By Chris Moheno
Baseball coaching should incorporate some oriental wisdom into their baseball strength training program. Qi Gong, also known as Chi Kung is an ancient oriental art that unites mind, body and spirit while helping the person to be more in touch with their own energy and the earth. It incorporates the synchronization of different breathing patterns with a variety of motions and postures of the body.
Most people use this as a method of maintenance of health and wellness, but some disciplines do use is as a type of therapy or even to support medical treatment. It does fall under traditional Chinese medicine and has been used for centuries in that capacity. It is often taught along with Chinese martial arts as a supporting or supplementing discipline. It teaches control and discipline while helping the body to breathe properly and re direct its Qi or Chi. In Chinese, Chi means breath or gas and it symbolizes the energy field that exists within the body.
There are four major areas of application in this area: Healing, External Healing, Spiritual healing and Sports Chi Kung.
Healing Qi Gong (Yi Gong) is sometimes translated as Medical Chi Kung. It is the aspect of Chinese Medicine that is self healing and preventive. It teaches people how to control their reactions to stress which can help to prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and other conditions. It is also very effective on reducing anxiety.
External Chi Healing (Wai Qi Zhi Liao) helps the healer to tap into the healing energy of nature and channel it through their body. The exercises that are involved are used to increase the healer's sensitivity to energy fields as well as the efficacy of treatment. The base concept is that the more a person practices this art, the more effective their healing treatment will become. The techniques are appropriate for stand alone practice as well as in combination with other therapies such as massage, acupuncture and osteopathy.
Spiritual Qi Gong (Fo Gong or Tao Gong) is a discipline that is spiritual in nature. Its practice can open the person to self awareness, tranquility and harmony with nature. This aspect of Chi Kung has its roots in Buddhism and Taoism.
Sports Chi Kung (Wu Gong) is very beneficial in sports training because it is the key to speed, flexibility, strength, balance, stamina, coordination and resistance to injury. While Qi Gong exercises have the ability to improve performance in any sport, it can be very beneficial in baseball strength training. It can make players stronger, faster and even improve their focus. What's more, it helps to improve accuracy on the field as well as overall ability in the sport.
In baseball strength training, Chi Kung can help players take their game to the next level. As a discipline, it should be incorporated into baseball coaching as a regular part of player training. Players will be more focused and their skills will improve. Qi Gong will benefit the entire player as it benefits each individual player, one at a time.
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