Rebounding is another word for jumping on a trampoline. Short, mild bouncing exercises throughout the day help keep lymph flowing and ducts clear so they can more easily move waste out of the body. If you don’t have a trampoline, simply jump gently in place while wearing shoes with absorbent soles. Two minutes at a time 3-10 times a day does wonders for circulation.
Also spelled chi gung or chi kung, Qigong is an ancient Chinese dynamic meditation that employs gentle repeated movements and stretches to stimulate fluid and energy flow throughout the body. “Qi” means “life force” and “gong” means “skill”. The object of this practice is similar to mindful meditation but with intentional movement: clear the mind, stretch the spine, and deepen breath. (5) Qigong’s usefulness for cleansing the body is specific: increase lymph flow and oxygen intake. A meditative practice as well, qigong helps to relieve stress and anxiety and attain mental clarity.
“In a report generated by the Qigong Institute it was noted that regular practice of Qigong for detox purposes can help to cleanse your lymphatic system and help your body to metabolize oxygen more effectively…regular practice of personal Qigong regimen can help to alleviate stress and eliminate a number of dietary and environmental toxins from your body.
”… According to traditional Chinese medicine, all disease and pain are the direct result of blocked or stagnant Qi in your body. The regular practice of Qigong is intended to not only release the blockages that are in place, but keep it flowing smoothly at all times.
“The deep breathing exercises and physical activities involved in Qigong for detox increase the body’s demand for oxygen and this extra oxygen is going to bind with the free radicals that are responsible for tissue damage and a large part of the aging process. When the oxygen bonds with these unstable free radicals, it neutralizes them, preventing them from wreaking havoc on your body and your health.” (5)
Movements can be done sitting, standing, or walking. The video below provides full-length instruction for standing qigong.
We often get wrapped up in the daily routine and run ourselves ragged with responsibilities and very full schedules. It’s important for the mind and body to stop for a time each day and allow ourselves to relax, pushing all the pressures of the day to the perimeter to focus on ourselves.
Mindfulness meditation serves us by forcing us to sit still for a period of time to recalibrate. We observe ourselves objectively, without distraction or judgment. Studies on the physiological benefits are many:
Studies on the physiological benefits found that mindfulness:
- Reduces inflammation and promotes immune system function
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves memory
- Relieves stress
- Halts the progression of cognitive disorders (including Alzheimer’s disease)
- Decreases emotional reactivity
- Alleviates feelings of depression and anxiety (6)
- Reduces chronic pain
- Strengthens and repairs brain function
- Relieves insomnia and improves sleep quality (7)
- Aids in weight loss (8)
- Prevents and lessens the severity of colds and flu (9)
- Improves focus, clarity, and cognition (10)
- Relieves chronic pain, including rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases (11)
- Reduces irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and severity, improving quality of life and gastrointestinal-specific anxiety (12, 13)
Simple stretches can be done anywhere. They are important to maintain flexibility and range of motion. Regular stretching will help to keep you mobile and prevent muscle stress and pain. In addition, by flexing muscles, you improve circulation and lymph flow. Regardless of your fitness level, you can stretch different parts of your body every day—even while sitting.
Stretching after a workout is a must to avoid muscle soreness, fatigue, and constriction. It’s also a good way to cool down while releasing any muscles that were contracted during exercise. (14) There are a few best practices that are recommended for stretches—find them here.
Stretching muscles (as opposed to high-impact exercise) forces regular deep breathing while gently stimulating muscle movement, which in turn promotes lymph flow. Muscle and psychological stress and tension are released with muscle flexion. Nutrition and oxygen are transported throughout the body. It also feels good.