Day 2 in Locked-down London. I hope you're keeping safe and remembering your epidemiologically approved 2m distance. (Try saying that word three times in a row!)
Our professional body, the British Acupuncture Council, has advised members to stop practising acupuncture. How frustrating because in China, Chinese medicine doctors are very much in the frontline of the war against thisÂ novel coronavirus. But if we can't give acupuncture treatments, there are other ways to help.
We all know the importance of eating well and in moderation, doing enough exercise (Boris Johnson has given us all a pass to go out once a day!), and getting enough physical and mental rest. Those are all key to keeping your immune system strong. But because the coronavirus attacks the lungs, we can all do with specific exercises to strengthen the lungs.
Qi gong and tai chi are so-called internal exercises that were developed by the ancient Chinese and are very much part of the Chinese medicine universe, along with acupuncture, herbs, massage (tui na) and diet. Tai chi is a system of movement, meditation, and self-defence; the tai chi form consists of a sequence of postures, strung together in smooth, slow, continuous movement. In contrast, qi gong is co-ordinated body-posture and movement, breathing and meditation, and done standing or sitting.
You don't need to know the tai chi form to do qi gong. Both exercises are fabulous ways of circulating qi (translated as vital energy) around the body, which is essential to health. If you are interested in doing some qi gong exercises for strengthening the lungs, watch this lovely video of Peter Deadman, one of the pioneers of Chinese medicine in the UK. We all seem to have a lot of time nowadays!
Photo credit: Edward Johnson