Chi Gong for Better Sleep
Many people suffer from insomnia, a condition that makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Since sleep is so important in reviving the body’s natural store of energy, it is vital to get enough in order to function properly each day.
An ancient healing practice, Chi Gong is a series of flowing, fluid movements that originated from self-defense techniques.This practice can be used to encourage more restful sleep by promoting the free flow of “chi,” which relaxes both the mind and body. Chi Gong is recognized by doctors for its ability to reduce stress and increase overall physical health. It can certainly be useful for calming the body, mind and emotions in preparation for restful sleep.
Doing a series of Chi Gong exercises before bed will prepare you for a better night’s sleep on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Physically, the forms are designed to slow your heart rate and ease tension in the body. On the emotional level, Chi Gong will help practitioners allow emotions to rise and fall without holding on to any one feeling. If you are holding on to strong emotions, the practice will allow you to gently let them go.
Mentally, the Chi Gong forms can help empty your mind. With racing thoughts before bed, it can be very difficult for the mind to allow peaceful sleep to happen. The practice of Chi Gong will clear the mind, since the practice encourages individuals to let thoughts rise and disappear without following a train of mind.
The practice of Chi Gong can be used as a spiritual aid to help connect with a higher power, which can provide comfort and peace for those having difficulty sleeping. Even for individuals who are not spiritual, the mental, emotional and physical benefits are worth the effort in order to obtain restful sleep.
Here is one simple exercise that can be done while lying in bed.
Start by breathing deeply, eyes closed, with your hands on the “dan tien” point, located an inch or so below your belly button. Take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth and focus your attention on the flow of the breath. Count for ten breaths in and out and repeat until you fade into sleep.
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