Millions of people are affected by depression, and each knows that the internal challenges require more than just individual strength. When someone is depressed, their feelings change for the worse and their views of the world may seem to transform. Most people feel that they’re not their true self when they’re depressed, and there are many paths that people choose for overcoming the challenges.
Qi Gong is one path for overcoming depression that has no harmful side effects. Furthermore, it can coincide with any other course of intervention or treatment. This blog post will discuss how Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong can help on the internal journey of working through depression.
A Depletion of Energy
One’s outlook on life depends on many factors, but they all start with what’s happening within us. Our view of the world is a constant interplay between what we see in the external world and what we experience internally. When our internal world is in a dark place, our perception of that which is outside of ourselves will be clouded and shadowed.
Depression manifests in different levels of severity. As our external world does play an important role in our thoughts and feelings, life’s circumstances can contribute to depression. In Chinese Medicine, one of the major causes of depression is a deficiency of energy within us. This can lead to an imbalance between the demands of the world and the power that lies within us. When we don’t feel that we have the internal resources to face the challenges we’re presented with, we can feel as if the world is caving in on us.
These feelings of overwhelm can be related to emotional struggles, such as with our relationship with our children or partner. They can also be related to our emotional reactions to struggles having to do with a different part of ourselves. Difficulty performing our jobs or healing our body are a couple common examples. When our internal resources are stretched to the max, depression can start to take shape within us.
Since our body, emotions, and thoughts are all closely connected, negative emotions will affect your entire being. Have you ever noticed that when you feel sad your mind usually starts to think about things that are unpleasant or even damaging? When sadness is in your heart, your mind has a funny way of creating thoughts and stories that go along with your emotional pain.
Our body is also negatively affected by depression. One simple observation is body posture. When a person is depressed their back collapses, shoulders roll forward, and the head hangs downward. When we experience depression, our body naturally reflects our emotional state of feeling crushed by the weight of the world.
Although the experience of depression may feel beyond your control, there are always practices to help you to reclaim joy.
Replenishing Your Internal Energy
In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, we seek to respond to this process by boosting the body’s internal energy. By replenishing our internal vitality, we become better able to face the world with strength and confidence.
Depression is usually attributed to an issue with the metal element, which relates to the lungs. When the lung Qi is depleted, the chest deflates, bringing the head forward and down. Without sufficient internal energy in the lungs, the physical form starts to suffer. When this happens, your entire being may feel unable to withstand the pressure of the world.
In Qi Gong, we seek to not just work with our thoughts through meditation, but also to cultivate our body through movement practices. We do this by bringing our body into the physical state that reflects the internal energies we’re seeking to nourish.
Since posture plays an important role in how we feel, Qi Gong for Depression brings our attention and intention into how we carry ourselves. Instead of bending our spine forward and compressing the chest, we seek to open our lungs and bring our heart center into an empowering position.
Breathing is another transformative tool for influencing our mind, body, and emotions. Qi Gong for Depression works with the power of the breath to cleanse negative emotions and thoughts. With the right practice, breathing can also be used to replenish the body with nourishing, vital Qi. By allowing our full beings to let go of the energy that doesn’t serve us we can invite in a new outlook which holds space for joy and optimism.
One thing that many of us love about Qi Gong is that it teaches us a new way of relating to our thoughts and feelings. It empowers us to work directly with our emotional energy rather than seeking to “solve” our problems just with the mind. Humans have a tendency to turn to intellect for answers to questions relating to our hearts. However, usually, our emotions will be speaking a different language than our minds. This can lead to a self-destructive pattern of thinking without transforming. When this happens, we can start to feel incapable of elevating above our problems and creating meaningful change. With the right practices, Qi Gong help us tap into our emotional energy in new and transformative ways.
Qi Gong for Depression Workshop
As mentioned above, posture, breath, and movement can dramatically help us to transform depression and create space for joy. In Lee’s upcoming workshop, that is exactly what we’ll seek to do.
On January 20th, Lee will be holding a special workshop aimed directly at helping those who struggle with sadness or depression. During the workshop, Lee will be teaching specific practices to help us release sadness and nourish joy.
The practices that Lee teaches are excellent for both beginners and experts alike. Furthermore, the workshop will be available in-person in Santa Cruz, California, as well as online for those who can’t make it. Regardless of where you are in the world, you can tune in and learn from Lee.
Lastly, all participants will have lifetime access to the replays online, so you can return to the lessons as often as you’d like long into the future. There’s a lot you can do to cultivate joy and live a life that you love, so click below to take the next steps on your path of empowerment.
By Ian Drogin