TAMPA, Fla. — Lee Holden is a master Qigong expert and founder of Holden Qigong. He's helped over 10,000 students break through barriers to heal from injury or disease, maximize energy levels, and decrease signs of aging.
Holden tells ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan that the practice of Qigong helps lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and increase focus.
“Well, Qigong is an ancient practice. It comes from China. And Qi simply means energy, life-force energy. And we have the energy of our mind. We have the energy of our bodies. We have the energy of emotions. So, the term Qi is really meant everything within us and how to best work with it,” explained Holden.
All of this is done through a holistic system of movement, breathing, and meditation.
“So in your Qigong practice, you're going to do stretches, you're going to do breathing exercises, you're going to do flowing, mindfulness movements as a way to circulate energy,” said Holden.
Holden explains that when you're stressed, you often breathe shallow and short through the mouth. So to calm down, Holden tells Wendy Ryan that you need to breathe slowly through your nose and do “wave breathing.” That is when your breath moves like a wave through your torso.
“Inhale, belly, ribs, chest. Exhale, chest, ribs, belly. And just a few of these breaths, maybe 30 seconds to a minute, will help you shift your nervous system out of fight or flight stress into para-sympathetic, which is called rest and digest,” explained Holden.
Since stress often causes serious health-related issues, Holden believes we need to find ways to clear that stress. He suggests tapping on the chest, making sure to hit the pressure points.
“You just go up and down on your sternum. And now, as you do and breathe just like we're doing, but this time, exhale out through the mouth just and just let go of whatever it is that's bothering you, weighing heavy on your mind or heart,” explained Holden.
Another interesting way to release stress, according to Holden, is to rub your fingernails back and forth together. Holden tells Wendy Ryan that your fingertips are “your meridian lines, and it activates the life-force energy in key acupressure points.”
If you are stressed and tense at work, Holden says Qigong can also be done at your desk to release tension from your neck and shoulder. You can learn more about his Qigong practices here.