What is Qigong? Mind-body-spirit practice explained as Louise Thompson shares routine

Louise Thompson has opened up about her daily Qigong routine, which aims to help improve and maintain health and well-being.

The 32 year old former Made in Chelsea star revealed that she'd started practising Qigong each morning in order to "find balance" and a "teeny bit of stability" amid her on-going health battles.

Qigong, which is pronounced 'chi-gong', was developed in China thousands of years ago as part of traditional Chinese medicine, and it involves exercises that focus on optimising energy within the body, mind and spirit.

Qi means 'breath' or 'air' and is considered 'life-force energy', while Gong means 'work' or 'effort' and is the commitment an individual puts into any skill or practice that requires time and patience.

The popular practice has psychological and physical aspects, and it involves regulation of the mind, body's movement, posture and breath.

Breath patterns may switch throughout, but breath is usually slow, long and deep, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Movements are generally smooth and gentle as they aim to maximise relaxation, and the mind is regulated through focusing attention and visualisation.

Qigong is used for the purposes of health, spirituality and martial arts, and people practise it across the world for a variety of reasons including exercise, self-healing, meditation, recreation and more.

There are two types of Qigong practice, Wai Dan and Nei Dan, and all forms and styles of Qigong fit into three main categories, Medical, Martial and Spiritual.

Wai Dan involves physical movement and concentration while Nei Dan involves sitting meditation and guided imagery or visualisation.

Medical Qigong focuses on self-healing and healing others, while Martial Qigong is for physical prowess and Spiritual Qigong is for enlightenment.

Small studies have shown Qigong to be effective in improving health but there are no definite results yet, as larger and more controlled studies are needed to accurately measure the effectiveness of the practice.

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Louise gave her fans a sneak peek into her Qigong routine on her Instagram Stories, and revealed that she attempts to do it each it morning in a bid to help herself.

"This is my morning qigong routine that helps me find balance and a teeny tiny bit of stability in routine. I only started a week ago when back in hospital but it is going to be a daily practice," the mum-of-one wrote alongside her video.


The Made in Chelsea star has continued to document her health battles on Instagram over the recent months, as she has been dealing with trauma and PTSD since the traumatic birth of her son Leo-Hunter last year.

She recently told her followers that she was “not going to sugar coat things” after her “b*oody rough ride over the past year".

She added: “My life went from a 9/10 to a 1/10 in the space of about a month. I didn’t do anything to deserve it, but sh*t just happened. I survived a house fire, a few near death experiences, a long old stint in hospital, and some CATASTROPHIC mental health breakdowns."

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