How QiGong Helped to Improve Sleep and Dramatically Raise My Energy Levels

Ever wonder why some people don’t heal on their own? While the real answer might be a ‘bit’ more complex than I’m about to render here but in short – this happens when they don’t have the fuel to fire their engines.

Our bodies are way more complex than we’re willing to admit. No amount of 5HTP or B vitamins will ever address our issues in a holistic and synergistic way that our bodies will ‘understand.’ But give the body energy and it will intelligently find ways to channel it into correct organ system in a balanced and most importantly – sustainable way.

QiGong is a very simple practice you can do to improve your health even if you’re exhausted from insomnia. The type I do requires very little physical effort. It builds you up from ground up and awakens your body’s inherent healing wisdom, aka inner teacher. It takes care of all those aspects that we’re not able to deal with our rational mind and limited knowledge.

How it All Began

It’s been exactly one year since I started my QiGong practice. This is a good milestone to summarize my experiences. I won’t go into what QiGong is and all the benefits that it provides. Instead, I’ll focus mostly on my experiences, its impact on sleep, energy levels and why I managed to stick with it for 12 months in a row without a break.

It wasn’t a spiritual path I was seeking when I started QiGong practice. I was basically forced into it by a very hopeless period of insomnia and debilitating fatigue.  Supplements weren’t working, every food item seemed like an enemy, my nervous system was in overdrive, and it was the first time in my life that I came face to face with depression.

I live in Lithuania now and I don’t have the testing needed to diagnose myself properly as I would in US. Having spent thousands on supplements and tests I was nowhere close to diagnosis and addressing my issues properly. I was a total mess, at the end of my wits, and one step from quitting a job that I absolutely love.

My colleague was doing QiGong and kept telling me stories how it helped him overcome chronic fatigue and a slew of other health issues but I wasn’t sold. I already had my Buddhist meditation practice and thought I had that spiritual component covered. Also, I had previously purchased a nice DVD online about Beginner’s QiGong and tinkered with it on and off. At this point I was too exhausted to go through that routine anyways.

It is when my colleague said that the QiGong he does is very different from the dynamic practices I had tried that I started paying attention again. He said “Dynamic practices are for healthier people; you and I need something that will recharge our batteries and restart the engines.”  Off I went to a weekend retreat to learn the first stage of ‘Zhong Yuan’ Qi Gong.

Most Valuable Lessons

What I learned was amazing and I could not possibly summarize it all here but the key lesson was this: Our body is an energy system which requires fuel from three different sources: air, food and the battery we’re born with – our primordial essence. This energy or Qi is what animates us and governs all of our anatomical organs. When Qi is stagnant or weak everything starts breaking apart.

A best example is a car.  A car can can be missing screws, have faulty engine parts, broken wind shields, even a flat tire and still run fine but only under one condition – it has to have quality fuel (QI). If you fill it with poor fuel you can have the best sports engine and brand new tires but it won’t move an inch or brake down and disintegrate very soon. Same happens with our bodies: if our QI is strong we can be missing a kidney, have charcoal lungs from smoking, fatty liver from alcohol and still function well, but if our QI is weak then taking supplements to help our organs creates nothing but more imbalance and expensive urine. This pretty much sums up why we need to cultivate good quality qi.

The very first weekend I started Qi Gong practice I felt something strange. Besides an undeniable boost in energy I felt light gnawing and migrating pain in my gut. It felt as if something was forcing itself though the pipes.

As days went on and I kept practicing on daily basis slowly and gradually I started noticing subtle changes that returned my sense of hope. Here was something that is actually of benefit, not making me worse. All I had to do is stand in one position for some time and then sit in one position for some time to ‘accumulate and balance” QI.

Personal Experiences

I would not be frank if I told you it’s been nothing but peaches and roses since I started QiGong but what I will say is that my base line around which the ups and downs are happening definitely has an upward direction. Over the past year I’ve noticed several key improvements:

A More Balanced CNS

My nervous system has become more balanced and resilient. Before, even the slightest of irritants sent shock waves through my CNS and bigger arguments felt like near death experiences. I’m taking heart palpitation, raised blood pressure, total insomnia and so on. QiGong managed to balance this out without any supplements.

More Energy

I have more energy to function. It is not nearly close to ‘normal’ but enough to have me working, laughing, dancing and fixing a leaky toilet.

Sense of Confidence

Chronic insomniacs are often faced with one inescapable reality – a sense of utter hopelessness. Seeing that I can greatly improve on my own gave me renewed hope. I figured “I don’t care, whatever it takes, I’ll stick with this and if things improve even just a tiny bit every month I can live with this.” I also noticed that whenever I hit a low point I ramp up my practice and ALWAYS feel better.

Improved Lower Back Pain

I can hardly feel that nasty burning lower back pain. It’s almost gone and I know that it would be totally gone if I took care of it better by stretching and exercising more often. QiGong is known to recharge that primordial energy center in our kidneys and relieve lower back pain as a result.

No Heart Palpitations

My heart palpitations are entirely gone. I’m sure this also had something to do with the herbal formulas I’m taking but having more energy in the organs took the burden off of the heart as well.

Better Immune Response

Before I was catching any cold or virus flying by. I am less sick, get over the cold faster and can definitely sense a better immune response.

Calmer and More Patient

On a spirit level I feel more grounded and connected. I stick to my routine religiously and find great comfort knowing that no matter what happens during the day I can balance it all out with my evening QiGong practice.

More Refreshing Sleep

Sleep was my first priority and while I can’t say that it’s all ‘fixed” now I can certainly say that there’s an improvement. I think what I have to accept is that sleep will resolve itself when all the underlying conditions that led to insomnia are fully addressed.

I feel that my digestion is working better, liver is more active, head is more clear, and even following the nights of poor sleep I feel like I can function because my battery is more charged. The sleep that I get now is deeper and more refreshing, there’s a tangible difference.  If you need evidence, there are studies out there pointing to QiGong’s efficacy in improving sleep.

How is QiGong Practiced?

There are many QiGong schools and the best for you is probably the one you can practice with someone in your town. It is extremely beneficial to have a qualified teacher introduce you to these practices but if you are a good learner then books and Youtube are exceedingly helpful as well. I found an instructor of Zhong Yuan Qigong in my area and practice weekly in a group to keep a connection. You can get going on your own by reading this very detailed instructional book. Just read everything very carefully as every detail counts.

Because improvements are so gradual it is easy to slip into an illusion that things are getting better ‘on themselves’ and you might be tempted to substitute your evening practice with one of those exciting TV series then it helps to keep in mind that life is short. Time in front of TV is time you lost out of your life and will never get back while Qi Gong masters say that time spent in QiGong does not subtract but add to your lifespan.

Practice Tips

One of the best things about these QiGong practices is that I can listen to music. In fact, I highly recommend putting together your own set of tunes and meditate to those every day. Music is very healing, soothing and helps with longer practice sessions. If you want to check out my Spotify QiGong meditation list you’re very welcome to pick from there and compile your own.

Before I start the practice I put on some music and make wishes that I have the patience to heal, that I find the right medicines, and that I have the courage to help others once I’m better. Making wishes and prayer works. Not because there’s a God to answer but because space is conscious, there is information there, we’re all bound by the same quantum field, whether we’re aware of it or not.

One last thing to remember is that you have to be a pretty good person for any of these practices to work. I mean you can’t hurt people by day and practice healing at night, it just doesn’t work. The energies do not align, right? So do that, be a better person, be more generous, more kind, more forgiving and everything will flow for you much better in life.

Final Thoughts

The authenticity of Qigong has been backed by a considerable amount of research in China.  Not only the government officially recognizes QiGong as a genuine healing therapy but its use is encouraged in the medical system throughout the country.  The government figures it is much cheaper to train people to self-heal than to spend the Communist money on surgeries and Western drugs. I agree.

As we get used to looking for another ‘supplement’ solution for our problems we find it hard to believe that there can be a simpler, free and more effective natural solutions. QiGong has been so valuable to me that I can’t imagine the rest of my life without this practice. I certainly hope you’ll learn more about it and give it a try. As Rumi said: “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

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