Truth is, no, many health conditions and many illnesses cannot be improved by the generic qigong method. Once again, I have to reiterate to laymen that Qigong is not another form of exercise apart from Tai Chi. Qigong is a component of Kung Fu styles, Tai Chi has its qigong, Hung Gar has its qigong, Shaolin has its qigong, Eagle Claw has its qigong, etc...
I had to lay out the truth for them, and for most of the new age CMA (lets go back to Chinese roots) explorers: Chinese qigong is very deep, Tai Chi is only 1/5 of the whole picture. Tai Chi's chi is water chi. Chinese qigong, and Chinese philosophy has five elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood. They mutually interact by supporting and combating each other. Switch over to the Chinese system, we are not talking about the Western/Indian or West of the Himalayas Four Elements here. Not the fire, air, water, earth.
What about the metal chi? The earth chi, fire chi and wood chi? Other Kung Fu styles and their respective qigong systems represent them. A Kung Fu style can be dominant in up to three elements. Your problem, which is the lungs and the throat and nose, belongs to the metal element. Water element chi governs the kidneys, sex organs, bladder and lymphatic system. When you were doing Tai Chi, you may have benefits in these organs, but not the metal element organs. Now that Tai Chi is so commercialized and the old teachers are so relunctant in transmitting the full art, many people do not even get to have water element benefits from doing Tai Chi.
Look no further, Hung Gar and Shaolin style qigong is the solution to your nose, throat and lung problems. We emphasize on deep breathing, and we believe in transferring our breath energy across our body into our arms and legs. Chi is the basis of Kung Fu moves, it is the fuel that powers us.
You always hear the term, sink your chi, your energy into the dan tian. What they mean is the lower dan tian, which is below the belly button. There are three dan tian, the one we will be using to clear your respiratory system is the middle dan tian. We do not sink to it, in fact we take that the middle dan tian is like a big air pump. When we breath in we gather the chi in our chest and let the middle dan tian turn it into energy the body can use, like an energy transformer. Visualization of such maximizes the process of the lungs putting oxygen into the blood and removing carbon dioxide.
Deep breathing, how deep? Breathing should be fine and long. Fine like a thread. Long, from 6 seconds to 60 seconds. It teaches you to slow down your thoughts and your pace of life. Speed does not equate to quality. When you slow down or stop your breathing, you realize the importance of breathing, the need for air from nature. You have to follow that need to breathe, not the subconcious breathing pattern habit you have adopted since a certain stage of your life. Especially when you are not doing vigorous exercise, you only need to breathe slowly and fully. Your breath quality becomes much better than an asmathic reflex.
How frequent should you practice and what kind of environment is the best? I do it at least on alternate days, twice a day if I can. My preference is a natural park with a mild climate and preserved flora life, but for most of the time I make do with a clean, air conditioned room.
You will yawn a lot, but you will not sneeze or cough. Some people are weaker and cannot cope with longer breaths, they become dizzy and lightheaded. These people have to be patient in practice and improve gradually. Fortuntely most people with metal element issues are not the easily light-headed type.
Master the center first. It is about how you gather air to your chest cavity and transform it into energy your body can absorb before breathing out. Afterwards, practice how to affect the extremities with the center. The essential factor lies in the capacity of your energy center. Under my instruction, many people feel amazing effects, like freshening up and feeling a trickling sensation through the arms when the chi circulates. There are quite a handful who feel in on the first session. I always tell them that feeling 'some' effect is not enough to heal your persistent ailments, your health weaknesses. You need your chi capacity and intensity to be very strong, before you can eradicate the health weakness.
Article by Leroy Kwok