The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." In 1989, WHO extended the definition of health to cover the physical health, mental health, social well-being and moral health. Based on the existing reference materials, health Qigong has a certain effect on the health in the above several aspects. Its effects can be summarized as physical health, mental health and bodybuilding, and the three mechanisms, including harmony, supplement and circulation.
Three main effects -- physical health, mental health, bodybuilding
The "physical health" refers to keeping a healthy body, i.e. exercising the body. Health Qigong focuses on active course, which is the best "supplement" to the human body. Studies indicate that insisting on practicing four methods of Health Qigong, i.e. Yi Jin Jing, Wu Qin Xi, Liu Zi Jue and Ba Duan Jin, will significantly improve the quality indicators such as reaction speed, muscular strength, body flexibility and balance coordination ability, and will also be able to increase the bone mineral density. Insisting on practicing five methods of Health Qigong, namely Taiji Yangsheng Zhang, Daoyin Yangshenggong Shi Er Fa, Shi Er Duan Jin, Mawangdui Daoyin Shu and Da Wu, will significantly improve the physical fitness of the exerciser in asspects such as the muscular strength of upper limb, body flexiability, sensitivity and balance coordination.
The "mental health" does not refer to the health of heart, but the health of mind, which can also be called "brain health". Different mental states have varied influences on the nervous system and immune system of the human body. A good mental state is able to enhance the function of the immune system and improve our ability in preventing and conquering diseases, and vice versa. The mental health effect of Health Qigong may derive from two aspects: methods and exercise activities. The effect of methods can be reflected in two aspects. First, the process of integrating three regulations is the process of mental regulation; second, exercising facilitates the body soundness and regulates the mentality of the exerciser, because the body health is an important factor of happy mood, especially for the aged. The effect of exercising activities is mainly reflected on its groupment. The group activities strengthen the contact and communication between people, which has an irreplaceable effect on mitigating the emotion. The existing studies show that Health Qigong can enhance the mental health and the happiness.
The bodybuilding means the shaping of a good figure. Hard muscle, strong bones, straight spine and rosy cheeks, etc. are the standards of bodybuilding, and can be realized by exercising Health Qigong. For example, the motion of waist and legs of some seniors may be restricted, so they cannot "touch the feet" while moving the hands down the back and legs and touching the feet to strengthen the kidney at the beginning. But after a period of practicing, quite a large portion of person can touch the feet with an effort, and after another period of time, they can freely touch the feet and even the ground, which indicates that the waist becomes flexible. Similarly, the flexibility of neck, arms and other parts is also improved. Studies also show that insisting on exercising the five methods of Health Qigong such as Taiji Yangsheng Zhang can significantly reduce the body fat content of the body of the exerciser, increase the lean body mass, and contribute to building a healthy, even and beautiful figure.
(By Huang Jian)