Qigong Exercises for the Heart

Beth Quist, Guest Writer
Waking Times

In Chinese Medicine, the heart is considered the emperor of the body.  The emperor needs peace and order in its kingdom, and so governs the bodily functions with routine, like a clock, providing consistent order to its kingdom. The heart is what houses the Five Spirits, known as the Shen. The emotion of peace, order and love is bestowed and shared from the heart to every cell and organ in its kingdom.

The heart has direct communication with the brain. There is a hormonal link between the mind and the heart, helping to support mental and emotional clarity. This process and connection with the brain helps to organize mental concepts and the capacity to judge. Our bodies crave order and our minds crave peace.

There is a connection between the body’s internal organs and emotions. For example, when a person is in emotional energetic balance, a person is usually open-minded, peaceful and trustful. But when a person is out of emotional balance, a person can exhibit signs of being confused, doubtful and greedy. It is those emotions which can affect and interfere with the heart’s Qi and its flow.

If you are experiencing palpitations, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, and insomnia or sleep disturbances, there are some Qigong Heart exercises that can help improve your heart and circulation.

Qigong Heart Exercises

With all Qigong exercises, you will need to place your emphasis on the connection of your mind, breath and imagination. Start with

  1. a warm up (such as a Pulling Down Heaven), and get the energy moving, then
  2. do an exercise to purge (clean out the turbid energy), and then
  3. do an exercise to tonify (add in clean and vibrant new energy).

  • The following is a heart exercise to help you move and purge stagnant Qi in the heart and blood vessels.

    Purging Exercise for the Heart – Using the Healing Sound of “HA”
    (From the book “Medical Qigong Exercise Prescriptions” by Dr. Suzanne Friedman)

    This gentle Qigong exercise uses sound to relieve anxiety from the heart, to expel heat from the body, and to improve circulation.  You should not do this exercise if you have any of the following:

    • Broken or fractured bones
    • Acute stage of illness
    • Pregnancy
    • Menstruation

    This Qigong sound exercise prescription was developed by Dr. Suzanne B. Friedman who recommends using a rising tone if you need the Qi to ascend. You should use a descending tone if you need the Qi to descend. But if you don’t know, then use a straight monotone with this purging exercise for the heart.

    1. Begin with Pulling Down Heavens (see Exercise Video).
    2. Raise arms above head with elbows slightly bent.
    3. Palms face forward and tilt slightly toward the sky.
    4. Inhale and connect your intention to your heart.
    5. Visualize Qi in the form of white light entering your heart as you inhale.
    6. Exhale and make the “Ha” sound, visualizing dark turbid Qi, heat and anxiety exiting via your mouth and palms of your hands.
    7. Slowly move your hands and arms down while exhaling, continuing to make the “Ha” sound.
    8. Imagine your palms are like magnets, pulling the heat or anxiety out of your chest.
    9. When you are ready, inhale while you raise your arms high above your head with palms again facing forward.
    10. Exhale, making the “Ha” sound while you slowly move your hands down the front and side of your body until you have exhaled all your breath out with the “Ha” sound.
    11. Repeat 6-12 times
    12. End with Pulling Down Heavens.

    Place your emphasis on the connection of your mind, breath, imagination, and sound in this exercise. Feel enveloped in the sound, vibration and energy.

    Tonifying Exercise for the Heart
    (From the book “Medical Qigong Exercise Prescriptions” by Dr. Suzanne Friedman)

    This exercise massages the hearts tissues and nerves, strengthening the heart Qi. It also can help to regulate the flow of Qi and blood to and from the heart. In addition, it can strengthen the circulatory system. You can do this exercise lying down, sitting up or standing.

    1. Begin by breathing deeply. Relax the mind and visualize your body melting into the ground when you exhale.
    2. Place one palm on top of the other hand and hold both hands over the heart
    3. Massage in 12 circular rotations clockwise (to the left). Your hands do not need to touch your body as they circle.
    4. Focus the mind’s intention on the heart, visualizing the energy of the heart circulating and flowing along the movement of your hands.
    5. Massage in 12 circular rotation counterclockwise (to the right) around the heart area. Your hands do not need to touch your body as they circle.
    6. Focus the mind’s intention on the heart, visualizing the energy of the heart circulating and flowing along the movement of your hands.
    7. Keep one hand on top of the other, and keep your hands held above your heart.
    8. Concentrate the mind and focus your intention on the heart area and the heart organ.
    9. Inhale, and, as you inhale, visualize how you are breathing energy into your heart.
    10. Exhale and imagine healing light radiating out of your heart.
    11. Inhale again, and visualize light energy feeding and nourishing your heart with each breath you take in.
    12. Exhale, and visualize the energy of light flowing out of your heart and filling up your abdomen, your extremities, flowing like water and nourishing your entire body.
    13. Repeat for 12 inhalations and exhalations.
    14. End with a Pulling Down Heaven (if you are standing or sitting).

    You can perform this exercise up to three times a day.

    About the Author

    Beth Quist is an RN and a Medical Qigong Therapist trained in both Western and Eastern Medicine. You can read more about using Qigong to improve your health and empower yourself with wellness at http://QigongbyQuist.com, or “Like” on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Qigong-by-Quist/160471336965?ref=hl or follow on Twitter, http://twitter.com/qigongbyquist.

    This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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