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Relieve Stress With Qigong Standing Posture

CancerPro - February 2008

By Dawn Dorsey

If you're looking to add another tool to your arsenal against the physical and emotional stress of cancer treatment, you might want to consider a qigong standing pose.

Qigong (pronounced "chee gung" or "chee koong") centers on slow meditative poses that involve stretching and breathing. It has been practiced for centuries in China to treat chronic diseases, including cancer.

Standing pose is simple but effective

Mike Powers, a certified instructor of qigong at M. D. Anderson's Place...of wellness, says the simple form "standing post," sometimes called "standing meditation," is one of the most effective postures.

"It is simply standing in one spot and doing nothing," he says. "After initially getting your body into the correct posture, you don't move. When there is an itch that needs to be scratched, you have to ignore it. If you suddenly feel like your feet are no longer in the proper position, you have to remain in position anyway."

Powers says the effects of this "exercise in stillness" are usually not apparent until you have been standing for at least 15 minutes. Then, he says, energy blockages clear, sore muscles stop hurting, emotional problems and stress decrease and insights reveal themselves.

Watch your posture

The complete list of postural requirements for the pose is extensive, but Powers says beginners can feel the effects of the pose if they practice its basic elements.

To practice a simple standing posture:

  • Stand with feet apart
  • Bend the knees slightly
  • Pull in the stomach
  • Relax the shoulders
  • Relax arms at sides
  • Tuck the chin
  • Close the eyes
  • Close the mouth
  • Turn your hearing inward
  • Touch the tongue to the upper palate

Powers believes this is the essential qigong pose. "If I had to give up all but one of the forms I know, Standing Meditation is the one I would keep. It is that important," he says.

M. D. Anderson resources:

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center