Updated: Nov 13
I was introduced to this exercise about five years ago, during my apprenticeship with an acupuncturist from Taiwan. He was teaching his patients, regardless of their condition, this exercise with swinging arms and bending knees. He instructed them to do it every day for 15 minutes. He didn't name it or explain its effects. It made a big impression on me that he took extra time to include this education for all of his patients.
When I came home that day, I went to search on YouTube for more information about this practice. I wanted to know more about it, about its benefits and the proper way to practice it. It didn't take long to find it under the original name – Pingshuai Gong (also known as swing hands exercise). I was fascinated to learn that it is supported by scientific experiment. That same evening, I started to practice it and it became my evening routine for a few months. It made me feel really good – 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 even a bigger treasure that I want to share with you, dear people.
The pioneer of Pingshuai is Taiwan Qigong master Li Fengshan. It is a yangsheng/nourishment of life exercise that is simple but has powerful health giving properties. Let's look at some of the beneficial effects Pingshuai can have on you if you practice it daily:
* enhances your immune system,
* improves your balance,
* makes joints and muscles more flexible,
* fortifies muscles, joints and bones,
* enhances your blood and Qi circulation throughout the body,
* replenishes your energy,
* relaxes your body,
* calms and clears your mind,
* sharpens your senses.
By nourishing the entire body and cultivating the mind, Pingshuai Gong has the potential to cure or alleviate many ailments, including insomnia, constipation, back pain, soreness and numbness of the legs or feet, arthritis and even cancer.
The scientists from Taiwan made an experiment and presented it in the USA, in which they observed the brain waves during Pingshuai exercise. They discovered that alpha waves started to gradually activate during the practice as a result of a quietude and even motion. When our brain is in alpha state we experience low stress level, reduced anxiety, decreased depression as well as improved memory and creative thinking. Alpha waves give us a sense of wakeful relaxation and calmness.
Pingshuai can be practiced by anyone, anywhere (inside or outside) and anytime − however, it is recommended to practice it in the morning when you wake up and/or evening before sleep. It is very easy to learn and requires no equipment. Although 15 minutes of daily practice, as my TCM teacher taught his patients, might also be helpful to keep your health, an optimal time is 30 minutes.
Master Li Fengshan encourages us to listen to ourselves and our bodies. We will discover that we are energy, and our internal energy is connected with the energy outside of us. He teaches us that only when we have total control of ourselves, will we better manage and deal with the world around us. When we have difficulty dealing with the outer world, we should first regain control of ourselves, he advises. Pingshuai can help us to connect with ourselves and find our inner strength. It is a simple, but very effective exercise. However, simplicity is not easy to achieve, according to Master Li, who believes that simplicity is wisdom.
And I believe that health is wealth! Thus, I've started to recommend Pingshuai at my acupuncture practice and I've included it again as 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.