On the choice of qigong practicing methods by athletes

Author: Zhang Xuejin
Shangdong Physical Education Institute, Shangdong, China [1]
Conference/Journal: 2nd Int Conf on Qigong
Date published: 1989
Other: Pages: 215 , Word Count: 902

As a way of health improvement, Qigong's effects on heating diseases, prolonging lives and tapping the potential of human bodies have been recognized internationally. However, the researches in the field of utilizing Qigong for modern sports are still a hard task for us Oven though some pioneers have begun their probe. As a splendid historical heritage, Qigong has a variety of schools and practicing methods. So if athletes can choose the suitable methods from among them and utilize them for their competitions and physical training, they will certainly get a powerful backup force and get twice the result with half the effect to reach their professional goals. The following is my opinion on the choice of the suitable Qigong methods by athletes:

1. Making choice in the light of the professional characteristics of athletes. Traditional Chinese medical theory insists that one of the important signs of good physical condition is the balance of Yin and Yang. Yang represents the kinetic state whereas Yin represents the static. Only if one combines the former with the latter the balance can be reached. As most sports activities focus on the kinetic state, athletes, while fully exercising their muscles and bones through the continuous competitions and physical trainings year after year, overlook the exercises of their inner organs. So the state of outwardly strong but inwardly weak is common among athletes. It not only is unfavorable to their health conditions but also hamper the improvement of their professional records. To get rid of this state, athletes may choose such Qigong practicing methods as 'Neiyangong' (the method of recuperating inner organs) or 'Qiangzhuangong' (the method of making strong), which are capable of leading athletes to the static state and therefore regulating their inner organs.

The fact that most athletes prefer action to rest is in contradiction with one of our forefathers' experiences of choosing Qigong methods those who prefer action can not be forced to rest . To solve this problem,the best way for the athletes who prefer action is to start from the Qigong methods with movements, such as 'Baduanjin' (eightphase-method) and 'Wuqinxi' (five-fowl-play). With movements and gestures, this kind of methods can easily arouse the interest of athletes. Then the proportion of static Qigong methods can be added step by step until finally a transition to the static methods is completed.

2. Making choice in the light of specific sport events and the timetable of competitions and trainings. Particular sport event has its own characteristics and requires the techniques of i to own, So athletes should pay attention to these specific elements when they begin their choice. For instance, in the event of track and field, the middle-long distance running has such peculiarities as long distance, high oxygen consumption and excellent endurance. So how to increase the inhaling volume of oxygen becomes the essential point of the event. In order to reach this goal, middilelong distance runners may choose 'Songjinggong', which by broadening the movement range of diaphramatic muscles, can effectively increase the inhaling volume of oxygen, prolong the time of arrival of the limit value and, as a result, raise the records.

For the athletes who take up jumping and throwing events, the right choice is the practicing methods which belong to the category of 'Yi-xing gong', such as 'Zhenqiyunxingfa' (the method of real breath movements, 'Neigongyunqifa' (the method of directing one's strength), etc. And those who take up antagonistic events, such as football, basketball and boxing may choose tough Qigong methods so as to increase the ability of confrontation and reduce injuries. And 'Tiaoxigong' (the method of breath-adjusting) is very helpful to weightlifters and wrestlers.

As for how to make choice in the light of the timetable of competitions and trainings, three parts can be divided. One is practicing Qigong before competitions and trainings, another is practicing in the middle, the third is practicing after them. Let's take the third one as an example, after competitions and trainings the priority is relaxing and recovering physical strength, so the suitable practicing method at this time is 'Fangsonggong' (the method of relaxation), which has effects on reconciling breath with blood, relaxing the muscles and increasing the inhaling volume of oxygen, and thus removing the lactic acid as soon as possible and reducing the period of physical recovery.

Among a quite variety of relaxing Qigong methods, the most common ones are 'Sanxianfangsongfa' (the three-lined-relaxing method), 'Jubufangaongfa' (the local relaxing method). These kinds of methods not only has the characters of reducing the period of recovery from fatigue but also can help athletes get rid of the exciteness caused by intense competition and return to calmness immediately. 50 we can say such methods are efficient for athletes to acquire psychological balance.

3. Making choice dialectically to cure the injuries caused by competitions and trainings. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, the injuries Of muscles and bones do have effects on one's inner organs. It is quite true and the athletes who suffer from injuries must pay attention to this. The theory insists that ligaments are in connection with liver, muscles with spleen and bones with kidney. So if suffering from injuries, athletes can choose the Qigong methods that can invigorate the functions of spleen, liver and kidney. The injuries of joints' ligaments are common among athletes, and the best method to cure is 'Hexiangzhuang', since it is effective in dredging man's and collateral channels and thus invigorating the function of liver.