Fight or Flight Vs. Relaxation
Way way back in the day when we were being chased by dinosaurs and sabre tooth tigers, we needed our wits about us. It was critical to be sharp, mentally focused and ready for danger at all times. Every ounce of physical strength was necessary to survive.
Fight or Flight
This meant that every available physical and mental resource was called upon daily for survival. In this process adrenaline is released at the first sign of danger which sets off an immediate snowball effect sending energy to where it is best needed – the brain - which in turn sends energy to the legs and arms for running and possible conflict with an enemy. This is known as the fight (stay and fight) or flight (run away) response.
This surge of energy creates a shortage of energy for basic bodily functions such as heart and blood health, digestive, and mental health, to name a few. However, when the immediate threat has passed our system calms down and energy is evenly distributed back to all areas of the body restoring, replenishing, and bringing balance to all physical and mental systems again. This is known as the relaxation mode.
During relaxation mode the body can heal. In fight or flight mode the body cannot. As long as these two modes are equal the body and mind have a fighting chance of recovering and remaining in relative health. Qigong practices are key skills for quickly returning the body to relaxation mode.
Today’s Modern World Threats
Today’s threats are different. We are no longer being chased by wild beasts or warring tribes. Today’s threats are much subtler yet they are relentless. We never switch off from them.
All-time high levels of debt
Worrying about having a family - worrying for the family you have
Marriage, divorce & relationships
Slow to Heal
Sometimes we realise the constant worry is the cause of our anxiety, depression unease and ill health. Sometimes we are unaware. Either way all of our energy is continually being used up just to survive flight or fight in the modern world. All the energy is constantly in the wrong place we. We have tense muscles and an over-thinking mind, and that vital energy is continually being pulled away from all the vital organs where it is most needed, leading to heart disease, digestive orders, a decline in mental health and other serious life threatening illnesses. This is relentless every single day and every waking moment and often in sleep too, presenting as insomnia, teeth grinding, nightmares and other sleep related disorders. Under these circumstances we wonder why we are slow to heal. Some people never do.
How can Qigong help?
Bring Back Balance
It is important now to find ways to bring ourselves back into some kind of balance - something that truly allows us to relax and switch off the mental chatter, something where the body and mind have a chance to repair and heal. Something that will fit into our life, activities and competing priorities.
Qigong is a short and repetitive series of simple movements coordinated with the breath to warm up the body and open the flow of energy throughout the body. In addition to improving physical health, it also improves meditation and spirituality. These exercises become skills that can be done at any time and pretty much anywhere for timely decompression and restored energy.
Qigong practice activates energy, releases tension from the body and mind, calms the nervous system, and brings the body and mind back into relaxation - only then is the healing response triggered, bringing all systems of the body back into balance. This centuries old practice will not only do all of these wonderful things during practise but also give us the tools to cope better during times of intense stress.
Bring Qigong practices into your life daily life and find you place of healing!