List your Practice List a School List an Event Contact Us
Account Login View Cart Cart ($0.00) is the leading resource for everything to do with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Asian Medicine. It is the premier Web destination for those seeking health and wellness for themselves and their loved ones through the principles of Oriental Medicine. We are the voice of authority for up-to-date health and wellness information from an Eastern Medicine perspective.

Search for Acupuncturists Search for Acupuncture Schools Search for Acupuncture Events
Explore Acufinder

Learning & Resource Center Articles

Print Page Print Page
Send to a Friend
Bookmark and Share
Qi Gong for Weight Loss
By: Lee Holden, L.Ac.

Qi gong is mainly associated with flowing movements, breathing exercise, and stretching, but what most people don't realize is Qi gong's therapeutic applications to naturally and permanently lose weight.

An estimated two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and one third of those are "obese" - that is, their excess weight puts their health in jeopardy. This program is about helping you bring your body back to balance in a simple and easy way without stress.

Qi gong should be effortless; an enjoyable, energizing routine to stoke the digestive fire and strengthen metabolism. Qi gong is also one of the most effective techniques for relieving stress and tension in the body. Under stress, the body's digestive system shuts down and the body stores and holds onto fat. Qi gong transforms this stress pattern in the body and brings the digestive system back to balance.

Digestion is like a small inner fire that transforms food into energy. When our digestive energy is weak, it is like putting a wet log on a smoldering fire. The fuel doesn't get transformed into energy. When the digestive fire and metabolism is strong, the food we eat is immediately transformed into energy for the body instead of being stored as fat.

With a compromised internal fire, our digestion suffers and weight gain is inevitable. Qi gong strives to strengthen the power of our digestion for better abdominal health and increasing the power of the metabolism.

Qi Gong not only increases the body's metabolism, but it diminishes cravings for excess and unhealthy food.  Cravings manifest from imbalances in the mind and body.  Usually the source of this imbalance is stress.  Qi Gong alleviates stress and harmonies the entire system so that you feel more balanced and actually crave the foods that deliver the most health benefits to your body.

Excess weight is a sign of imbalance. Through deep breathing exercises, activating the bodies internal energy, muscle conditioning and flowing movements, Qi gong will not only help you lose weight, but it will help you feel more connected and balanced within.

This workout routine is accessible to all fitness levels and ages. No matter where you are on your journey to greater health, Qi gong offers you a variety of ways to restore your body back to its natural state.

This program is designed in three parts and offers a variety of different exercises and levels so that you may follow it no matter what shape you are in and allows you to progress at your own pace into the more challenging exercises.

The first part of this program warms up the body, establishes deep full breathing, clears stress, and activates the bodies' digestive energy for greater metabolism. Part two targets deep abdominal muscles through the breath and core satiability exercises, cultivating strength and power into the abdomen.

Part three adds to these exercises and begins to activate the large muscles in the body for an even more powerful metabolism and increased strength and flexibility. All three sections focuses on stoking the digestive fire, clearing stress and tension from the body, and bringing the system back to balance.

Use this program as a tool to reaffirm your connection to a healthy, fit body, calm mind, and joyful spirit.

Qi Gong for Weight Loss

* 2 Minutes Before You Eat

A simple Qi exercise to wake up your metabolism before a meal is to breathe deeply.  Oxygen fuels the digestive fire.  The process is simple. The digestive system is hungry for oxygen.  Certain parts of the stomach consume more oxygen than any other tissues in the body.  The entire process involves breaking food down into microscopic morsels that can be sent to your cells and combusted with oxygen to release energy into the body. Over 90% of all energy generated in the body comes from the simple combination of oxygen plus food.  This is why breathing is such an important part of qi gong.  Think about starting a fire:  you need two essential ingredients.  One is good fuel (this is like good food) and the right amount of air circulation (breathing).  Without oxygen the fuel wouldn't burn.

The same is true for your body.  Before you eat take two minutes to breathe slowly and deeply into your lower abdomen.  This will also massage all the internal organs and clear tension.  After slow deep breathing, do about thirty seconds of "bellows breathing."  This will ignite that internal fire and strengthen your metabolism.  

Start with deep abdominal breathing.  Bring both hands over the lower abdomen.  Take a few long slow deep breaths.  Feel the abdomen expand on the inhale and relax on the exhale.  

Next, practice Fanning the Fire. This is a quicker breathing exercise to charge up the metabolism. First, focus on your exhale and squeeze all the air out, bringing the abdomen towards the spine. Don't worry about inhaling; it will happen by itself. Continue in this pattern of breathing, but quicken the pace. Do this exercise as quick as you comfortably can for best results. It takes practice, so start slowly and enjoy.

* 2 Minutes After You Eat

After eating, the stomach needs energy and circulation to process and digest your meal. We eat for energy. When your organs are strong and healthy, they will absorb more energy from the food you eat. After you eat, try a simple Qi gong massage exercise to facilitate the process of digestion:

  • Bring both hands over the left side of your rib cage. This is where the stomach is located.
  • Circle your hands over this area about 50 to 100 times.

In Qi gong, they say that this exercise is excellent for digestive health, and it is also said to increase longevity.

Qi Massage to Cut Cravings

In acupressure and in Qi gong, the ears are very important in cutting cravings. The ears have a strong connection to the nervous system. By stimulating the ears, the nerves are relaxed and the brain receives messages to calm down. There are more than 160 pressure points in the ear - a large concentration for such a small space. This technique has been used successfully for smoking cessation, stopping food cravings, and beating addictions of all kinds, including drugs.

When ever you feel like you are having food cravings or want to decrease the amount of food you eat, massage your ears. Pretty simple, don't you think?

  • Take one hand to each ear.
  • Circle your thumb and fingers around all parts of the ear.
  • Do it for at least one minute for best results.
Ancient healing systems regard excess weight as a sign of imbalance. Qi gong, a dynamic system of mind/body training, is a proven way to restore energetic harmony and help your body find its healthiest state. Qi Gong for Weight Loss features three revitalizing workout routines. Choose one when you're short on time, or combine them into a single powerful session. Either way, you'll:
  • Boost your metabolism
  • Strengthen your core
  • Build muscle power
  • Cut cravings
  • Stoke the digestive fire
  • Transform stress into vitality
  • Boost digestive power and get more energy out of the food you eat
  • Locate and use simple "pressure points" to cut cravings
  • Understand why how you eat is as important as what you eat when it comes to weight loss

Based on principles that are thousands of years old, Qi gong for weight loss is the healthy, natural way to get in shape.

About the Author
Lee Holden is an internationally recognized teacher of Qi gong and tai chi, and a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. He frequently appears on PBS and American Public Television. Lee's entire collection of Qi Gong DVDs are now available in one convenient bundle at a special price. All of Lee's books and DVDs can be purchased at

Acupuncture and Weight Loss Related Articles:

The Acupuncture Weight Loss Solution by Diane Joswick

Less Weight, More Life with Acupuncture