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The Radiant Eight Energy Exercses is a 20 minute routine of medical Chi Gong exercises. They are simple standing stretches. These same exercises are given to people in the clinics by professional health providers. The Radiant Eight Energy Exercises can be done in the morning, for more power and energy for the day; or at night, for more relaxation and sounder sleep.
For the last 25 years, scientists in China have been developing a special type of Chi Gong (Energy Technique), called medical chi gong. This is not martial arts Chi Gong or religious Chi Gong. Medical Chi Gong has been developing out of scientific testing of individual energy exercises, and verification of their real medical benefits. Hundreds of medical applications of Chi Gong have been reported in scientific journals in the Orient. Our medical establishment, in prestigious universities such as UCLA have been duplicating these studies and also initiating new research.
There is a formidable body of research accumulating. Many of these studies are focused on demonstrating the ability of medical chi gong to aid the body in rebalancing some of the effects of aging, or the physical effects of a stressful physical or mental period in a person's life which can deplete the body's energies and throw things like hormones out of balance.
These medical studies have been done to measure the effect of Chi Gong on hormonal balance, cardiovascular health, aging, and building bone density. Studies compared those who did Chi Gong exercises to those who do other forms or those who had no exercise routine. Some studies tracked only 20-30 people; others tracked as many as 1,000 people over different periods of time.
What is being found?
Tremendous cardiovascular effects: Heart function improved lowering the chances of hypertension, high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. Participants who practiced Chi Gong regularly were found to have stronger contractions of the heart muscle and a slower, more efficient heart rate. They also had an increase in blood supply to the heart, which, of course, improved the overall functioning of the entire body.
The lungs also became more efficient, the supporting muscles stronger and the lung tissue itself more supple. Practitioners of these Energy Exercises are able to extract more oxygen from the air they breathe.
One of the challenges of aging gracefully is to maintain not only strength but to actually become more flexible. Developing more flexibility is a key to having vibrant health. Chi Gong exercises are famous for building flexibility and both bone and muscle strength. One of the studies compared the spines of twenty people who did Chi Gong with the spines of twenty who did not. The group doing Chi Gong had not only better posture. More dramatic was that they had many times the spinal flexibility and half the amount of bone loss.
Hormonal Balance: Hormones in particular are of interest because the science of balancing hormones is relatively still in an experimental stage in Western medicine. We can stimulate hormones, and replace hormones, but how much better all of that might work if we were also able to help the body a better balance. Or, if the imbalance was not severe or chronic, how much better to let the medical Chi Gong exercises, combined with the best nutrition help the body rebalance its own hormones.
As we age, or if the body is thrown out of balance for some other reason, sex hormones for men and women can rise or fall in the “wrong” direction. There is a growing body of research that supports that medical chi gong can actually modulate the hormones – help bring them back to the levels of a healthier or younger person. Modulating is a unique function. There are not specific exercises to raise or lower a hormone such as estrodiol, in fact the same exercises are done to both raise and lower the hormone. Tests are being done on both men and women demonstrating that medical chi gong exercises can help the body find a balance that also brings the hormones into balance.
These are exciting developments, not only for those who are aging and would like to reverse the tide, but also for young people whose hormones have been thrown out of balance by repeated physical and mental challenge, or by taking birth control or following repeated cycles of hormone stimulating fertility drugs. Chi Gong seems to be demonstrated through continued research that it may be of great value for helping the body to regain its strength and renew a more normal hormonal balance.
The biggest challenge we have today is keeping a life and body in balance against the pressures of stress. Stress and overwork can deeply affect our bodies. This is where the benefits of these simple energy exercises are so powerful.
These exercises help us keep more than just an edge. They bring a power and calm to our activity that goes beyond the benefits of any traditional cardiovascular exercise. And scientific studies support this.
Studies have shown a great improvement in mind/body coordination and a stimulation of the cerebral cortex of the brain. What develops is a state of restful alertness -- keen awareness with an inner calm, the foundation for dynamic, focused activity.
The bottom line: These simple-to-do Energy Exercises help us recover from stress. They allow us to be energetic and strong enough not to accumulate the negative side effects of chronic stress. This allows us to rebound quickly and be ready for the next challenge.