Qigong forms and exercises are very much focused on the inner workings of the energy lines or meridians which run throughout the body. Regular practice of qigong brings many benefits, as students will already know. Qigong is gentle yet powerful and increases the body’s flexibility, stamina and resistance to disease. It helps to calm the mind and to relieve anxiety, tension and stress in a natural way. The goal is always to bring the body’s systems into harmony and balance because it is this balance that confers good health. If you are familiar with the concept of Yin and Yang you will already know that the two forces are always in a state of flux and that for every action there is an opposite reaction. Regular practice of qigong gives you the tools your body needs in order to restore balance between the two forces.
Baoding balls can be a useful addition to your qigong practice in many ways. The movement of the balls mimics the constant state of movement in the energy channels, or meridians, as Chi moves throughout the systems of the body. You may also be familiar with the expression “Sick Chi”, meaning any feelings of discomfort or negativity that you would like to let go. Stagnant Chi, according to the principles of traditional chinese medicine and qigong, will bring illness and disharmony, whereas healthy, life-giving Chi is fluid and in a state of perpetual movement. Holding the baoding balls during your preparation time at the beginning of a qigong session serves to remind you to focus on fluidity in all things. Manipulating them as you sit or stand quietly, breathing deeply and rhythmically in qigong style will help to amplify the beneficial effects of your breathing by stimulating the meridian points in the hand.
The lung and large intestine meridian runs from the thumb to the collar bone, meaning that the action of manipulating baoding balls both stimulates and supports these organs. The thumb is of course the most important of the digits in the human hand and receives a good workout when you manipulate baoding balls. Stagnant Chi can be shifted by moving the affected area of the body, and in the same way, the action of the baoding balls on the fingers, wrists, and palms of the hand helps to open up the meridians, clear the energy channels and release any blockages.
Qigong is also referred to as “moving meditation”. Conventional meditation requires the body to be still so that the mind can follow and find its own stillness. In contrast, qigong meditation involves the conscious and deliberate movement and placing of parts of the body. Meditation with baoding balls incorporates smooth and rhythmic movement. When qigong meditation is combined, the baoding balls helps to amplify the beneficial effects of the qigong movements.