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PING SHUAI GONG – a simple exercise that helps induce an alpha state.

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

I was introduced to this exercise during my apprenticeship with an acupuncturist from Taiwan. Regardless of their condition, he taught his patients an exercise involving swinging arms and bending knees. He instructed them to perform it daily for 15 minutes. He did not provide a specific name for the exercise or explain its effects. The fact that he devoted additional time to educating all of his patients about this exercise left a significant impression on me.

When I returned home that day, I immediately turned to YouTube to gather more information about this practice. I aimed to delve deeper into its benefits and learn the correct technique. It didn't take me long to locate it under the original name – Pingshuai Gong (also known as the swing hands exercise). I was captivated to discover that scientific experiments supported its efficacy. That very evening, I commenced practicing it, and it soon became part of my nightly routine for several months. The practice had a profound effect, making me feel notably calm and relaxed.

Information about Pingshuai in English is scarce on the internet, showing how undiscovered this exercise is in the Western world. Therefore, it is an even greater treasure that I want to share with you.

The pioneer of Pingshuai is the Qigong master from Taiwan, Li Fengshan. This yangsheng/nourishment of life exercise is simple yet holds powerful health-giving properties. Let's explore some of the beneficial effects that practicing Pingshuai daily can have on you:

  • Boosts your immune system

  • Enhances balance

  • Increases flexibility in joints and muscles

  • Strengthens muscles, joints, and bones

  • Improves blood and Qi circulation throughout the body

  • Replenishes energy levels

  • Induces body relaxation

  • Promotes a calm and clear mind

  • Sharpens sensory perception

By nurturing the entire body and nurturing the mind, Pingshuai Gong has the potential to alleviate or mitigate various ailments, including insomnia, constipation, back pain, leg or foot soreness and numbness, arthritis, and even some aspects of cancer.

Scientists from Taiwan conducted an experiment presented in the USA, during which they observed brain waves while individuals practiced Pingshuai exercises. Their findings revealed a gradual activation of alpha waves due to the combination of stillness and gentle movement inherent in the exercise. When the brain enters an alpha state, it leads to reduced stress levels, decreased anxiety, alleviated depression, improved memory, and enhanced creative thinking. Alpha waves induce a state of wakeful relaxation and tranquility.

Pingshuai can be practiced by anyone, anywhere (indoors or outdoors) and at any time − though it is suggested to practice it in the morning upon waking and/or in the evening before bedtime. It's effortless to learn and doesn't require any equipment. While 15 minutes of daily practice, as my TCM teacher instructed his patients, can contribute to maintaining your health, an optimal duration is 30 minutes.

Master Li Fengshan encourages us to listen to ourselves and our bodies, highlighting the interconnectedness of our internal energy with the energy surrounding us. He emphasizes that by attaining complete self-control, we can more effectively navigate the world around us. When grappling with challenges in the external world, his advice is to prioritize regaining control over ourselves. Pingshuai serves as a means to connect with our inner selves and discover our inherent strength. It's a simple yet highly effective exercise. However, achieving simplicity, as per Master Li's belief, is not an easy feat; he sees simplicity as synonymous with wisdom.

And I strongly believe that health is wealth! Consequently, I have begun recommending Pingshuai at my acupuncture practice, and I've reinstated it as part of my daily routine.

Find the Pingshuai Gong exercise here and swing for general well-being and a centred mind.


Disclaimer: The information or material posted here is provided for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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1 Comment

Vanessa Tulli
Vanessa Tulli
Dec 18, 2023

Thank you very much, Aleksandra. Very informative article.

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