Having a Rest to Save the Energy of Life and Performing Three Regulations to Maintain Health
The health-preserving philosophy of Health Qigong has a profound philosophical foundation. It is quite different from other sports in that it lays emphasis on self-cultivation, on the improvement of psychological quality, on the comprehensive development of morality, intelligent, physical fitness, and aesthetics, on the cultivation of spirit, Qi, and essence, on self-experience and comprehension, on the dominant role of health preservation, on disease prevention and health preservation, on self-defense, and on low-profile self-cultivation. To sum up, the practice of Health Qigong not only strengthens the body, but also facilitates serenity and spirit nourishment, regulates the mental state, corrects the temperament, produces wisdom, and optimizes qualities.
Entering Serenity, Nourishing Spirit, and Regulating Mental State
The practice of Health Qigong requirements combined body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation. Entering serenity and nourishing spirit are exactly the mental regulation of Health Qigong. Entering serenity and nourishing spirit will facilitate health preservation and help us alleviate our mental pressure caused by the fierce competition in the modern age. Ancient people compared man’s given life span to the combustion duration of wood. With the same volume, the hard Chinese oak burns much longer than poplar wood. It is also said that “my life depends on myself rather than the heaven. Abuse of it will shorten it, while proper use of it will prolong it.” By frequently entering serenity and nourish the spirit, we can save the life energy and prolong life.
The basic requirement of mind regulation is to enter serenity. In order words, we are required to consciously regulate the mental activities and enter serenity and nourish the spirit through mind concentration. The essential characteristic of mind concentration is the relaxed mind concentration. It does not require any clear understanding of the directive things. This is the elementary serenity. Advanced serenity should be free of thoughts. Anyone that enters this stage will forget himself. The “heart will be calm and clear as a mirror and still water” and “the spirit will travel freely in the outer space”. This indescribable delightful mental state is most favorable for health and longevity.
Under the serene conditions, the automatic regulating system of the human body will be free of interference and play its due role. All imbalances between Yin and Yang will be eliminated. However, when the automatic regulating system is seriously damaged and out of service, medical intervention will be necessary. A well-trained exerciser can also use mind concentration for active regulation and control. This is related to the beneficial psychological suggestion and imagination. For example, when mind is concentrated on the head, the blood pressure will rise. When it is concentrated on the feet, the blood pressure will fall. By guiding Qi with the mind, Qigong can regulate the ascending and descending movements of blood and Qi. By concentrating the mind on the lower Yu acupoints, a person with Yin deficiency and predominant Yang will lower Yang. Such a person can also imagine the cold things such as the moon or water. By concentrating the mind on the upper Yu acupoints, a person can raise Yang. A person having Yang deficiency should image the sun or fire. Specifically, high blood pressure and hyperglycemia patients approximately belong to predominant Yang or asthenic Yin in traditional Chinese medicine. Therefore these patients should concentrate the mind on Yongquan Acupoints at the feet and imagine cold things. On the contrary, hypopiesia and hypoglycemia patients are equivalent to asthenic Yang or blood and Qi deficiency patients, who may concentrate the mind on Baihui Acupoint on the head and imagine warm things.
It has been proven in practice that Health Qigong exercise can make man’s cerebral activities more orderly and synchronous. Serenity is not rest or sleep or any hypnoid state. It is an integrated functional state. Health Qigong exercise will reduce the complexity of the brain in the conscious state and reduce the chaos. When the cerebral cortex of the advanced nervous center is in the inhibited state, the center controlling the visceral activities will become active. Therefore the disorderly functions can be automatically regulated. By entering serenity, the exerciser will keep a sound mind, reduce the nervousness, and achieve the optimal state of the physiological functions. Due to the cheerful and concentrated mind, external interference will be screened and the automatic regulating functions of the organism will be fully exerted. At this point the intuitive immunity and adaptability will be developed.
Self-Cultivation and Correction of Temperament
The temperament and disposition relate to the health, longevity, and success of a man. It is important to build a strong and handsome body. But it is only spiritual beauty, i.e. the temperament beauty that achieves permanent charm.
The so-called “temperament” is the natural and intrinsic stable psychological characteristics. It covers many mental activities, such as the consciousness, emotions, speed of motion reflex, intensity of emotions and will, the stability of emotions and attention, and the introversion or extroversion of the orientation of mental activities. Its physiological foundation is the nerves of the individual-humoral regulation system, such as the nerve types, endocrine characteristics, etc. Temperament is subject to the influence of genetic factors. It is stable to a certain extent but not unchangeable. When influenced by the living environment and educational conditions, temperament may also be changed to a certain extent. For example, some quick-tempered persons living in a group will become self-restrain and some slow-tempered persons will become quick in action.
Different dispositions have their unique temperament features. Temperament will influence the formation and development of disposition but disposition is more ductile and is usually formed under the acquired environment, education, and fitness exercise. Disposition is a core psychological characteristic in the personality structure. It has significant effects on the ability and temperament of an individual. Disposition is ductile. For example, a person who has developed high self-control in a harsh living environment will be good at controlling his irritable and impulsive temperament. A person who has developed the habit of caring about the group and others in group living will strength his connections with other people and reform his introvert temperament.
In traditional Chinese medicine, persons are divided into Taiyang persons, Shaoyang persons, Taiyin persons, Shaoyang persons, and Yin-Yang balanced persons by temperament and disposition. Yin-Yang balanced persons have the strengths and do not have the weaknesses of all the other four types of persons. The temperament and disposition characteristics have both active and passive sides. People who know themselves are good at utilizing their own strengths and overcoming their weaknesses. In practice they can build a perfect image bit by bit. This process is called “self-cultivation”. In actual life, no everyone belongs to a certain temperament type. Except a few persons who have typical characteristics, most people belong to the intermediate type or mixed type. Through Health Qigong exercise, we can regulate equilibrium, regulate Yin and Yang, and properly reform the body constitution, temperament, and disposition of the person.
Health Qigong exercise can change the characteristics of the cerebral activities and regulate the functions of the endocrine secretion system, which are exactly the physiological foundation for the psychological characteristics of temperament and disposition. For example persons of “Type A temperament” are typical “quick-tempered” persons that are easy to get agitated, impatient, irritable, easily angry, and susceptible to diseases like hypertension and coronary artery diseases. Health Qigong exercise can not only facilitate the control and prevention of these diseases but also moderate the disposition. Persons of “Type C temperament” are typically “gloomy”. Their emotions are often distressed. They seem to resign themselves to adversity but are actually angry at heart. This temperament will easily lead to cancers and ulcers. Health Qigong exercise will not only facilitate the rehabilitation of cancer in the combined therapies, but also lead to a broad-minded and optimistic temperament. This means that adverse temperament and disposition can be corrected by Health Qigong exercise.
Peace and Serenity Produces Wisdom and Optimizes Qualities
Normal people cannot do the stunners of the acrobats. Without practice, we cannot produce the masterworks of calligraphy and painting masters, the works of miniature engraving artists, and the paintings painted by disabled artists with feet. But they did make it through hard training, because they have developed their own potential. People usually use the left brain more frequently than they do the right brain. Modern computers have replaced the mechanical memory and abstract thinking and calculation of man. Development of a person’s ability is mainly dependent on the right brain which exerts the imagination and creativity. Innovation is a specialty of the human kind. Only coordinated left brain and right brain can lead to creativity.
The “serenity” and “mind concentration” of Health Qigong exercise are methods to practice the concentration and distribution of attention. The quality of attention is related to the labor efficiency and occurrence of accidents, and thus to the success of a person’s cause. Experimental psychology has proved that normal people can focus their minds for at most 20 minutes. But well-trained Health Qigong exercisers can maintain high serenity free of distracting thoughts for a long time. The “visualization” of Qigong is also known as “inward contemplation”, which is exactly a general method for the exercise of imagination. Imagination is a symbol of man’s wisdom. In the modern age, intelligent resources are developed by using both the left and right brains and fully utilizing the imagination and concrete thinking functions of the right brain. It is only in this way that we can exert the greatest strength of man-imagination.
Health Qigong exercise will optimize the qualities. “Peace and serenity will produce wisdom” and “inspired thinking” will lead to the optimal physiological state after the understanding and comprehension of life and universe. Experimentation has proved that exercisers have significantly less nervousness, significantly faster response, significantly higher IQ, and significantly better studying speed, memory, language expression, agility, and creativity than the non-exercisers.
Comprehensive Health Qigong exercise includes morality cultivation. It is an exercise of self-control, a healthy lifestyle, and an art of health preservation. With the advent of the information-based society and the development of open education and lifelong education, health education and health preserving methods will definitely be popularized. Health Qigong requires the development of morality and the cultivation of lofty sentiments, which are also the key points of the new health concept proposed by WHO.
Reference: Having a Rest to Save the Energy of Life and Performing Three Regulations to Maintain Health jsqg.sport.org.cn