Hypothesis about the mechanism of promotion of memory through qigong exercises

Author: Chen Caihe
Wuhan Physical Education College, China [1]
Conference/Journal: 2nd Int Conf on Qigong
Date published: 1989
Other: Pages: 355 , Word Count: 747

There are some principles of Qigong exercises such as relaxation, silence, ease. In the course of doing Qigong exercise one may make his whole body relaxed, breath fluent, himself calm through Tiaoshen, Tiaoxin, Tiaoxi. t is just the function state of relaxation and silence which do create an most important environment to strengthen memory. The mechanism can be found as following.
According to Pavlovian, memory is one functions of the cerebra] cortex. He drew a conclusion through experiments about CR ( conditioned reflex ) that the physiological mechanism of memory is to establish temporary connections in the nervous system. The temporary connections more firm, memory trace more deep. In the meantime, conditions in the environment have some effects on the formulation of CR. It has been proved by Qigong exercise experience that all disturbance may be kept away and attention may be concentrated when the body relaxes, silences. These will do good for the establishment and consolidation of CR and deeping the memory trace so as to promote memory.
Studies in recent years have shown that the hippocampus circuit is possibly the neural circuit concerned with memory activity. Studies also tell us that memory may severely be damaged for the maldevelopment of the cerebral cortex limbic hippocampus region, because of the shortage of Zn. The content of Zn in hair of the human body after Qigong exercises may be promote the growth of hippocampus region in this way so as to promote memory.
According to the studies of neurochemistry, memory has something to do with the metabolism of the brain, especially the protein synthesis of the brain, RNA (ribonucleic acid ) plays the key role on memory, Zn is a kind of necessary element in formulation of nucleic acid and protein. So Qigong may promote memory by increasing the content of Zn to accelerate the formulation protein and RNA memory molecule.
According to the studies of neurophysiology, memory has much to do with synapse connection between neurone and the physiological activity of neurone. It was discovered by experiments by the means of BEG (electroencephalogram) that his brain wave is of the low-frequency, the high-amplitude, better synchronicity in the whole region of cortex under the silence state of Qigong. These show that Qigong may make the physiological activity of neurone for itself at all levels to
occur the self-regulation, to upgrade the sequence of function activities, function activities more harmonious, and to occur function sparing so as to enhance memory.
The energy metabolism of the brain cells is very vigorous. The activities of the body such as memory, thinking will be heavily obstructed or even disappear as long as the brain cells have no blood (ischemia) or oxygen (oxygen lack) for some seconds. The oxygen consumption is averagely 20 percent less than before Qigong exercise when the body relaxes and silences, in the meatime Qigong exercises may make the function of the respiration system and the blood circulation system better and the blood lactic acid lower. As Jiang min-da and his fellows discovered by experiments, which do good for overcoming disadvantage brought about by drop of memory for the ischemia and oxygen lack in the brain cells to may promote memory.
Sperry et al, the owners of Nobel Prize for medical science or physiology in 1981, discovered through experiments on the brain that the left brain occupies mainly in language, character, comprehension, logical thinking, calculation and so on, the right brain mainly in the perception of images, memory, music, imagination, emotion, time conception, space orientation and so on. In the practice, with his growth, one may often pay more attention to only language and character and activities of abstract thinking, and ignore the usefulness of image thinking. So that the left rain burdens too heavily with the right one idle, the intelligence can't be developed. The state of nonverbal consciousness during the relaxation and silence of Qigong and sorts of exercises of imagination do good to activate the right brain and developing abstract thinking and image thinking, 80 as to increase one's intelligence and enhance memory.
Otherwise, the human body is an integrated organism. In the course of life activities, in the human body self-regulation; ego-integrity, mutual balance, integration is going from chemistry molecules to tissue cells, tissue cells to function systems at different levels. SO the mechanism of Qigong enhancing memory may be the integration effect which Qigong makes on chemistry molecules, structure of nerves, the functional activities of nerve cells and some as described before which have something to do with memory.