Are you looking for a new act of self care in 2021? If you have an interest in Chinese medicine and or alternative therapies then Qigong may be just the tonic. As an advocate of the practice, SILKS co-Director, Amanda Cooper, couldn’t wait to interview Katie Brindle and showcase this phenomenon to our clients.
Can you start by telling us a little about your background and Qigong?
When lockdown started, I decided to share my daily Qigong practice on Instagram. I’m a practitioner of Chinese medicine by profession, and my expertise is in Yang Sheng, the self-care part of Chinese medicine. Qigong, which translates as ‘life force practice’, is quite simply the most incredible exercise.
By strengthening your life force on the inside, you will see the results on the outside. Life force is the very thing that makes you feel alive and energised and healthy – and the minute you start to practice you’ll feel the difference.
If you think you’ve tried every type of workout to get the results you want, I promise you haven’t. Because if you are tired, lacking in energy, out of shape or simply not feeling great, trust me Qigong is for you. Since lockdown, we’ve had hundreds join our revolution and the results have been staggering. Qigong exercise leaves you feeling relaxed yet energised, rather than exhausted yet restless. It worked for me, it has worked for them – and it will work for you.
I had been dreaming of launching online Qigong classes for a long time. And as a result of the interest, Hayo’uFit was born. People have described it to me as ‘energising’, ‘transforming’ and as ‘the only thing that’s ever worked’ – all of which is amazing, and totally unsurprising to me! Qigong is not about calories in versus calories out. This is a practice designed to replenish rather than deplete your energy levels. Discover an entirely new approach – from one of the oldest healthcare systems in the world.
Tell us more – how does Qigong work?
Qigong is a fundamental pillar of Chinese medicine. It is classed as a form of internal exercise. Internal exercise is any combination of slow, considered movements with breath and mental engagement, another example would be yoga. Qigong is, quite simply, the ultimate self-healing technique. By learning to manipulate qi around the body, you rejuvenate and energise, lower the heart rate and blood pressure and support the immune system.
Many people exercise to improve the way they look or perhaps improving the health of your heart and lungs, but Chinese medicine says that while aerobic exercise does work those organs, it simultaneously taxes them. Qigong, on the other hand, works the muscles and nourishes all of the organs – but, crucially, doesn’t strain them. It boosts your oxygen uptake and circulation, but while your body is relaxed. This builds your capacity to store and generate your reserves of Qi (energy).
What are the main benefits of Qigong?
Qigong has been shown in research studies to offer the following benefits:
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces cortisol and stress hormones
- Reduces systemic inflammation
- Improves immune function
- Improves sleep quality
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Promotes relaxation
- Improves mood
- Positive effects on bone health
- Pain reduction for Arthritis, neck pain and Fibromyalgia
- Improves cognitive function
Who is Qigong best suited to?
In a word, everyone! According to Chinese medicine, your organs control the entire health of your body. This includes, amongst other things, your muscles, fascia, bones, body fat and any tendency towards weight imbalance. Look after your organs and you’ll see a knock-on positive effect on all of your health. Qigong will give you stamina without stress, tone without pain. As you do the exercises, you’re balancing the whole body and, because they’re so gentle, they also suit older people, those recovering from illness and anyone else with physical or energetic limitations. Just because it’s gentle, don’t underestimate its power and efficacy.
What is Laughter Qigong?
As part of the class, we always do some Laughter qigong. This is one of my favourite mind/body exercises. Lots of our morning qigong class have reported that they start crying when they do laughter qigong. This is totally natural and actually quite common, as they are both emotional releases. This is the body clearing suppressed emotions. In Chinese medicine, everything needs to flow and if there is anything stuck, it inhibits your Qi flow around the body, which eventually will cause health issues. It all needs to come out…
How often should you do Qigong?
The beauty of this is that it can take as much or as little time as you like! So, all of our Hayo’u rituals, such as body tapping with our amazing Body Tapper Bamboo, can be effective in as little as one-minute a day. It was important to me to make these techniques as simple as brushing your teeth, in order to give people half a chance of actually making them a habit. But when we have more time, as many of us do during lockdown, they are there to enjoy for longer at a deeper level. Which also goes for qigong! If you are looking for the perfect exercise to do from home, we have now launched subscriptions, which means that you can practice every single day for £8 a week!
If you would like any support in any aspect of your lifestyle, please contact SILKS for more info.