Stressed? Go East

If you have been paying attention to what’s happening in the world right now, chances are that you’re pretty stressed! It’s even more difficult at the moment to manage stress than usual because the things causing most people to feel stressed aren’t things within their own lives, which they might have some amount of control over, they are huge global concerns. In the West, we tend to be very solution and outcome-oriented, which only leaves us feeling powerless when confronted with a global pandemic. To help deal with our difficult feelings, it’s worth a look at some techniques from the East.

Qigong

Qigong is rooted in ancient Chinese culture. It is a system of coordinated movement, breathing, and meditation. As Qigong is movement-based, it can be easier to access if you are in a state of heightened anxiety or stress than a meditation practice that requires you to sit still, which can seem completely impossible when your mind is running away from you! By practicing Qigong, you will cultivate mental resilience, and you will also improve your posture, circulation, and muscle tone in a way that is accessible to a range of fitness levels. When you practice Qigong, you will generally practice with a specific mental, spiritual, or physical problem in mind, and you will work to overcome it.

Tai-Chi

In the same way as Qigong, Tai-Chi is a practice that combines coordinated movement with breathing and meditation. The difference between Tai-Chi and Qigong is that Tai-Chi practice will generally consist of a sequence or routine of postures joined together, which will combine to gently exercise your whole body and mind. It differs slightly to Qigong because it has a broader focus, whereas Qigong is generally practiced with a particular problem or area in mind.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine. It is based on the idea that our life force or Qi (pronounced chee) runs through channels in our bodies, which can be accessed through acupuncture points. These points are used to restore balance to our yin and yang so that we might live more harmoniously.

According to Schauder acupuncture Orlando, the positive effects of acupuncture can be explained more scientifically as acupuncture points are seen as places where nerves, muscles, and tissue can be stimulated. This stimulus increases blood flow and provokes the body’s natural painkillers.

Yoga

Yoga has become increasingly popular, and with good reason. As well as being an excellent way to exercise and build strength without putting pressure on the body, studies have shown that regular practice lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. As with Qigong and Tai-Chi, yoga combines movement with meditative practice and command of the breath, which is the perfect recipe to help you to manage your stress. Yoga is a practice that is based on holding a sequence of poses, so it is different from Qigong and Tai-Chi, where you use more flowing movement, because of this yoga is excellent for building strength and is highly complementary to sports that put pressure on your joints like running.