Meditation for Healthy Heart Wellness
Performing meditation for healthy heart wellness has become a lifestyle for me. This became a lifestyle borne out of necessity.
Wanna Know How I Gained My Life Back?
It may sound like a cliché, but our heath is so important my friends. Without having our health, nothing else matters.
Some of you may know that over the past year, I’ve struggled with inexplicable random incidences of bradycardia (low heart rate) where my heart rate would sometimes drop into the low 30’s. Inexplicably.
These inexplicable random events have landed me in the hospital on several occasions. I’ve even written blog posts about them:
I’ve seen over 15 different medical specialists, ranging from specialties in cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, and not one can explain the reason of what triggers such bradycardia activity, other than it is some sort of vagal response.
So since western medicine has consistently failed me, about 9 months ago I turned to eastern health and meditation practices.
I can now say that of all the things I’ve tried, this has helped me the most, as my bradycardias have abated to the point where they are now much more infrequent.
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Meditation for Healthy Heart Wellness: The Art of Qigong
Nine months ago, I was first introduced to the eminent Dr. Lee, a Taiwanese octogenarian who is a neuropsychologist trained in both western and eastern medicine. We have been meeting regularly the past 9 months.
However, Dr. Lee is primarily known to be a Qigong specialist.
Qigong is an eastern practice that incorporates deep breathing and meditation comprising a diverse set of practices that coordinate body, breath, and mind based on Chinese philosophy. The practice has been recognized as a "standard medical technique" in China since 1989, and is sometimes included in the medical curriculum of major universities in China.
The official Chinese Medical Qigong textbook of 2013 English translation used in China defines Qigong as the following:
"…the skill of body-mind exercise that integrates body, breath, and mind adjustments into one" which emphasizes that qigong is based on "adjustment" of body, breath, and mind".
As moving meditation, qigong practice typically coordinates slow stylized movement, deep diaphragmatic breathing, and calm mental focus, with visualization of guiding qi through the body. Practices include moving and still meditation, massage, chanting, sound meditation, and non-contact treatments, performed in a broad array of body postures.
The objective of Qigong is to reach a “void” state though meditation devoid of all emotional, sensory, perceptual, and cognitive function.
Meditation for Healthy Heart Wellness: Achieving a Void State
There have been legendary practitioners, particularly Buddhist monks who have been documented to have become so advanced they are able to achieve such a “void” state through meditation.
In such cases, they can raise their body temperature by 10 degrees Fahrenheit upon will, and even some Masters who have achieved such an advanced level they can “stop the beating of their heart.”
Qigong vs. Tai Chi: What are the Differences?
During one of my recent visits with the eminent Dr. Lee, I asked him this very complex and detailed question.
And he provided some excellent answers.
So here it goes.
Dr. Lee Explained.
The eminent Dr. Lee who is an octogenarian has studied with the great Chinese Masters in many disciplines, and is using a unique combination of all to treat my maladies.
However, there are actually 3 relevant components at play here:
He went on to explain the differences between Qigong and Tai Chi, and also added the related Shaolin Martial Arts, although some of the differences are very subtle and quite convoluted.
Qigong literally means "the exercise of the energy (chi)" and is a non-martial art. It can be composed of both static meditation and moving meditation.
It is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for the purposes of health, and spirituality.
In Qigong, the exercise of a flow of energy through the body, or “chi” is emphasized and expressed.
Whether viewed from the perspective of exercise, health, philosophy, several main principles emerge concerning the practice of qigong.
- · Intentional movement: careful, flowing balanced style
- · Rhythmic breathing: slow, deep, coordinated with fluid movement
- · Awareness: calm, focused meditative state
- · Visualization: of chi flow, philosophical tenets, aesthetics
- · Chanting/Sound: use of sound as a focal point
The ideal physical components of Qigong include a soft gaze, expressionless face, firm footing, relaxed muscles, slightly bent joints, and motion over the center of gravity.
"Five Animal play" is a set of Qigong exercises developed during the Han Dynasty mimicking the movements of the tiger, deer, bear, monkey and crane.
Tai Chi (Tai Chi Chuan) is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is composed of a series of movements that are practiced as health exercises good for balance and to relieve stress.
However, with Tai Chi the "energy" component is not stressed.
Although Tai Chi is a series of movements practiced as a health exercise, while internal energy moves inside the body, that same internal energy (”chi”) is not stressed.
The Healing Powers of Meditation
Dr. Lee has been teaching me Qigong through demonstrating a series of short 5-minute meditative exercises in different body positions. Some of these exercises require that I first strike special handmade “bowls” that rings a droning sound to “take in” while in am meditating.
I am to go home, and repeat these same meditative exercises on a daily basis.
Dr. Lee has lent me one of his special “droning bowls” he purchased in Tibet to strike where I am to take in the special relaxing reverberating sound during my daily home exercises. Coincidentally, I also own a similar bowl that I purchased as a souvenir when I visited Tibet.
Since I have been meeting bi-weekly and practicing Qigong with Dr. Lee at his home for the past nine months, my bradycardias have all but disappeared.
This I now believe is the essence of Qigong and the healing powers of meditation.
I must admit, despite my past travels through China and Tibet, at first I was the most skeptical person.
Never would I have believed it would have taken this controversial Eastern medical technique to “cure” my mysterious malady, but recent results have turned me into a TRUE believer
However, there is no denying this is the best I have felt in a long time!
Thank You for reading this article on meditation for healthy heart wellness and the art of Qigong.
Feel free to make any comments below
Kaju, it’s great to hear that the mediation techniques you’ve mentioned have helped you deal with this health crises! I have a lot going on my own life and you can bet I will be looking into this area. I could really use the peace mind I can see has been given you!
Thank you so very much for the well written and sourced blog post.
A healthy lifestyle is a universal goal we all aspire for, unfortunately, we often do not take the time to truly pursue it for various reasons and due to the often conflicting reports, services or products we are bombarded with.
Your post focuses our attention of a specific healthy activity, cites to well-respected authority, it is nicely illustrated and it has the magazine article level feel and reader engagement.
When most bloggers focus on making money, you always bring to light all kind of aspects which can enrich, enhance and empower us, with that persistent goal of helping others.