Unlocking the Power of Qigong for Fertility – A Specialist’s Insight

June 28, 2024 4:30 pm

Unlocking the Power of Qigong for Fertility – A Specialist’s Insight” was initially published in The Ribbon Box and is shared here with permission.

You might not have heard of qigong before unless you’ve been to see a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. Breathwork and the Wim Hof Breathing Method are both pretty popular right now. While they incorporate conscious breath similarly, their intentions differ significantly from qigong’s.

Suppose you’re looking to incorporate holistic fertility support that also boosts whole-body health. In that case, it turns out that qigong (pronounced “chee-gong”) is one of the most potent practices out there – here’s why.

Spotlighting qigong for fertility

We’re back partnering with Sarah Manning, a certified yoga instructor with Thrive. Our online Fertility Wellness program seamlessly combines yoga, Ayurvedic nutrition, and relaxation techniques with a clinically tested approach to preconception planning, providing a comprehensive support system for your fertility journey.

Meet Sarah Manning, a well-respected yoga instructor with certifications with Thrive, an online Fertility Wellness program known for its holistic approach to women’s health. With extensive experience and expertise in fertility qigong yoga, Sarah is dedicated to nurturing female health and well-being through her unique and effective practice.

In this piece, Sarah will answer all of the critical questions around qigong for fertility, including;

  • What qi and qigong actually are
  • How qigong for fertility works
  • How it can improve your chances of conceiving
  • Ways to holistically support qigong fertility practice

What do we mean by qi?

There are two kinds of qi;

  • Jing – you inherit this at conception
  • Qi – you constantly draw this in from your environment 

You can think of qi being stored like a bank account in your body. You spend qi to repair and rebuild the body and carry out essential processes (think digesting food, menstruating, respiration, blood circulation, hormones and brain, reproduction, protection, and movement), as well as during interactions outside the body.

a woman stretching on a mat in the grass - qigong practice

When your bank of qi gets depleted, this impacts all your internal processes. For example, your periods might stop if you regularly exercise or fast and diet heavily.

Our job in qigong practice is to keep that bank account as positive as possible!

Qigong practice has three key pillars.

a woman standing on a beach with her hands on her stomach - Qigong practices

This resembles a combination of conscious breath, physical movements, and mental concentration.

  1. The critical pillar of qigong practice is conscious breath, which drives the creation of qi. Changing how we breathe (focusing on the in-breath, pause, exhalation, and pause) can increase qi generation, empowering you to take control of your fertility journey. The movement supports the generation of qi. In qigong practice, this can mean slow limb movement or focusing on specific stances and muscular locks in the body.
  2. We can move and store qi using our concentration. This concentration is known as yi. The Chinese saying “Yi tao, qi tao” roughly translates to where the concentration goes – energy follows!

What about qigong for fertility? How does it work?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, illnesses can occur when your free flow of qi is in excess or depleted. And this goes for fertility problems, too.

Imagine that qi is rain falling on a mountain. There are areas where the water collects and becomes streams and then rivers. According to qigong practice, the connective tissue everywhere in your body (you’ve even got connective tissue in your cells!) constitutes the ‘meridians’ that carry the flow of qi.

Collagen strands are arranged in a triple helix formation when you zoom in on your connective tissue. When three of these triple helixes come together, they form microfibrils laid down in the direction of stress. The arrangement of these fibres creates a semi-crystalline structure, allowing energy to travel more easily in one direction than the other. You can think of these like the streams and rivers on a mountain!

Qigong for fertility is an effective tool for ensuring no stagnation or depletion. That qi is flowing freely – without adequate qi, the body cannot function, cannot heal and will resist fertility. Qigong positively impacts the body’s critical control systems, which affect fertility the most. These are the HPO (hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian) Axis, the HPT (hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid) Axis and the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) Axis.

Can fertility qigong improve my chances of conceiving?

Qigong for fertility helps to support conception through;

  • Diaphragmatic breathing stimulates your vagus nerve for a switch to the parasympathetic system, letting the body rest and restore.
  • Generation of qi – which promotes whole-body vitality and health. This is vital as large amounts of ATP (energy within the cell) are needed for our immature eggs to mature, for a fertilised egg to grow, and for the fertilised egg to successfully implant.
  • Complete relaxation of the body is needed for qigong to work effectively. It also aids in releasing tension and stress when you’re on a fertility journey, helping you feel grounded and centred and more able to ride the waves of emotional hope and grief.

Can qigong for fertility help address specific reproductive health conditions?

Reproductive health conditions can occur as a result of blockage or stagnation of qi.

Our bodies should usually be in a constant, balanced state of replacing old cells with new ones. Removing blockages lets the qi flow, and the body heals and repairs appropriately, which can help support fertility-impacting conditions like PCOS, fibroids, and endometriosis.

Qigong also helps with pain management and resetting any hyper-sensitised pain response, making it an excellent tool for supporting endometriosis in particular.

Are there any dietary or lifestyle recommendations that complement fertility qigong practice?

As you’ll probably already know, integrating supportive lifestyle elements can significantly contribute to your journey with fertility qigong. These include prioritising healthy sleep habits, staying well-hydrated, eating a balanced diet, monitoring your toxic load, and minimising exposure to harmful environmental substances.

Further, tapping into your intuition, accessing your inner wisdom and aligning with what holds true for you can go hand in hand with qigong practice. Granting yourself permission to pause in this way is so crucial for navigating a fertility journey.

Try qigong for fertility as part of your holistic support toolbox. Please hop over to Thrive to book a fertility qigong yoga class with Sarah and sign up for their virtual health hub, which is here to help you thrive physically, emotionally, and mentally through your journey to conception.

The team at The Ribbon Box know that family-building, pregnancy, and parenthood aren’t always straightforward. Check out The Ribbon Box community to stay up to date and get practical support, discounts and handy tips like these delivered straight to your inbox.

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