Winter Wellness | Maintain good health and emotional ease through the holidays in Tahoe | SierraSun.com

Winter Wellness | Maintain good health and emotional ease through the holidays in Tahoe

Rolf GodonSpecial to the Sun

Amy Edgett/Sierra Sun

Winter is a time of lowered energy where nature is at rest. As part of nature our energy, as well, is at a lower level. If we were living our lives in harmony with nature and the season, we would be sleeping more and working at a lower rate.Obviously that is not generally the case as we maintain our usual busy routines. We function by the digital clock rather than nature’s clock. We are also a world culture now placing us in contact directly or indirectly with people, insects, animals, objects and microbes from all over the world. This places more things into our environment with which our body needs to deal.We are also a high-stress culture. Stress takes up life energy, tires us, effects our emotions, the biochemical system of our bodies and lowers the immune system. The holiday season tends to increase our stress.Given all these variables, it is small wonder in this season we incur much illness; flu, colds, depression andamp;#8212; to name a few.Medical interventions try vainly to keep up with the quickly changing flu strains. Little is offered in terms of prevention other than the current advice to frequently wash your hands.Some eight years ago I was introduced to Ki (Chi)(Qi) Gong. I went to the first class with my usual skepticism. The teacher instructed us to perform the movements with a smile on our face and thinking happy thoughts. As we did the movements I found myself thinking how silly we must look. These thoughts certainly brought a big smile to my face and as that happened I was immediately aware of the energy in my body lightening.Wow! That was simple. This concept fits perfectly with what has been learned and scientifically studied regarding the healing effects of laughter. Studies show several seconds of laughter enhances our sense of well being for up to four hours and that it strengthens our immune system, lowers blood pressure and aides in reversing illness.In Ki Gong focused breathing is an essential part of the movement series. Deep, slow breathing is accomplished in coordination with the movements. This brings andamp;#8220;Kiandamp;#8221; or energy into the body, stimulates organ systems and enhances circulation. The focus goes to the breath, which takes one into a meditative state, which quiets and relaxes the mind and hence, the body. The movements, coordinated with breath and a smile, have been developed for some 4,000 years. The goals are enhanced well being, longevity and cultivation of spirit. The movements bring energy into the body and distribute it. Some movements are designed to rid the body of negative Ki and clear the body’s energy channels and meridians.We learn to direct Ki flow with our mind. A specific area where I have had great success in using Ki flow is in cold prevention. If I feel the scratchy throat, plugged nose and perhaps congestion I use some of the movements to direct the Ki into my sinuses, throat and lungs. I am amazed at how well this works.From the results of my experience in this practice I cannot recommend it too strongly. I have found the more I practice it the more powerful the effects. And, I must say that even at the end of the first class I attended I felt energized, at ease and energetically lighter. Hard to beat that. The purpose of this article is to offer Ki Gong as a powerful means to specifically aid us in traversing the holiday and winter season. It can give us what medical science can’t; a means to attain ease of mind and body, overall health and well being while even burning some calories.andamp;#8212; Dr. Rolf Godon is a very longtime Truckee resident, a psychotherapist specializing in relationship counseling and a passionate practitioner of Ki Gong. He can be reached at 587-2557.

Dr. Rolf Godon offers two classes in Truckee: Tuesdays at 9 a.m. at the new Truckee Recreation Community Center; Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Tahoe Forest Hospital Health and Sports Performance Center, 10710 Donner Pass Road, Truckee. There are also classes offered in Tahoe City. Call 587-2557 for information or just drop in to a class.For more photos of the Truckee Donner Recreation andamp; Park District’s new Community Center visit sierrasun.com/ photos