Qi Gong is a wonderful practice to help us stay healthy and energized! In addition to eating healthy and getting enough sleep, our Qi Gong practice is a great way to give our immune system a boost when we’re starting to feel sick, or any time for that matter.
One common question we receive is: how can Qi Gong be used to fend off sickness? While all Qi Gong practices will cultivate our immune system, some are especially valuable for giving us that extra bit of resilience we need when our immune system is threatened.
Today, we’re going to teach you a simple, fifteen-minute routine that master Qi Gong teacher, Lee Holden, recommends for boosting your immune system. Although this practice can be very effective, it’s important to note that it isn’t intended to replace medicine or visits to your doctor if that’s what the situation calls for.
A Quick Lesson in Chinese Medicine Theory
Let’s start with a little contextual overview. In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, the immune system is connected to our “Wei Qi.” Wei Qi is the protective energy that permeates our body and helps us to fend off harmful energies that might come our way. Wei Qi is also connected to our lungs, skin, and the Metal element. Because of this, many practices for health and resiliency include breathing exercises.
Before explaining the 15-minute practice, it’s important to point out some of the elements that contribute to a compromised immune system. Not surprisingly, stress and anxiety can take a significant toll on our sickness-fighting potential. When our minds and emotions become wrapped up in stressful energy, our Wei Qi is drained and unable to perform its important task of keeping us healthy. Therefore, the first step to preventing illness is to dedicate time each day to let go of stress. There are many activities that can help you do this including exercise, Qi Gong, meditation, and being in nature. If you lead a healthy lifestyle and still feel a cold or sickness approaching, it’s time for a little “Qi boost.”
Boosting Your Immune System
Pressure point exercises are a great way to activate various energies within the body. For the immune system, the pressure points of Lung 1 and Lung 2 can help you to boost your Wei Qi.
To start, find these pressure located next to your collarbone, which are indicated as Lu 1 and Lu 2 on the image. Once you’ve found these points, spend a few moments massaging each of them with your fingertips, before making a lightly closed fist and tapping them gently. Seek to massage and tap these two points in a way that is activating yet doesn’t cause pain. Continue this for three to five minutes.
After working with your pressure points, it’s time for a little meditation. Like all of the meditations we share, try to read through it once or twice on your own before closing your eyes and starting your practice. This meditation combines a breathing practice with visualization.
Start by taking slow, deep breaths. Once your breath becomes regular, we’re going to start doing slow, rhythmic breathing.
Doing slow rhythmic breathing is simple to understand but takes a little practice to get used to. In this practice, we’re going to inhale slowly for five seconds. Once your lungs are full of air, try to hold your breath for another five seconds. At the end of that time, exhale slowly for another full five seconds, and then pause with empty lungs for five seconds.
In summary, each full breath lasts a full 20 seconds. Inhale for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds, exhale for five seconds, and then hold your breath out for five seconds.
If you notice that this pace doesn’t work well for you, try it with three-second intervals. If you do that, the breathing cadence would be: inhale for three seconds, hold your breath for three seconds, exhale for three seconds, and then hold your breath out for three seconds. You may notice that breathing in this way requires you to pace your breath in such a way as it takes a full five (or three) seconds to inhale and exhale. Your first few breaths may be a little uneven, but after a few more you should be able to find the pace that works well for you. Once your breathing becomes consistent, we’re going to add the visualization component to this meditation.
Now, as you inhale start to imagine white light entering your lungs with your breath. When it comes time to exhale, imagine cloudy gray energy leaving your body. Inhaling, white, pure, healthy Qi. Exhaling old, stagnant, toxic energy. Continue breathing and visualizing the movement of those energies. After a few minutes, start to imagine the white light building in your lungs and expanding to your entire body. Perhaps, send a little extra white light to any parts of your body that need it the most.
You can breathe and visualize as long as you’d like, but Lee recommends doing it at least ten minutes or so. The longer you do it, the more your concentration sharpens and the more your mind is able to circulate healing Qi throughout your body. When you’re ready to conclude your meditation, smile to yourself and continue going about your day.
More Immunity Boosting Practices
If you enjoyed this meditation and would like to learn more practices for boosting your immune system, be sure to check out Lee’s popular evergreen workshop: Qi Gong for Winter.
In this three-hour experience, Lee teaches many powerful practices designed to help you boost your immune system and harness your inner strength. Also, because it’s an evergreen workshop, you can rewatch those lessons as often as you would like from the comfort of your own home.
The topics that Lee covers include: replenishing your Qi, protecting your body against colds and illnesses, inner peace meditations, and cultivating bodily attunement, among many others. Although these lessons are especially essential during the winter, they’re also very valuable throughout the entire year. Learn more about Qi Gong for Winter and start practicing today.