The Unintended Consequences of Qigong
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Several years back I learned that I had herniated my C6 disk in my neck and was advised by doctors to drastically cut back on cycling and tennis. This was not the news I wanted to hear, as both cycling and tennis are such a huge part of my life and cutting back, or possibly giving them up wasn’t my first or second or even third choice. I decided I needed to find alternatives so went online and searched, “other options for herniated discs?” What I discovered in my search was a wonderful gift, the practice of Qigong. Qigong is China’s 3000-year-old system of self-healing and I am excited to be able to share it with as many people as I can!
Qi is life force energy and gong means to work skillfully. How can we work with our life force energy in a more skillful way? As I began to learn Qigong, I realized it could help me deliver oxygen and nutrition to my tissues more efficiently, help me manage pain and my mood, and increase my relaxation and mental focus. The pain in my neck started to subside and then something else happened. I started to really become aware of the tension I was holding in my body and I started to get skillful around letting that tension go in an intentional way. And this is where it got interesting! I started to realize that this balance of effortless effort allowed me to generate more power in my tennis stroke, and I wasn’t tight or sore after playing long matches. Even in an important match where I would usually tighten up, I was able to relax my arm. A relaxed arm meant a relaxed shoulder and meant a relaxed neck. It’s a chain reaction and in the end I believe it means less injury too. This was the unintended consequence of Qigong and one I like to share with my tennis community. I invite you to discover some of your own unintended consequences of this ancient practice.