February 19

3 Life Changing Exercises from Qigong to Relieve Anxiety Symptoms

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In the fast-paced modern world, anxiety has become a common companion for many of us. Anxiety’s grip can be suffocating, leaving us feeling overwhelmed, disconnected, and searching for relief. But amidst the chaos, there are ancient practices like Qigong that offer a pathway to healing, restoration, and inner peace.

woman releasing a flock of doves at sunset

Let’s for the sake of this article, not get into all of the many things that can cause us to become anxious.  The picture at the very top says it all.  Let’s turn to the things we can do to help relieve anxiety symptoms when they are causing us to suffer.  There are natural solutions that work.  We just need to remember to use them and practice them again and again so the solution to our anxiety becomes a healthy habit we embrace whole-heartedly to improve the quality of our life. 

We will explore three transformative exercises from Qigong that have the power to release anxiety's hold on both body and mind, paving the way for a life filled with calm, balance, and vitality.  Please practice them as you are reading about them so you can feel their powerful effects on your body.  I hope you use them as much as I have and think of them as “free therapists”.  

We all feel anxiety.   Pass on these tools to people who you know who are stressed.  None of us needs to suffer needlessly when there are effective tools we can use to release what’s held in the body.  We need to move “the issues out of our tissues” when we are triggered into an anxious state.  The following 3 exercises from Qigong are life changing when we decide to use them regularly.  

I have used all three for the past 22 years both practicing and teaching Qigong and I can with confidence say that they work.  I am still in awe at how Qigong has the healing power to transform anxiety into calm quickly and reliably.  There are so many hidden gems and potential that Qigong holds in supporting our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

May you not only find relief from anxiety, but also gain all the profound benefits Qigong has to offer.


the following are 3 powerful and effective exercises from Qigong that relieve anxiety.

Relieve Anxiety Symptoms with Shaking Like a Tree

1. Shaking Like A Tree:

Relieve Anxiety Symptoms with this effective Trauma Release Exercise

Anxiety often manifests as trapped energy within the body, leading to tension, restlessness, and discomfort. Inspired by the natural wisdom of animals, the practice of Shaking Like A Tree offers a powerful means of releasing this stagnant energy, much like how animals in the wild shake off trauma to restore balance.

Dr. Peter Levine's groundbreaking work in "Waking the Tiger" sheds light on the physiological mechanisms behind shaking, revealing how it can effectively discharge anxiety and frozen energy from the body, even during the throes of a panic attack. By aligning mind and body during this exercise, practitioners can deepen their experience and facilitate profound healing on both physical and emotional levels.

How to do Shaking Like a Tree

As you engage in Shaking Like A Tree, accompany the movements with affirmations that resonate with your journey towards healing. Whether it's "I am calm," "I release fear," or "I am okay just as I am," infuse each shake with intention and compassion, transforming anxiety into a source of strength and resilience.

  • Standing like a tree, begin to bounce the knees, bounce lightly into your heels while shaking the arms like "loose spaghetti", allow your body to bounce up and down while shaking your arms and hands in all direction.  No need to lift your feet off the ground.  Let your bouncing be light and relaxed
  • Shake your hands and fingers like leaves falling off the tree and think to your self "I am releasing anxiety" or whatever feels resonant to you in this moment. 
  •  Take deep, long breaths as you "shake like a tree".  Do the exercise for as long as you'd like (suggested 3-4 minutes) 
  • Pause, close your eyes or eyes in a soft gaze and notice your energy and how you feel.  
  • Do you feel different? Has the quality of the anxiety you were feeling changed? 
  •  Repeat Shaking Like a Tree as many times as you need to until your body's wisdom informs you to move on to "Tossing off Stagnant Chi".  
  • Remember, Shaking Like a Tree is the way all mammals release trauma.  It is a FUN, POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE exercise to release anxiety, frozen energy stuck in the body.  What an excellent way to let go of “the issues in our tissues”.

2.Tossing off Stagnant Chi: Release Blocked Energy

Often, anxiety and stress result in the accumulation of stagnant chi, or life force energy, within the body. This blocked energy can manifest as physical tension, emotional turmoil, and mental fog, further exacerbating feelings of unease and discomfort. Enter Tossing off Stagnant Chi – a dynamic exercise designed to release this trapped energy and restore flow and vitality throughout the body.

How to do Tossing off Stagnant Chi

  • With fists held at your belly, initiate a powerful release by extending your arms outwards(YOUR CHOICE to the sky, to the sides, or behind the body) with a sigh or sound of relief.
  •  With each toss and as you extend your arms out, let go of tension, difficulty, and negativity, reaffirming the profound connection between mind and body. 
  • Repeat Tossing off Stagnant Chi several times until you feel ready to move on to Xi Xi Hu Breath.
  • Embrace the transformative power of this exercise as you liberate yourself from the burdens of anxiety and reclaim your innate sense of well-being and vitality.

3. Xi Xi Hu Breath:

Induce the relaxation response in the body

In moments of heightened anxiety, the breath serves as a potent gateway to relaxation and calm. Xi Xi Hu Breath, a simple yet profound Qigong technique, harnesses the power of the breath to induce the relaxation response in the body, paving the way for deep states of tranquility and serenity.

 The relaxation response was discovered and brought to light byDr. Herbert Benson, director of the Benson-Henry Institute at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital. Xi Xi Hu Breath is a highly effective way of switching from the sympathetic state(fight or flight state) to parasympathetic state(rest and digest)involves taking two breaths in and one long exhale with a soft "HU" sound. This extended exhalation serves as the physiological key in eliciting the body's relaxation response, promoting feelings of calmness, centeredness, and inner peace.

What makes Xi Xi Hu Breath truly remarkable is its accessibility – it can be practiced anywhere, anytime, making it an invaluable tool for managing anxiety in high-stress situations. Whether you're navigating a hectic airport, enduring a medical procedure, or simply seeking respite amidst the chaos of daily life, Xi Xi Hu Breath offers a gentle yet potent pathway to tranquility and well-being.

How to do Xi Xi Hu Breath

  • Bring the palms to face each other as if you are holding a "ball of energy". Then, move the hands away from each other while you take 2 inhalations through the nose.  
  • After 2 deep breaths in, slowly release the breath with the gentle sound "HU" long and extended while your palms come back together without touching.  The HU is a whispery sound like a long sigh.
  •  Repeat again and again until you feel grounded, calm, and relaxed.  
  • Bring this energy into the rest of your day.
  • If you are doing this exercise in the car or while walking in a public area, just do the breathing exercise without the movement of the arms and hands.  You can let out a long breath out through the nose to keep things discreet.  No one will even know you’re doing your Qigong!

Incorporating these life-changing exercises into your daily routine has the potential to transform your relationship with anxiety and usher in a new era of peace, balance, and vitality. Qigong will be a practice you can continue to use for the rest of your life.  Not only is it incredibly effective for anxiety but it helps to lubricate the joints, keep you flexible, energizes the body and improves all systems of the body such as the immune and circulatory system.  By embracing the wisdom of Qigong and harnessing the power of mind-body connection, you can liberate yourself from the grip of anxiety, improve your health and step into a life filled with presence, resilience, and joy.

Remember, the journey towards healing is one of self-discovery and empowerment. As you embark on this transformative path, know that you are not alone. 


Join our vibrant chi community and explore the profound teachings of Qigong through our "Start Your Sunday with Qigong" online classes.  Your first class is complimentary with no commitment.  If you enjoy as Qigong, the class and community, the class is held every Sunday 10am-11am(EST)

Together, let's cultivate a life of well-being, connection, and profound transformation.

Lynne Nicole Smith

“START YOUR SUNDAY WITH QIGONG” Instructor, Founder of Qigong Infused Yoga™ and Qigong Infused Yoga™ Trainings

Qigong Infused Yoga DVD

Lynne Nicole Smith has been teaching Qigong since 2002 and is passionate about Qigong's ability to heal the nervous system and support people in relieving anxiety and stress.  Both Qigong and Yoga continue to help millions of people world-wide. She is grateful for the positive healing impact these mind/body practices have on millions of people's lives.

Sign up for your FREE class today!

Visit https://qigonginfusedyoga.com/online-qigong-classes/


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