Gasotransmitters are molecules in our bodies which regulate cellular function through a series of chemical interactions with each other and with proteins in our body. These interactions are involved in regulating many systems in our bodies including the cardiovascular, nervous, gastrointestinal, immune and excretory systems. Additionally, they are vital in the processes of cellular functions such as oxygen sensing, cellular metabolism, proliferation, cell death, inflammation and gene transcription. The main gasotransmitters in our body are Nitric Oxide (NO), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), and Carbon Monoxide (CO) and they rely on Oxygen to perform their functions.
In the last few years, scientists have discovered that these gasotransmitters are major players in our bodies’ function as well as disfunction. Also being studied is how we can affect proper functioning of our gasotransmitters by utilizing certain breathing techniques. Something which has been practiced in China for millennia.
What has not been widely published, but what I and my colleagues are coming to realize, is that we have discovered how to explain, in western scientific terms, Qi. The Chinese character for Qi, is also used for ‘gas’.
Qigong, which can be translated to mean “life energy work” is a way of incorporating breathing exercises and certain movements to affect your physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional health. It is considered one of the Five Pillars of Chinese Medicine (along with acupuncture, herbal medicine/nutritional therapy, tui na and moxibustion). Advanced practitioners can completely heal themselves of common ailments using qigong alone. We are now coming to understand it is the effect on gasotransmitters that causes such results.