Are you a caregiver? Join me , Ms. Liu, and AARP-CA for a free event this Thursday: “Self-Care for Caregivers: Explore the Benefits of Qi Gong”
QiGong, a meditative practice of gentle stretching, movement and breathing, has shown the potential to lower stress and anxiety.
For caregivers, finding time for self-care can be very difficult, and yet it is so necessary for promoting overall well-being and to avoid stress and burnout. Professor Kathy Yep, a certified mindfulness facilitator and a practitioner of Dayan Qi Gong, will engage in a conversation with AARP California volunteer and caregiver Lily Liu about the importance of caring for yourself as a caregiver and the benefits of meditative practices like Qi Gong. Dr. Yep will also provide a short demonstration of qigong’s gentle, flowing movements and breathing technique.
Please do not opt out of event-related emails, as you will be emailed a link to join the class via Zoom prior to the event.
For more information, contact AARP California at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Speakers:
Professor Yep teaches Asian American Studies at Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges. Ms. Liu cares for her 90-year-old mother and is writing a book about her experiences as a 1.5-generation immigrant family caregiver.
Hello, I am moving the October practice from the first Sunday (Oct 2) to Oct. 23 due to a conference. I hope to see you Sunday, Oct. 23, 10 – 11:30 a.m. PT on zoom. Join the qi gong email list! Or click here or go to https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/513664738
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), five elements outline the relationship between the different elements in nature and the life force, or “qi,” that flows through them. The basic elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element is closely affiliated with two organs and their energetic meridians.
FALL: METAL ELEMENT, LUNG and LARGE INTESTINE: Fall is associated with the Metal element, which relates to the Lung and Large Intestine organs. The large intestine functions to “let go” of toxins and waste products our bodies no longer need to function. The large intestine channel/meridian/pathway is Yang of the upper limbs and important when the mind or spirit is “constipated” or “backed up.” In contrast, the lungs are Yin of the upper limbs and it is said it cools down the fire of emotions. The lungs enable us to take in the air of the autumn months, which helps to nourish and enrich our bodies. The lungs and the large intestine work as a team to keep the body healthy. One gets rid of waste (large intestine), while the other brings in nourishment (lungs).
For some, autumn marks the balance point between summer and winter, between the longest and the shortest. Fall means moving from the longest day of the year in summer and moving towards the shortest day of the year of winter. During the autumn months, one might consider how things are winding down and life is preparing for hibernation. One qi gong practitioner wrote: “Autumn is the time of year when we tend to let go of the things that no longer serve us. Just as the leaves fall from the trees in the autumn months, so too should we let go of the things, physical or mental, that bog us down. Metal, the descending Qi, is at its fullest. Fire, the expansive Qi, which has been waning since midsummer, is done for the year. Water, the inwards Qi, is birthed.”
SUGGESTED THINGS YOU CAN DO: (with the caveat that this is not medical advice and work with your body in the best way that supports your health)
- Opening moves of Wild Goose I: Practice the opening moves (see video), and pay attention to the points on the Large Intestine and Lung Meridians. As you open your wings in the first move, consider energy moving from nose, to clavicle, to deltoid, along outside of arm to bend of elbow to Hegu (Large Intestine 4) to pointer finger. Consider opening the chest and Lung 1 as you open your wings in the opening move.
- Push/Pull: Exhale, push out and let go. Inhale, pull in, and bring in nourishment.
- Deep breathing to help keep the metal element balanced: This practice can help strengthen the lung and calm the mind. When you practice deep breathing, focus on the abdomen. The abdomen should expand when inhaling and it should deflate when exhaling. For some, placing a hand on the belly helps with the awareness of the abdomen expanding and deflating.
- Open the nose and sinuses: You might also consider Large Intestine 20 (just outside the widest part of nose. Use your pinkies and gently press into the groove on either side of your nostrils and hold. You may also find that moving your pinkies in gentle circles while holding the point to be comforting. If a stronger treatment is desired, place your thumbs on LI20 and your finger tips on your brow and let the weight of your head to press into your thumbs.
- Eating foods color specific to the two energetic meridians: Things like onions, turnips, cauliflower, egg whites, apples, potatoes and pears are all good examples of white foods that can help boost or tonify the energy of the lung and large intestine meridians.
I hope to see you in a few weeks on 10/23 at 10 – 11:30 a.m. PT online.
WHAT IS QI GONG?
A mindful movement called qi gong (pronounced chee-gong) is an ancient and contemporary Chinese exercise that combines movement, breathing, awareness, and body posture. Qi Gong is connecting to, working with, and cultivating qi (energy or life force). We do this by stretching and moving the body to open the energy pathways known as meridians or channels.
WHAT IS QI
Qi is energy or life force and is in everything and everyone. Nothing is without qi unless it is dead. In positivist research, qi is framed and measured as electromagnetic energy. In Chinese epistemology, The character for qi includes many elements — the steam rising from a pot of boiling liquid, the cooking rice, and the pot. This Chinese character indicates something more layered and complex than energy to be measured.
I look forward to practicing qi gong with you during the live online sessions. We will meet on first Sundays, 10 – 11:30 a.m. PT online.
All abilities and bodies are welcome. No experience necessary.
Offered in the spirit of generosity. Donations accepted for community partner.
If you have to come late or leave early, you are still welcome to join.