Qigong for Your Thyroid and Adrenals

By: Brodie Welch, L.Ac., M.S.O.M.

*Low Intensity*

Licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and Chinese Medicine expert, Brodie Welch, refers to Qigong (pron. chee-gong) as a ‘Movement Multivitamin’ offering stress relief, meditation, therapeutic mobility, grounding, and self-care all rolled into one. This gentle movement flow is so much more than just a workout, but will nonetheless stretch, strengthen, center, and ground the body. We hope you enjoy this ancient healing modality as much as we do, and incorporate it into your thyroid-loving lifestyle routine.

-D & G

Watch time: 11 minutes


Cleansing the Kidneys

Bring your hands to your lower back. Fold forward as you sweep the energy down the backs of the legs. Gather energy from the Earth, and feed it into your kidney meridians that run up the inner legs as you curl up to standing, one vertebra at a time.

Once you’re upright, continue sweeping the hands gently over the front of your body until they reach chest height. Inhaling, turn your palms face up and extend the arms forward, opening your heart. Exhaling, flip your palms to face behind you and bend forward as you bring your hands to kidneys in the lower back.  Wash down the backs of your legs. Repeat this movement for several minutes.

Rotating with a Qi Ball

Inhale, twist your torso as far as you can towards the right as your left arm dives in front of you, palm facing towards you and down, right arm outstretched behind you, palm facing up. Then exhale, right arm extends up, palm forward, then dives down across your body. Inhale as you wind up your twist to the left: left arm is raised behind, palm facing right hand, as though supporting a large ball of qi, right hand supporting it from below.

Exhale as you twist back through center and to the right as your arms move across your body and to the right, as though moving a ball of qi. When you’ve twisted as far as you can, inhale and let the hands roll around the qi ball to switch places. Repeat this movement several times, then gather the qi into a ball overhead. Then slowly guide the qi down the front of the body, as though you have magnets in your hands.

Making Clouds

Stay grounded through both feet. Using your core, inhale and float your palms over your head to touch. Pressing your hands together and feeling your connection to the Earth, exhale as you bend to one side. Inhale as you straighten up. Exhale to the other side. Repeat this movement several times, allowing your side body to lengthen.

This movement harmonizes the kidney and heart, the Water Element and Fire Element in Chinese Medicine.

Beam Energy from Your Middle Fingers

. . . into your crown chakra at the top of your head for a few breaths. Then let your arms descend, beaming energy

. . .into your third eye, between the eyebrows. Stay for a few breaths.

. . .into the thyroid region in your throat. Stay for a few breaths.

. . . into your kidney region, at the level of your navel.

. . . into your lower dan tian, about one hand-width below the naval

Get Grounded and Centered

Stand with your hips a comfortable shoulder width apart. Let go of any effort not required to help you  stand. Rest your tongue lightly just behind your upper teeth, connecting the energy channels that run along the midline of the front and back of the body. Let your jaw relax, and your shoulders slide down your back, allowing for a gentle hollowing in each armpit.

Bring the tips of your thumbs together at the level of your navel, and turn both palms up: both palms facing up (right hand on top for women; left hand on top for men). This hand position, known as “diamond mudra,” helps to cultivate stability.

Feel the crown of your head lifting and opening up towards the sky, connecting you to the expansive yang energies above. Bring your awareness to the bottoms of your feet, sensing your connection to the stable, grounded, yin energies of the Earth supporting you from below.

The energies of Heaven and Earth, of yang and yin are said to meet in the lower abdomen, in an area known as “lower dan tian” about halfway between your spine and the front of your body, one hand-width below the navel, right where your hands are currently resting in diamond mudra.

Holding up Heaven with Both Hands 

Inhale as you sweep the arms up and out to the sides. When they’re directly out the sides, continue inhaling as you raise the fingertips up towards the sky, palms facing outward, and then raise arms overhead as you continue to inhale, palms turning to face skyward. Stretch, and hold the breath for a few seconds (or as long as is comfortable) as you receive the energy from the sky through your palms. Exhaling, bend elbows and touch the crown chakra at the top of the head with middle fingers. Imagine that the qi is flowing down from your fingers, through the crown of your head, down the central channel of the body, all the way down to the pelvic floor.

Repeat several times.

Bring your hands to touch your lower abdomen, feeding energy into this reservoir of qi.

Notice what you notice, without judgment.


up next: Grounding Qigong to Relax the Nervous System


About the Author

Brodie Welch is a Licensed Acupuncturist, board-certified herbalist, Chinese Medicine expert, holistic health coach, and self-care strategist. She’s the founder of Life in Balance Acupuncture in Corvallis, Oregon, where she has been treating patients since 2003. Brodie leads self-care boot camp programs to help women bridge the gap between what they know they should be doing to take care of themselves and actually doing it. She’s also the creator and host of A Healthy Curiosity: the podcast that explores what it takes to be well in a busy world.