Feeling at a loss in the current situation with the Corona virus? Authorities say we won’t have a deployable vaccine against the new virus for at least a year, and then what about the next new virus or unanticipated strain of ordinary flu to come along? You need not feel helpless. In addition to the common sense precautions to protect yourself from germs (frequent hand washing, adequate sleep and diet, etc.), you have the means to strengthen your immune system and overall health with Taiji and Qigong exercises, both of which are effective in reducing the stress-load and boosting your vital internal energy (Qi).
My teacher, Dr. Jwing Ming Yang, likens a human being’s existence–physical, spiritual, and energetic–to a battle, which we are fighting all the time against the invasion of germs and other pernicious influences. Your physical body is the battlefield. Your white blood cells and other components of your immune system are the soldiers of your army. Your mind is the general, who leads your army. Your Qi, oxygen supply, and nutrients are the supplies your army needs to move and fight effectively.
You want your mind-general to be calm and focused. Your mind-general should know the battlefield, but for many of us our minds are too often focused outward and have lost touch with our internal feelings. The result–our mind-general doesn’t know what is happening on the battlefield. The meditative aspects of Qigong and Taiji help relieve our mind-general of external stress, calm down, and focus on what’s happening internally.
You want your mind-general and your soldiers to have high morale. Their morale depends on your morale. If you are feeling sad, helpless, fearful, or depressed, your general and your army will feel the same. With Qigong and Taiji you can take action to help yourself, and these exercises’ effectiveness in building up your vital energy will in turn raise your spirit.
You want your army to be able to move easily and quickly around the battlefield to where they are needed. Your Qi channels, blood vessels, and nerve pathways are the transportation routes by which your army and its supplies travel. However, when we sit too much, which is all too common in our modern lifestyle, these transportation routes tend to clog up, as when roads or trails are not regularly maintained and become snow clogged, muddy, or pot-holed. The movements of Qigong and Taiji help keep these transportation routes open, and as your soldiers grow stronger and your general gains focus, they will have greater ability to clear away obstacles on the routes and make sure that they can move freely to where they are needed.
Exercise in general is good, but Qigong and Taiji exercises that focus on special movements, proper breathing, mental concentration, and vital energy strengthening are especially effective weapons you can use in your everyday battles to stay healthy.