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Boost Your Energy, Calm Your Mind & Reduce Stress With Dantien Breathing

One of the best ways to de-stress, boost your energy and gain mental calm and clarity is by simply breathing. There are many different ways to use breathing to actively calm your mind and nervous system, and Dantien Breathing used in QiGong is a great way to bring some calm and focus to your day.

QiGong teaches Dantien Breathing, a focused form of deep abdominal breathing. Studies have showed that deep abdominal breathing or Dantien breathing (DTB) brings about a relaxed and attentive mind. One study revealed that DTB, "would induce both relaxed and attentive states."

The study revealed through EEG that:

"Participants in the experimental, but not the control, group showed enhanced temporal alpha asymmetry (an index of relaxation and positive mood) after performing the Passive DTB for five minutes, and enhanced intra- and inter-hemispheric theta coherence (an index of attention and alertness) after performing the Active DTB. The present findings suggested a positive effect of the Shaolin DTB technique on enhancing human neural activity and connectivity, which may possibly enhance mood state and cognitive functions."

What is a dantien?

The lower dantien is about an inch below the navel and an inch within the body. Directly translated it means elixir field. It is an energy center within the body that helps to create and circulate qi, or healing energy throughout the body.

Simply put, Dantien Breathing is good for your mind and nervous system. The next time you feel like you need to refocus and settle your mind, take 2-3 minutes to do Dantien breathing. Here's how.

Dantien Breathing Method

To do dantien breathing:

1. Overlap your hands just below the navel. This is the location of the lower dantien. The center is one inch below your navel and one inch within the body.

2. As you inhale through your nose, allow your abdomen to expand.

3. As you exhale through your nose, allow your abdomen to contract.

4. Slow your breathing. Making it long, slow, deep and full.

5. Do this for at least 2 minutes.

6. After doing DTB for 2-3 minutes, make light fists and tap the acupressure point about an inch below the navel. Alternate tapping with the left and right fists. This activates your qi. This accupressure point is called "the sea of qi" and tapping this point helps circulate qi throughout the body, giving you more energy. Remember to keep breathing as you tap.

7. Continue tapping for about a minute, then return to dantien breathing.

Use this technique anytime you need to feel more centered, grounded or in the present moment. This is a great technique to use anytime you need to de-stress, grab a boost of energy or when you need a little calm and clarity in your mind.


Chan AS, Cheung MC, Sze SL, Leung WW, Shi D. Shaolin dan tian breathing fosters relaxed and attentive mind: a randomized controlled neuro-electrophysiological study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:180704. doi: 10.1155/2011/180704. Epub 2010 Sep 22. PMID: 20976126; PMCID: PMC2957109.

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