Our emotional health is essential if we are to live an enjoyable and successful life and interact with others in a fulfilling way. Lack of emotional control often keeps us from initiating meaningful contact with other people and expressing ourselves in social situations.
There are many approaches and techniques for improving self confidence. The ones mostly relied upon range from psychological techniques, such as those used by psychotherapists to help their clients overcome emotional problems, to physical stress-relief maneuvers, such as getting a massage or working out regularly. However, there is another way that pertains to a totally different understanding of the emotions.
Thousands of years ago, in ancient China, a system of techniques called Qigong has emerged, which relied upon the philosophical principles of Yin and Yang, the 5 elements and the complex relations between human existence and nature, relations that underline and influence every aspect of our health and well-being. Tai Chi, with its slow graceful movements, is actually just Qigong in motion. What few people know, however, is that the improving emotional health is one of the areas Qigong and Tai Chi excel compared to other practices.
What Is Qigong?
Qigong is a system of techniques designed to promote health and enable the cultivation of Chi, the essential life force sustaining our bodies and informing and animating all known phenomena. Qigong techniques include breathing exercises, slow movements, static standing postures, meditation and visualizations. Through these techniques, people of all ages are able to correct their posture and improve their mobility, regain their strength and vigor and overcome most diseases.
But one of the strongest points of Qigong practice is it’s ability to help us achieve emotional balance in a very effective and unique way. Tai Chi then enables us to take command of our body and encourage the energy accumulated through Qigong to circulate along the natural pathways.
How Does Qigong Relate to Emotional Health?
Chinese medicine has established a complex system of relations between emotions and our vital organs. English expressions like "being livid with anger", "having a broken heart" or "a heart filled with joy" make perfect sense in this context, because the liver is associated with anger and the heart is associated with emotional suffering, and when energetically balanced, with joy and love. Refined over thousands of years, this knowledge is of course far more complex than, but you do not need to understand all the complexity in order to practice those simple techniques.
In Qigong, each emotional imbalance is seen as a sign of an energetic imbalance. This is not necessarily good or bad but it's a state of weakness, just as any disease. Harboring negative emotions for too long actually lead to physiological diseases in most cases.
Learning how to use abdominal, deep breathing is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal for calming your mind and remaining in control. Straightening your spinal column and unblocking its essential energy centers is another way to insure increased emotional stability and a clear mind as well. Then there are the meditation techniques which allow us to clear our mind, and the static postures designed to release tension and encourage the flow of Chi along the meridians the way it's naturally supposed to flow.
What Is Qigong's Approach So Powerful?
Think of psychological techniques of improving emotional health as "learning how to drive better". No matter how poorly maintained you car is, if you are a good driver, you are able to make the best out of it and avoid getting into accidents too. Think of taking care of your body, getting massages, running and getting enough sleep as "performing basic maintenance for your car".
But think about Qigong and Tai Chi as putting quality gasoline in your fuel tank and making sure the transmission and the steering remain intact. Because no matter how good a driver you are, there is nothing you can do if the transmission jams.
Qigong and Tai Chi are a slow but easy and steady progress towards attaining great emotional health and balance so that even in difficult or challenging circumstances, you maintain your inner composure and your ability to enjoy yourself.
I have been studying Tai Chi and Qigong for more than a year now and plan to become an instructor soon. I write about self healing and personal development topics aiming to provide effective and practical advice while outlining the essence of each problem and solution.