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Qi Gong and the Mind-body Connection

October 3, 2008

In her book Earth Qi Gong for Women, author Tina Chunna Zhang attests to the body’s natural ability to heal itself through bodily awareness and a positive attitude. Speaking to the multiple changes a woman undergoes in her lifetime, Zhang opines with the warrior-like tone she maintains throughout the book:

“These transitions are just part of a woman’s life, and positive thought is all we need to help alleviate the symptoms of these transitions…We have to believe that the wisdom of our bodies and minds can change imbalanced states to balanced ones…Positive thinking is your true inner power and it can overcome the negative energy inside of you.”

Beginning with the history of Qi Gong (a tradition depicted on relics dating to 206 BC!) and ending with advice on finding the beauty of your own true nature, Zhang’s beautifully illustrated book details the importance and functional practice of Qi Gong through easy-to-read instructions and insightful commentary.

Zhang describes Qi Gong’s purpose as that of finding balance and releasing blockage or tension.  Based on ancient Chinese medicine which highlights the interconnectedness of each organ of the body, she explains how the body’s organs store energy. For women, she suggests, the pelvic area is of crucial importance as our energy center and creative space:

“When our energy is not flowing enough or has some blockage in this area of the body,” she warns, “gynecological and emotional problems can arise.”

While digesting her insights, I was reminded of a personal experience. As a teenager with a drastically irregular menstrual cycle, my gynecologist recommended progesterone pills. Intuitively resistant to the idea of adjusting my body’s hormonal state with chemically produced tablets, I stared at the ominous bottle of pills sitting on my bathroom counter and essentially willed my body into a regular cycle.  Surprisingly enough, it worked!

Can we actually learn how to alter our body’s functioning, as Tina Chunna Zhang suggests, with guided awareness and positive thinking? If it’s any indication, statistics reveal that unlike the 80% of American women who report menopausal symptoms, only 21% of Chinese women claim to suffer the torturous hot-flashes and mood-swings women commonly face during this period.

My thought? Listen to the master.

This post was written by our intern, Cassidy. Thanks Cassidy!

CLICK HERE to learn more about Earth Qi Gong for Women
CLICK HERE to visit Tina Zhang’s website.
CLICK HERE to listen to a recent interview with Tina Zhang

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