Qigong for Seniors: Different Breathing Techniques

Qigong for Seniors: Different Breathing Techniques


This type of breathing is peculiar to each person; it cannot be controlled. The amplitude of breaths and exhalations is balanced. The disadvantage of this type of breathing is that the lungs do not work at full strength, so the breath is shallow and the breathing act itself is not extended.


The expansion of the lungs during inhalation lowers the diaphragm down, causing the stomach to become bulging. During exhalation, the diaphragm moves upward and the abdomen becomes hollow. This type of breathing can help with diseases of the cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as disorders of the brain.


Here, inhaling is done with the help of the abdominal muscles, as a result of which the diaphragm moves upwards. At the same time, the stomach becomes hollow. When exhalation occurs, the abdomen comes forward by lowering the diaphragm.


There are two techniques of such breathing:

After inhalation, exhalation is delayed, after exhalation, the whole breath is held.

Slow breath and hold breath.

Intermittent breathing helps in the treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The reverse type of breathing also contributes to the improvement of the digestive system.

Inhaling via the nose, exhaling via the mouth

The practice of breathing qigong for the elderly recommends inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. This makes breathing easier and speeds up recovery. Carrying Qi through the channels Ren-May and Du-May With this technique, reverse breathing is used, which helps to conduct qi energy through the so-called “small circulation circle” or “small celestial circulation”. This type of breathing, coupled with the movement of qi, stimulates the recovery of the nervous system.


A long and drawn out breath alternates with an inaudible quiet exhalation.


This type of breathing manifests itself when complete removal of the spirit from the material component of the body is achieved. With this condition, breathing becomes almost imperceptible, its task is to maintain the body with full spiritual concentration. This type of breathing is produced by experienced qigong masters. All types of breathing are aimed at preventing and curing certain systems of the human body. Seniors who are just starting to practice qigong are advised to take mandatory breaks every 10–20 minutes and return to natural breathing. Otherwise, such unpreparedness can turn into overwork of the muscles responsible for breathing, and even cause suffocation. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced mentor at the time you start practicing qigong, who will monitor your condition and help you to establish proper breathing and the necessary tactics for performing exercises.

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