Author Archive


Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

The “Three Intentful Corrections,” mentioned in my last post, are an essential starting point for every Qigong practice session.

We align ourselves with the forces of heaven and earth, take some deep abdominal breaths and stay present with whatever arises in the present moment.

Proper alignment means having spine erect but relaxed, knees slightly bent, head centered, and shoulders straight but relaxed. The theory is that energy flows more smoothly in a straight line, so the better your posture, the more efficient your chi flow.

Good posture may not be a cure all, but it does help correct bad habits that often lead to chronic aches, pains and fatigue.


Monday, July 4th, 2011

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, urged colonial Americans to be self reliant in health as well as politics.

He wrote that “an attention to health should take place over every other object.”

One way to be self reliant about your health is to practice Qigong.  Doing Qigong for just 10 or 15 minutes per day can lower blood pressure, relieve chronic pain, reduce the chance of stroke and heart attack, and boost immune response.  Recent studies done in China and the US provide evidence for these and other important health benefits.

It is also extremely patriotic!  More people practicing Qigong will lead to a healthier population, less strain on our health care system, and ultimately a lower national debt (Tea Party members take note).

So follow the path of Thomas Jefferson: pay close attention to your health–and practice Qigong.


Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

One of the things I love most about Qigong is that at the end of each class, I feel more energetic than at the beginning.

There are two main reasons for this.  The first is that Qigong movements help focus our internal energy and gather more energy from the universe.  Second, Qigong teaches us to conserve that energy by staying relaxed in the practice and never overexerting.

The result is that all the energy, or chi, that we generate goes towards healing and revitalizing.

Daily Qigong practice helps reinforce this message, so that eventually you will get that “Qigong feeling” no matter what you are doing–whether working, cleaning the house or playing your favorite sport.

Wishing everyone a happy and fruitful Summer Solstice!

Daily practice helps us change with the seasons

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Spring is finally here and I can feel my body’s energy changing like the weather.

Lately I wake up earlier, sprint through projects I couldn’t face a couple of months ago, and have a more optimistic outlook on life.  In years past I often suffered from “spring fever,” this time of year.  You know, that awful malaise that makes you start thinking: “the weather’s beautiful, so how come I feel like crap?”  Or something like that.

Daily Qigong practice has helped me harmonize my internal energy with the changing energy of the seasons.  So every morning I do at least 20 reps of the Flowing Motion, some spontaneous movement and a few more postures from the Vitality Enhancement Series.

The result?  No more spring fever; no more “April is the cruelest month.”

Qigong Science

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Scientific studies have shown that practicing Qigong delivers tremendous health benefits.  The only debate revolves around the “how” and “why.”

To the ancient Taoists and Buddhists who developed these practices, the answer is fairly simple. Qigong movement, meditation and breathing exercises strengthen the chi in our bodies and remove chi blockages that lead to disease.

Western science has no way to measure chi, so explanations for why Qigong is good for you are more complicated.  Some researchers say that Qigong triggers the “relaxation response,” which lowers blood pressure and activates our own inner healers.  Others opine that the gentle exercises in this practice offer the benefits of a strenuous aerobic workout without wear and tear on muscles and joints.  Still others point to enhanced blood and lymph flow.

Maybe they are all right.  But for the sake of simplicity, I’ll vote for strengthening chi flow and removing blockages.

Qigong reduces cravings!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Cravings — for food, diversions, stuff or whatever — make us feel out of control and never offer lasting happiness.  Still, we all have them, so it’s good to find ways to reduce their effects.

In my experience, Qigong practice helps.  The more I practice, the less I feel swayed by pangs of desire for fabulous vacations, or intense yearnings for the latest electronic gear or new camera lenses.  I am better able to enjoy life just the way it is, without need for someone or something to “complete” me.

Cravings don’t usually disappear, but they become more manageable.  I still want that new expensive lens, but I won’t get it unless buying it really make sense.  In other words, I can control my desire, rather than the other way around.  This is one of the best benefits to be gained from Qigong, or any mind/body practice.