What is Qi Gong?
Gong means to study or to cultivate; Qi is the vital force inherent in all living things. Sometimes, we think of Qi as “energy.” Pronounced CHEE GUNG, Qi Gong can be spelled “Chi Kung” or ”Chi Gong.”
My Qi Gong Background
I have been drawn to Qi Gong since the mid-90’s. However, I truly discovered Qi Gong in the year 2000, when I began a deep and regular practice. I had been a practicing Physical Therapist for 15 years. For six of those years, I had also been working as a Guild Certified Feldenkrais PractitionerCM. Qi Gong provided a bridge between my deep respect for and love of Nature and holistic healing. By 2005, I had certified as a Qi Gong teacher through the Ling Gui International School of Qi Gong in Portland, OR. I have offered classes and workshops since. In 2010, I became a Master Healing Qi Gong Teacher, also through The Ling Gui International School of Qi Gong. I incorporate Qi Gong into my Feldenkrais-based physical therapy work.
A Brief History of Qi Gong
Thousands of years old, Qi Gong derives from many shamanistic practices that are even older. In those long-ago times, everyone did everything in accordance with nature. They observed harmony in the spiraling cycles of degeneration and regeneration. They became aware of the same spiraling cycles in themselves. Over time, the continually changing relationship between humans and the basic elements in nature became known in Chinese thought as The Five Element Theory.
This same ancient body of thought recognizes all disease or “dis-ease”—as stemming from an imbalance of Qi. Western practices tend to treat disease after it manifests. Qi Gong arose to cultivate the vital life force that would ward off dis-ease by addressing imbalances as they evolved. Fostering harmony creates wellness: in your body; between your body and your mind; in your connection to others; and in your connection to nature. Nature cannot exist separate from your body, your mind, or from other living beings.
Qi Gong, Movement and Healing Alchemy
Qi Gong practitioners use movement sequences, or forms, that often mimic the cycles of nature, or the movements of animals or natural elements. Forms also involve meditation, visualization, sounds or mantras, and specific breathing techniques. A regular Qi Gong practice can help you feel calm as well as energetic, and can improve flexibility, vitality, balance, and posture. Refined for defensive purposes, these skills become Tai Chi and other Chinese martial arts. The goal of all the Qi arts is a return to harmony and health.
Practice is done with a clear intent and mindful sensory awareness. Over time, the forms lead you to find harmony between your intent, your vital energy, and your sensory awareness skills. I use the word alchemy to describe this process of an internal and external transformation occurring simultaneously. All Qi Gong practice is alchemical.
Healing Qi Gong specifically focuses on health and wellness. Special forms are practiced at specific times of the day or during specific seasons to more clearly address specific diseases and/or imbalances.
Qi Gong in Seattle
I offer individual and group Qi Gong classes. As a trained Healing Qi Gong practitioner, I also can use energetic hands-on technique in one to one sessions to help enhance your practice.