Qigong and children

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A global trend

Globally, there is a trend of increasing perceptions of stress. Exactly what this is due to cannot be explained unilaterally. Several factors underlie it. Fortunately, the Netherlands is not doing badly internationally although over 25% of people in our country worry in an unhealthy way. (see this link)
Logically, this also affects and applies to children and young adults.

Children and teenagers today are growing up in a world that demands a lot from them. Consider the input of technology. Mobile phones and computers are often used. Besides the advantages, there are also disadvantages to this. According to various studies, the attention span, in both children and adults, is decreasing, and information overload in particular is seen as the cause. (see this link)

Qigong kan een belangrijke rol vervullen in het verbeteren van mentale gezondheid door het verlagen van het stressniveau.
Dat dit belangrijk is, is te zien in de huidige tijd

The brain of children is different from that of adults
Children's brains, are still developing. As a result, they process information differently and also react to stress differently from adults. Up to a certain age, children and teenagers find it difficult to determine whether they experience chronic stress or not. Often, their stress manifests itself through symptoms in their behaviour.

These include anger, inability to concentrate, fatigue, hyperactive, frequent trips to the toilet, etc. Moreover, children do not always have the chance to withdraw from stress because they are in vulnerable and dependent situations. As an example, a problematic situation in their home environment.

Research on the impact of Qigong on children
Gerd Brolin, a Swedish teacher, conducted scientific research into the effects of practising Qigong by offering one semester of Qigong to her class. To children with the age was 7 tm 9 years old. In her research, the duration of practice gradually increased and this combined with questions she asked the children, with all due caution. The children found it difficult to talk about it. When asked about what stress meant to them, their facial expressions in particular changed a lot. Or the hands became restless by seeking distraction.

Children mentioned symptoms such as the heart beating a little faster, tension in the body, like a bad dream, experienced stomach or headaches, to name a few examples. When the children were asked what they do to regain composure, they answered, for example, playing with friends, playing with the dog or cat, watching TV, playing games on the computer or reading a book.

The results of her study were that the children improved in several areas. For example, the time the children could exercise became longer, increased awareness of the body, increased motor control. Socially, improvement was seen in reducing conflicts among themselves, especially among boys. Also watch this video of Qigong classes in Portugal where similar findings are depicted.

By starting to see mental health as a method and a tool for good living rather than an end goal, people can be worked on for sustainable stress reduction from an early age. Qigong can make a valuable contribution to this.

Bram Griffioen
Qigong teacher at InRoot

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