Human body is a fully-automatic machine, complicated yet precise, perfect and subtle. Its systems and organs are not only relatively independent but also closely cooperative with each other. They also can adapt to changes of external environment extremely. The reason for these is that the human body possesses a nearly perfect self-regulation system, which enables it to regulate all kinds of physiological functions orderly. The regulatory methods of human body mainly consist of neural modulation and humoral regulation. Body, breath and mind regulations, as the chief movement modes of Health Qigong, its internal mechanism to achieve a continuous optimization of the human body and mind, in a sense, is also the result of the regulation of neural system and endocrine system.
Health Qigong and Neural Regulation
Neural system is made up of central nerve and surrounding nerves from heart to toe, and it is the most leading regulation and control system in the human body. It adjusts directly or indirectly the functions of each organ and system of the organism, so as to adapt to the changes of the internal and external environments of the human body, and keep the stable condition of the life. Although the neural systematic activities are very complicated, the basic active mode is reflection. Reflection is the respondent reactions of the organism to the changes of internal and external environments, with the participation of the central neural system. The structural base of reflection is reflex arc, namely, the circulating route of signals in the neural system during the process starting from stimulus receiving to response making. A complete reflex arc is composed of five basic parts: receptor, afferent nerve, neural center, efferent nerve and effector. Receptor is a particular structure to receive stimulus functioning to transform the stimulus coming from outside body into nerve impulse. Afferent nerve transmits the excitability of the receptor to the center. After the center receives the impulse from the afferent nerve, through analyzing and judging the impulse, it transmits the result to the effectors by means of the efferent nerve. Effectors, mainly consists of skeletal muscle and visceral system, is an organ to produce respondent reactions.
The sentence “As Bodhidharma came from the West, he did not bring with him any book but completely relied on his mind” suggests that operating mind is the key point and core to do Health Qigong well. Human mind is the particular material of high development, high improvement and high organization----- the functions of the human brain is human brain’s response to the objective world. Engels said: “It is the only truth that we ourselves belong to the substantial appreciable world; and our mind and thought always are substantial physical organs, namely the product of the human brain, no matter how it looks supersensible.” It can be seen that the complicated and various method of integrating mind in Health Qigong is the active adjustment process of exercisers by using the most essential part of the human nerve center. When doing Qigong exercises comes to concentration of consciousness and getting into quietness, it can inevitably regulate and relax the pallium, and even prevent external, affective and injurious stimulus. Therefore, the phenomena which happen during doing Qigong exercises, such as respiratory depression, sympathetic nerve depression, and skeletal muscle relaxation and so on are the “internal stabilities” in physiology. They can keep the brain activities in order and improve the movement efficiency of the brain cells greatly as so to the most potential of brain bring to bear during the most normal period of the internal movement of the human body, thus in return regulate and improve the function condition of the human better.
The laboratory research also shows that Health Qigong exercises can influence certain neural reflected functions to change and regulate the physiological functional activities of human. For example, the laboratory research displays that when Qigong exercises gets into quietness, the rhythm of alpha wave will increase, and each area tends to the directional change of synchronization and ordering. Under the control of cerebral cortex, along with bodies and mind of exercisers relaxing deeply, relative harmonious change will appear on the function of each system of the human, such as heart rate slowing, blood pressure decreasing, vein expanding, capillary permeability increasing, breath even, gentle, slow, deep and long, skin resistance decreasing, efferent nerve transmitting speed accelerating, and even endocrine system and immunity system changing relatively. These changes will make the functional movement of each part of the human coordinate and unite much more.
(By Cai Li)