nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Anti-depressant Chi Gung

Lately, I've been doing some things which help a lot with my depression and inertia--part of the motivation was trying out a couple of anti-depressants (welbutrin and lexapro--not together) and being Not Pleased with the side effects. While the side effects were minor as such things go, I was still creeped out by them and decided to see if I could get decent results some other way.

At this point, I'm not eating sugar (it has a history of knocking me out) and taking a few supplements. 1 gram/day of fish oil, 2 grams of Vitamin C, some vitamin E, and MSN. That last is for my knees--afaik, it has no anti-depressant effect except that I'm in a better mood if my knees don't hurt.

Onward into the weird stuff:

Calming and Healing

Put your hands over the center of your forehead, left hand on your skin and right hand on top of left. The centers of your palms are over the center of your forehead. Keep them there until either you feel like you've done enough or (I'm guessing) 2 minutes. The reason I'm guessing on the latter is that I get a definite feeling of satiation. 2 minutes seems reasonable otherwise.

Then put your hands over your heart for a while. Then put your hands a couple of inches below your navel for a while.

I'd have sworn I found this in Restore Yourself with Tai Chi by Martin, Emily, Melinda, and Joyce Lee, but I haven't been able to find it again. In any case, the book's advice to relax, breathe, feel the earth, and do nothing extra is very good indeed, and it definitely has information about using that sort of touch and attention to help with physical healing. Short version--if you can't reach the sore spot, put your hands on a part of your body reasonably near by (chest to get at upper back, for example) and put your attention on what you want to heal.

Do nothing extra means both to do nothing extra with your mind and to do nothing extra with your body. Doing nothing extra is harder than it sounds, but well worth pursuing.

suecochran asked me if anti-depressant chi gung works if you're sitting down. I'm pretty sure it does. The general advice is to have your feet flat on the floor. I'm not sure whether, in that case "feel the earth" would include feeling your rear end as well as your feet. More experimentation is required.

Cheering and energizing

Spring Forest Qigong is excellent, and since it's online I don't have to type in the details. My only general advice is that if you try something like this from a written description, go back to the description every now and then. I find that I've glossed over details even though I think I've memorized a chi gung exercise.

I found out about Spring Forest Quigong from Secrets to Living Younger Longer by Michael Mayer, who mentioned a study using Spring Forest on depressed people who showed significant improvement on Beck's Depression Index--a standard measure of depression. Spring Forest also worked on people with bipolar. (I get the impression they were in the depressed phase at the time of the study.) The people in the study did Spring Forest for about 40 minutes per day. I've been doing 5 minutes, and probably should increase it. Still, 5 minutes is enough to make a difference.

The Mayer book is a substantial collection of information about standing meditation, chi gung and t'ai chi, and has more psychology, scientific studies, and personal accounts than most such books.

The quigong is like the drugs in one respect--I need to do it every day, and preferably twice a day--I can feel the difference if I don't.

If you try these out, I'd be grateful if you let me know about the results.
Tags: anti-depression, chi gung, high value

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