Theoretical basis of Qigong
The human body is a complicated system. Gases form, food is digested, Qi and blood circulate, saliva secretes, waste material is discharged, the PH changes, and spiritual activity influences metabolisms, all happening continuously in response to the growth of life. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) regards such physiological changes as results of fluctuations and changes in the flow and function of Qi which circulate throughout the body through channels and collaterals. Qigong is a psychopneumatological exercise, drills posture, respiration and focus of the mind in order to unclog the channels and collaterals and re-establish body equilibrium.
Benefits of practicing Qigong
Qigong can affect the complex mechanism of the human body in various ways. Qigong experts and doctors in the past have done much research and established many theories. Contemporary research has further proven that Qigong is a holistic exercise, which requires little of the environment but produces a positive effect on the functions of all body organs and systems or tracts.
Effects on the Respiration System
The effect of Qigong is very obvious on the respiratory system. Most people can deepen, prolong, invigorate and slow down their breathing after from 10-20 times per minute to 4-5 times or even fewer. When Qigong practice is effective, oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide decrease. This indicates that Qigong increases alveolar ventilation by activating gas exchange. Reduction in the number of respiration does not cause shortage of oxygen but saves much bio-physiological energy which otherwise would be consumed in more respiratory movement.
Effects on the Digestive System
Qigong exercise invigorates and regulates digestion. Studies have shown that the up-and-down movements of the diaphragm muscles in the Qigong-practicing group of patients were much larger on scale than in a comparison group that did not practice Qigong. The stomach fundus of a Qigong practitioner was also found to be six times higher than that of a non-practitioner. These Qigong-related changes prevent diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and premature aging.
Effects on the Blood Function
Qigong can dramatically change the peripheral blood picture. Measuring Qigong effects on blood shows white cells increase 13 to 23 percent on average. The phagocytic index of white cells may also increase from 40 percent to over 90 percent after Qigong practice.
Effects on Cardiovascular Function Static
Qigong (also known as Quiescent Exercise) is particularly effective in slowing the rate of heartbeat. Qigong can significantly reduce pulmonary pressure, of which the effect is better than intravenous injection. After Qigong practice, the systolic pressure dropped 18 millimeters and the diastolic dropped 16 millimeters.
Effects on Metabolism
It has been proved that a practitioner抯 gas metabolism is reduced when one enters the quiescent state of Qigong, but change in the quantity of oxygen while doing Qigong exercise can reduce gas metabolism to the minimum level required by the human body ordinarily, which is lower than simply lying.
If your visions of Beijing are centred around pods of Maoist revolutionaries in buttoned-down tunics performing t'ai chi in the Square, put them to rest: this city has embarked on a new-millennium roller-coaster and it's taking the rest of China with it.
The spinsterish Beijing of old is having a facelift and the cityscape is changing daily. Within the city, however, you'll still find some of China's most stunning sights: the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven Park, the Lama Temple and the Great Wall, to name just a few.
Hong Kong has the big city specials like smog, odour, 14 million elbows and an insane love of clatter. But it's also efficient, hushed and peaceful: the transport network is excellent, the shopping centres are sublime, and the temples and quiet corners of parks are contemplative oases.
Hong Kong has enough towering urbanity, electric streetscapes, enigmatic temples, commercial fervour and cultural idiosyncrasies to utterly swamp the senses of a visitor, and enough spontaneous, unexpected possibilities to make a complete mockery of any attempt at a strictly organised itinerary.
Macau may be firmly back in China's orbit, but the Portuguese patina on this Sino-Lusitanian Las Vegas makes it a most unusual Asian destination. It has always been overshadowed by its glitzy near-neighbour Hong Kong - which is precisely why it's so attractive.
Macau's dual cultural heritage is a boon for travellers, who can take their pick from traditional Chinese temples, a spectacular ruined cathedral, pastel villas, old forts and islands that once harboured pirates. A slew of musuems will tell you how it all came about.
Although the lights have been out for quite some time, Shanghai once beguiled foreigners with its seductive mix of tradition and sophistication. Now Shanghai is reawakening and dusting off its party shoes for another silken tango with the wider world.
In many ways, Shanghai is a Western invention. The Bund, its riverside area, and Frenchtown are the best places to see the remnants of its decadent colonial past. Move on to temples, gardens, bazaars and the striking architecture of the new Shanghai.
Xi'an was once a major crossroads on the trading routes from eastern China to central Asia, and vied with Rome and later Constantinople for the title of greatest city in the world. Today Xi'an is one of China's major drawcards, largely because of the Army of Terracotta Warriors on the city's eastern outskirts. Uncovered in 1974, over 10,000 figures have been sorted to date. Soldiers, archers (armed with real weapons) and chariots stand in battle formation in underground vaults looking as fierce and war-like as pottery can. Xi'an's other attractions include the old city walls, the Muslim quarter and the Banpo Neolithic Village - a tacky re-creation of the Stone Age. By train, Xi'an is a 16 hour journey from Beijing. If you've got a bit of cash to spare, you can get a flight.
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