Can Pregnant Women Practice Dragon & Tiger Qigong?

pregnant-mother-martial-artsPregnant woman Martial Arts photo by dizznbonn

This blog is in response to someone asking about practicing Dragon & Tiger qigong during pregnancy.

Some pregnant women get stagnant Chi at various points during their pregnancy as a natural effect of having a child.  It’s different with some women than others.  There are many things that Dragon and Tiger can be helpful for  in terms of stagnant Chi and in actually delivering the baby.

First, the edema, the swelling, the liquidized swelling that tends to happen in many women is very often caused by a build up of stagnant Chi in the kidneys.  The flicking action within the whole of dragon and tiger which releases stagnant Chi on a large level will help this.

The flicks that are done in movements  Two, five, six and seven as well as the heart action helps to specifically circulate the Chi in the body and release stagnant Chi.  The next thing that happens is many women start finding that besides Edema that their legs and limbs start having problems.

This is very often caused by the burden of poor circulation of having a baby inside your womb.  Having to actually feed that life inside of you with your own life force.  The flicking action in Dragon and Tiger and all the flicking and piercing actions tend to push the blood of the body to it’s extremities.  The toes, the fingertips, and the head.  This tends to help the general overall circulation of the body.

The next thing is that the general ability to breathe and every way in which dragon and tiger fosters better breathing both in regular even inhale and exhales and it’s ones with different releases of breath with different pressures inside them enables a woman’s breathing capacity to remain in good shape.  Very commonly during pregnancy because of the way the baby is pushing on the diaphragm, this doesn’t happen and it is one reason why many women run out of puff when it comes time to actually push the baby out.

The fourth and last point besides everything dragon and tiger does in general, is that the explosive breaths that are happening in movement two, five, six and seven.  Especially in six and seven when you have a push out and then a very long strong push after that.  It’s very, very helpful in pushing the baby out in those moments where it just  becomes a problem to exhale; to be able to create the pressure to actually push the baby down the canal (this is helpful even for women who’ve had lamaze training).  These are some useful points.

If you’ve never done Dragon and Tiger qigong then this wont make much sense to you. If you are interested, you can learn more about it through my book and upcoming DVD.

There were many other points to mention, but for this  Blog, I believe that’s a good starting point.


About Author

Bruce is passionate about teaching the wisdom from Taoism including qigong, tai chi, healing, martial arts and meditation. He has been doing so for over 50 years and is a lineage holder in the Taoist Water Tradition. You can find out more at


  1. Thank you for this blog on DT and pregnancy Bruce!
    Wished I had these tools especially after having my son and in the months to follow.
    Presently I visit high risk pregnant women at the hospital teaching relaxation methods. These women are 99% of the time at bed rest. Do you think it is a good idea to practice the first move of DT for clearing lungs, liver and breasts without unintentionally creating too much yang qi that could start premature contractions?


    Tai Chi Master Bruce Frantzis Reply:

    Movement one there is no problem with this, there is with some of the other movements though


    QiJourneys Reply:

    Bruce, I followed up with teaching n.1 of Dragon and Tiger to two women, both with twins on bed rest at the hospital in the Antepartum unit. One of these has some kind of “boots” that inflate/deflate to stimulate circulation to avoid blood clots and edema in the legs. The women responded very positively to this new practice. I am very happy we can do this energy circulation exercise as it is invigorating, balancing and relaxing all at the same time. Thank you Bruce!


  2. Are there any common chi gung movements that a pregnant woman shouldn’t practice, or should limit? I.e, can the kwa stimulation from cloud hands & first swing be too much?


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