One of the most common reasons people discover and practice Qigong is because of arthritis pain. Whether it is rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, or one of the many other forms of arthritis Qigong can certainly help with stiffness, swelling, and pain. But why exactly does it help?
Every year there are new drugs, treatments, supplements, herbs, and therapies to help ease the pain of arthritis. Some of them are highly effective, some of them are not. A study showed that the medical system in the US spends $185 billion a year trying to help symptoms of arthritis.
I honestly hope that some miracle treatment emerges to help arthritis sufferers because I see many patients first hand experience tremendous pain, and lose their quality of life due to arthritis and I would love to see them helped by modern medicine.
But in the meantime I think it is safe to say that every expert would agree that currently the one thing that is helpful for all forms of arthritis is … movement. All forms of movement help decrease pain and stiffness, and it can possibly reverse the cause of arthritis. There are many different types of movement:
- strength training
- cardiovascular exercise
- balance and coordination
- relaxation, breathing
- core work, etc
But which one is best? Well, it’s best to do all of them! By no means am I suggesting to spend 4 hours everyday on movement, but a simple 15-20 minute qigong practice will have all the forms of movement that is helpful for arthritis. This is why Qigong helps- in a short daily practice session you can invigorate all your joints, muscles, bones, soft tissue in various ways, at the same time activating and moving your qi.
This is why many people in Asian countries often begin practicing Qigong; to reduce arthritic pain. There are some good overall Qigong practices that are helpful for all forms of arthritis, such as the 18 Forms, and if you can practice those type of full routines you can activate circulation everywhere in your body.
But what if you can’t complete a full routine? That’s ok, because part of the benefit of qigong practice is activating the “relaxation response” or the “flow state.” This is when your body and mind can calm down from the “fight or flight” state that we are so often in, and start to actually heal the body. When can’t be in “fight or flight” state AND heal the body at the same time. You can easily achieve the “Flow State” during Qigong even with a very gentle, short practice.
So, the combination of increasing the circulation throughout the body, and calming the fight or flight mechanism is why qigong helps with arthritis.
If you haven’t already, come join the Communi Qi, get your qi moving, and start feeling healthy and full of vitality!