To piggy-back off a previous post I did on acupuncture, I wanted to explore more on finding your chi and what it is exactly. The simplest explanation of chi (or referred to as qi in some Chinese philosophies) is what gives us life. Someone who is living has chi, a body in a morgue does not. In some religions, including Biblical references, chi is what God breathed into Adam to give him life. Chi is also the basis of acupuncture, which I touched upon in my earlier post.
The thought behind chi in regards to acupuncture, is to maintain a healthy chi in order to overcome illness, become more vibrant and enhance mental capacity.
Chi is also thought to extend to the physical body and activate all human functions, including emotions and thought. If your chi is unbalanced, you can have your emotions out of whack or become agitated or stressed.
So now that we know keeping your chi balanced has many benefits, how do we “maintain” our chi? There are 3 main ways to keep a healthy chi according to the most common practice of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Breath work, physical work, and mental work.
This is possibly the most easy to do because you can do it anywhere. While in traffic, in line at the grocery store, or even while you are sitting watching TV. Taking the time to slow down your breath, inhaling and exhaling completely through your diaphragm will reset you mind and bring an instant calmness. Next time you feel yourself getting worked up, try taking 10 deep breaths counting very slowly for the same amount of time in and out.
Tai Chi is the epitome of working on your chi in a physical way. Have you ever walked by a park and seen a group of people going through motions while in sync, as if they are moving through water? Chances are they are a group practicing Tai Chi. Just watching the practice of Tai Chi is extremely relaxing. It is thought that the concentration on your movement and breath work in Tai Chi, instantly connects you with your chi. Look up some local classes in your area or find some moves online to do in the comfort of your home or back yard.
The last form of exercise for your chi, mental work is something I am continually working on. It is difficult for someone like me with a personality that is always multi-tasking and on the go, to slow down and take time to just do “nothing”. What has helped me is looking at meditation (or any other kind of mental work) as something I am doing for my mind and in effect I am actually doing something. Something very important and crucial for my well-being. My advice is to start slow. Maybe even just 5 minutes a day. I promise this will change your life, and stress level like nothing else you’ve ever tried.
Have you explored your chi before? What are some of the things you try to maintain a balanced chi?
Happy chi, happy life 🙂