Qi Gong is always supposed to feel good, right? After all, isn’t that the whole point of the practice?
It’s true, Qi Gong is intended to help us feel more centered, alive, and healthy. Therefore, it can sometimes seem surprising when the practice leads to unpleasant feelings such as nausea or fatigue.
In this article, we’ll be discussing why Qi Gong and the process of purging can sometimes feel uncomfortable. We’ll also provide actionable tips to help you move through challenges and experience Qi Gong’s many wonderful benefits.
The Process of Purging
If you’ve ever experienced discomfort while practicing Qi Gong, you’ve probably wondered: “why am I feeling this way?”
To understand the reason behind ‘Qi Gong induced discomfort,’ it’s important to understand the process of purging.
Purging is the process of releasing old energy from the body. It’s how we let go of emotions that no longer serve us, dysfunctional thought patterns, and even physical ailments. Since Qi Gong is the practice of releasing old energy and cultivating health and vitality, the process of purging plays an important role.
Creating Space Within
When we purge, we’re able to create space for new and enriching experiences, both internally and externally. For example, letting go of sadness or resentment opens up opportunities for joy and happiness. Releasing stressful thoughts allows us to focus the mind on the present moment and inspiration for the future. Within the physical realm, letting go of tension and tightness in the body leads to greater relaxation and comfort.
These are just a few examples of purging, but its applications are many. While purging is a necessary part of growth, it isn’t always enjoyable. In fact, sometimes purging is downright unpleasant.
To illustrate this point, just imagine (or perhaps, remember) what it feels like to be hungover after an evening of heavy drinking. As toxins leave the body, you feel nauseous, you have low energy or might even feel sick. In an extreme case, you may even experience vomiting. All of these are symptoms of the body’s natural detoxification process taking place.
Letting Go of Toxic Energy Through Purging
In everyday life, most of us consume our fair share of toxic energy. Just like alcohol, toxic energy sometimes feels ‘good’ when we put it into our mind or body, even if it’s on a very superficial level. Over time, the negative energy we consume builds up in the form of negative thought patterns, heavy emotional energy, or even physical ailments.
When we practice Qi Gong, we’re able to release this energy through the process of purging. And just like alcohol, the old energy scratches and claws as it’s expelled from the body, which is what you’re experiencing when ‘Qi Gong doesn’t feel good.’
Moving Through Purging Discomfort
Now that you understand how the process of purging works, it’s time to learn how to make sense of the actual experience when it comes up.
For many practitioners, purging negative energy from the body can lead to fatigue, nausea, soreness, or a mild headache. Some people can even feel a bit hungover after a ‘heavy duty’ Qi Gong workout.
As mentioned, these kinds of experiences are normal during the purging process. They indicate that you’re letting go of old energy and creating space for joy, creativity, and other positive qualities. Unpleasant sensations can occur both while practicing Qi Gong, as well as after. Sometimes, they don’t show up until the next day.
Acknowledging Unpleasant Sensations in Your Body
If you experience such sensations while you practice, just take note of the sensations in your mind and continue practicing if it doesn’t feel too strenuous. If the unpleasant experience feels especially taxing, it’s completely fine to take a break until you’ve regained enough energy to keep practicing.
Unpleasant sensations are most common when you’re trying new exercises for the first time, or when you’re doing routines that are longer than your usual practice time. Typically, unpleasant experiences go away as you purge the toxic energy from your body and become more experienced with the exercises you’re learning.
It’s important to note that there is a distinction between unpleasant sensations and pain. If an exercise leads to sharp pain (i.e. overstretching) it’s important to listen to your body and stop doing the exercise.
Tips to Help You Feel Better
In addition to paying attention to your body and taking breaks when practicing, there are also some simple steps you can take to help you feel better after your practice session has ended.
Drink More Water
It’s always important to drink plenty of water, but this is especially true after practicing Qi Gong.
Just as water can help you recover from a hangover, it can also help you recharge your body after some serious ‘Qi purging.’ When you’re done practicing, be sure to drink a tasty glass of fresh water. Also, keep a glass or bottle near you so you can take frequent sips and stay well hydrated for the rest of the day.
Rest and Sleep
Purging often leads to fatigue. If you feel tired after practicing Qi Gong, be sure to take it easy and get plenty of rest. You may even want to consider taking a nap.
When it’s time to go to bed at night, just take a little extra care to make sure you’re ready for a full night of sleep. Rest and sleep can work wonders when it comes to recharging the mind and body.
Eat Healthy Food
Consuming healthy food is a great way to replace old energy with nourishing Qi. Like water and sleep, it’s always important to eat well. However, this is especially true when you’re replenishing your body after a healthy ‘Qi detox.’
Drink Pu Erh Tea
Pu Erh tea is a great option for getting a quick ‘Qi boost’ after purging old energy from your body. It’s also quite tasty and can be an enjoyable way to integrate new energy after finishing your practice.
In summary, if Qi Gong brings up unpleasant experiences, take it as a sign that you’re purging old energy from your body. Take practice breaks, drink lots of water, get some rest, and eat healthy foods. Pu Erh tea is a bonus. 🙂
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