Zhuanqi Meditation

Illustration with explanation of the Zhang Zhong standing pose

Zhuanqi Meditation

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Definition ↓   Ι   Method ↓   Ι   Benefits ↓

Definition

Zhuanqi meditation is a type of breathing exercise and technique based upon Taoist traditions. The idea is to try to focus on your inhalations and exhalations so that they become softer. Ultimately, one may be able to achieve a union of the mind and qi.

Taoism is a Chinese philosophical movement based primarily upon the writings of Laozi, who lived between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE. It has evolved significantly from these early texts and forms the basis of traditional Chinese medicine.

Laozi, ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, the founder of Taoism
Laozi was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism.

Method

One must sit comfortably with proper posture and gently close the eyes halfway. Try to focus on a spot beyond your nose. Next one should place their hands upon their abdomen, the right on the stomach and left on the chest. The purpose of this is to help increase the awareness of how one breathes. Then you breathe deeply in and out until the breath becomes soft. It is important to focus on the diaphragm.

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If done correctly, you should notice that your right hand moves in and out more in relation to the left indicating proper diaphragmatic breathing. It can be considered similar to some forms of pranayama in the Hindu tradition.

Benefits

Although there exists very little research into this specific style of meditation, meditation in general is an oft-studied subject. These types of deep breathing techniques are said to aid in relaxation, which is generally considered a healthy practice. Studies have shown that there seems to be a link between cortisol and immune function.

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Breathing practices in general have been found to help with reducing anxiety. There is some suggestion that regular practice of breathing exercises may increase cognitive functioning such as attention.

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