As humans, we’re constantly integrating new information and responding to the world around us. While many of us may perceive our actions to be conscious decisions, much of what we do is driven by impulse and instinct. We’ve evolved to have a nervous system that is intricately programmed to automatically carry out the many tasks that our body is capable of.
In addition to regulating the internal processes of our organs, the nervous system is also responsible for responding to the environment around us and helping us to stay safe from external threats. Just think about how your body and mind experience a sudden burst of energy and focus when you feel threatened. That’s your nervous system bringing your body into “fight or flight.”
Although our nervous system is a beautiful gift with an essential role, it also has the tendency to hold onto stress and anxiety. However, we also have the ability to work skillfully with our nervous system to release energy that doesn’t serve us. Doing so not only feels better but is important for our long term health and wellness. This blog post will discuss how you can use Qi Gong to maintain a balanced nervous system to maximize the duration and quality of your life.
With so many things going on in the human body, it’s no surprise that your nervous system is constantly adapting and changing. Whether you’re eating dinner or having a conversation with a stranger, your nervous system is working hard to ensure that all parts of your being are connected and engaged.
Your nervous system plays an important role in your emotions, thoughts, and physical movements. It truly is a pathway between all parts of yourself, and is the basis for almost all activity that takes place within you.
While many experiences activate your nervous system in a positive way, such as getting a great massage, others have a far less pleasant and healthy effect. Fear, negative emotional energy, and excessive thinking all cause stress and tension in the nervous system. When that happens, every part of your being suffers.
Although you cannot always decide what happens in the world around you, there is a lot you can do to respond in a way that is healthy and positive. Instead of storing life’s stressful experiences in your nervous system, it’s important to be able to let them go, being fluid with the outside world.
In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, the nervous system relates to the liver and wood element. Just as a tree sways gracefully in the wind, we too must seek to cultivate the flexibility that the forests teach us. Trees demonstrate that it’s possible to be both strong as well as supple and graceful. Rather than resist against the blowing wind, the trees choose to move with it as they dance and sway.
How does this apply to humans? Just as trees allow the wind to pass through their branches, we too can allow life’s unpleasant experiences to pass by us without holding onto them. If a violent storm attacks a tree, it doesn’t try to grasp the wind and keep it in its branches. Similarly, we too can allow life’s harmful energies to pass us by rather than store them in our body. By doing so, the nervous system becomes resilient to the demands and challenges that the world brings us.
Letting go of negative energy doesn’t just preserve our happiness, it also helps us to stay healthy and strong. A body, heart, and mind that doesn’t hold excess tension has a much better chance at living into old age than one that holds onto negativity and stress. Therefore, maintaining a healthy nervous system is an essential element of longevity.
Taoist sages revered longevity because they saw that old age brought wisdom and insight. For them, Qi Gong was an essential part of longevity, and was referred to as “the art that prevents disease and prolongs life.” Among the various exercises, none were more important than those that help to let go of stress and anxiety stored in the nervous system.
Qi Gong for a Balanced Nervous System and Longevity
We’ve created a special pre-recorded workshop to teach the practices used by Taoist sages to balance the nervous system and prolong life. Among other qualities, it focusses on letting go of stress and strengthening the body and nervous system.
We’re currently offering this workshop as part of a five-workshop series. Click the banner below to learn more about these workshops and start practicing today.