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Friday, August 28, 2009

Qigong, what is that?

Wow, it's been a couple of months since my last entry. It's not that I don't have anything to share, it's just that there is so much going on, that I hadn't made the time to share it. I am in the midst of a couple of big projects at the practice, the kids went back to music and ballet classes and with that come the birthday parties, the play dates, etc. AND I've been exploring Qigong. Here is an excerpt from our practice's newsletter about this very interesting subject.

Qigong, pronounced chee gung, is a Chinese meditative practice that uses slow movements to cleanse, gather and circulate the energy in the body.

Qi means life energy and breath. Gong means work or skill. Qigong is thus breath work or energy work. It is used or healing purposes, to improve sports performance and for spiritual purposes.

We have found various sources that report the existence of six thousand to ten thousand types of Qigong. We have been exploring the Personal Healing practice for self healing and restoration. There are two types of healing practices, Personal Healing and External Qi Healing. External Qigong is a type of therapeutic touch in which the healer assesses the patient's qi and then projects healing energy through his or her hands to restore the patient's qi balance.

Qigong has been scientifically tested and experimental evidence demonstrates that it can be effective in treating many ailments in conjunction with other healing practices. We like the way Ken Cohen describes the dynamics of Qigong in his book, The Essential Qigong Training Guide:

"Qigong is based on the premise that the human body is an energy system. As long as it has energy or qi, it is alive; when energy is gone, it is dead. This makes good scientific sense. A living cell has an electric charge; differences in electric potential allow nutrients to flow in and out of the cell and messages to pass through the nervous system. Like a computer, the electrical signaling system can become corrupted through 'incompatible programs' - pollution, poor diet, stress."

My personal experience with Qigong has been most successful in the last two months, since I committed to practicing daily. I had a few false starts with the practice earlier this year and I hadn't seen any results; this time, I chose to be more engaged and present while practicing and it made all the difference (versus doing the movements while my mind raced through my to do list!)

The day I started, I definitely felt the cleansing effects. At the beginning I felt a bit of tingling in my fingers and arms. After doing movements for a half hour, my nose started to run a bit, I had to race to the bathroom and my head was very clear. If you've done any type of detox, you know these are symptoms of the body detoxifying. I felt great immediately after finishing my practice! My 30 minute routine consists of cleansing the qi, circulating the qi and then doing movements paired with sounds to remove old stagnant qi from specific organs.

I could not load up the youtube video that shows a 45 minute Qigong session. If you are interested, look up Discovering Qigong on and choose the video produced by the National Qigong Association. Be aware that the first four minutes consist of various warnings and disclaimers. If you are seeking to practice at home or are interested in the External Healing practice, Ken Cohen's training set is a good one.