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Getting centered with cannabis and Qigong

Published Jun 19, 2023 10:29 a.m. ET
Unsplash / Kevin Olson

In the hopeful pursuit of achieving a healthier, more positive sense of wellness and inner balance, millions of people are looking at holistic practices, most of which include some combination of physical movements, breathing exercises, and mindfulness.

One of the most popular is Qigong, an ancient Chinese discipline that’s said to allow vital energy to flow freely through the body. As social acceptance of cannabis has grown, people all over the world are discovering how its effects may enhance various experiences, pointing towards it’s ability to put us in a better state of mind as the reason why.

In this article, we’re going to tell you everything about what to expect from using cannabis as a tool to improve the benefits, effects and overall experience of practicing Qigong.

What is Qigong?

Qigong is a whole system of varying gentle exercises, breathing techniques, and meditation. When these movements are combined participants often experience a balancing of the body’s vital energy which is also known as "Qi'' or "Chi." Qi translated means life force or energy while Gong means cultivation or work. The idea is to use small, gentle but deliberate movements to improve everything from physical strength and wellbeing to mental clarity and even emotional harmony.

This practice has deep roots in Ancient Chinese culture and is designed to incorporate many of the oldest principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The benefits of Qigong

The true benefits of Qigong are highly debated, but there are several scientific studies with results that do seem to confirm those most commonly believed to be gained as a result of the practice.

Improved physical well-being

Regularly practicing Qigong may provide physical benefits, as the required movements enhance coordination, flexibility, and balance by slowly and gently stretching muscles, ligaments and tendons which is also great for reducing tension. At the same time, exercise and intentional breathing promote a healthier immune system, and improve blood circulation.

Better mental clarity and emotional balance

The focused breathing techniques involved with Qigong may help to clear the mind, and improve mood, as it seems to work as a stress reliever which promotes a sense of calm and inner peace. Some research has even linked the practice to reduced symptoms of depression.

Energy cultivation

The Qigong practice is designed to enhance the flow and balance of energy within the body, by aligning breathing, movement, and intention to create and circulate Qi. Many participants report feeling better, improved focus, enhanced productivity, and some even say they enjoy a heightened sense of vitality.

Improved sleep

By reducing stress, helping participants to be more relaxed, and balancing energy, Qigong has long been credited with the ability to improve sleep quality, which should result in another boost of energy that’s felt the next day.

Memory and cognitive function boosting

Regularly practicing Qigong could help to improve both short and long term memory function, and these benefits are also backed by scientific evidence. The combination of mindful breathing techniques and focused movements enhance mental clarity, making memory retention and recall better over time.

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How cannabis enhances the experience

These are some of the main ways cannabis may help to improve both the experience and results of practicing Qigong.

Heightened sensitivity

Cannabis has been known to heighten sensory perception, allowing practitioners to become more attuned to the subtle movements and energy flow within their bodies during Qigong practice. This increased sensitivity can deepen the mind-body connection, enhancing the overall experience.

Relaxation and body awareness

Cannabis can induce a sense of relaxation and tranquility, allowing individuals to tune into their bodies more deeply during Qigong practice. This heightened sense of awareness can help to target areas of tension or blockages in the flow of Qi, to improve the balance and movement of energy.

Facilitates mindfulness

Cannabis can aid in achieving a state of deep relaxation and present-moment awareness, which is essential for the practice of Qigong. It can help quiet the mind, and reduce distractions, promoting a greater sense of focus and concentration during the exercises.

Tips and tricks

These tips and tricks should help you to successfully enhance the experience and benefits of Qigong  by using cannabis.

Start with a suitable cannabis strain
Choose a strain with qualities that align with your desired state of mind while practicing Qigong. Those associated with relaxation, euphoria, and heightened sensory perception are likely the best options to consider.

Moderate consumption
It's important to strike a balance so that cannabis enhances the practice without overwhelming the mind or body, so start with a low dose and slowly work your way up until you find the sweet spot that works the best for you.

Set intention and focus
Before you start, be sure to set clear intentions and focus on the outcome you’d like to achieve. Use cannabis as a tool to deepen your connection to the practice, and your inner self and remember that the true essence of Qigong comes from within.

Combining cannabis with the ancient practice of Qigong can offer a unique and enriching experience that amplifies the benefits of the discipline. So why not give it a try?

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