to flow through.
- Qigong keeps organs healthy: Certain qigong techniques work to strengthen and balance the internal organs. They are said to help organs from recovering after an illness, such as the liver from hepatitis or the lungs from tuberculosis. Even without an illness, the practice of qigong promotes the health of all body organs.
- Qigong supports the heart and lungs: Qigong involves slow, deep, regular breathing and energy movements that strengthen both the heart and lungs. In addition, qigong improves blood flow by increasing the elasticity of blood vessels. It also helps regulate blood pressure.
- Qigong helps prevent injuries: The practice of qigong teaches better balance, proper joint movements, and increases the flexibility of ligaments — all of which help prevent falls and injuries to joints, ligaments, and bones.
- Qigong eases the mind: Many movements in qigong help address stress, depression, grief, frustration, irritability, and others. Qigong helps convert negative emotions and energy to positive ones, promoting emotional balance.
- Qigong aids in weight loss: Research has suggested that practicing a modified qigong breathing exercise reduces your sense of hunger, which can help you lose weight. Researchers modified “yuchan fanlang gong” or “frog making waves,” a qigong breathing exercise that imitates a frog’s breathing. This specific qigong exercise is used by monks to suppress their hunger when fasting.
Read more news stories and studies on qigong and other traditional Chinese healing practices by going to ChineseMedicine.news.