What Is Chi Gong?
‘Chi’ is the vital force, the life force that is transmitted by the breath. “Gong’ can be translated as exercise. So chi gong provides exercises that maximize the benefits of healthy breathing. The great news for seniors is that there are literally hundreds of simple exercises that maximize the benefits of breath and chi. Many exercises can be done while sitting in a chair or even lying down.
What Are the Benefits of Doing Chi Gong?
- Blood Oxygen Levels Improve
Doing Chi Gong on a regular basis improves one’s blood oxygen levels. We need to have oxygen levels of 90% or above. Doing Chi Gong immediately improves one’s blood oxygen saturation.
- Better Muscle Tone
This is especially important for the elderly who may be sedentary. Doing simple chi gong exercises on a regular basis improves muscle tone. Like yoga, the improvements are clear and almost immediate.
- Feelings of Physical Well-being
One may notice an overall improvement in physical well-being. You just feel better. When you feel good physically, all of your life feels better.
Doing Chi Gong With Physical Impairments
Trouble standing? Problems that keep you in a wheelchair? Bedridden? No problem. All the exercises I will be offering can be done sitting and even lying in a bed. In this first column, I will offer two simple exercises that can be done standing, sitting, or even lying in a bed. Like any exercise, however, the benefits will only be realized by those who do them on a regular basis. Make a commitment to do these exercises at least once a day and preferably twice a day.
Exercise One - Two Hands Reach the Sky
Standing, sitting, or lying in a bed, Slowly, while breathing in through the nose, raise both hands in front of you. Stretch both hands above you. Form claws with your hands at the top. Bring your hands slowly down in front of your face as you breathe out slowly through the nose, grasping the energy from the sky. Let your hands relax as they drop. Finally, spread the energy out to bless the earth. Repeat 7 more times.
Exercise Two - Kidney Rub
Rub your hands together vigorously in front of you while slowly breathing in and out through the nose. Now wash your face without touching it. Next, repeat rubbing your hands together. Finally, reach around your back as best you can, forming two loose fists and rub your kidney area with a circular motion. Repeat 7 more times.