Wouldn’t it be cool to learn qi gong from the comfort of your living room?
Start your home practice today: 12 Treasures Qi Gong: Your Daily Movement Vitamin
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What is qi gong, anyway?
First, it’s pronounced “chee gung.” Qi means “energy;” gong means “work,” “discipline” or “cultivation.” So qi gong is a disciplined practice of working with or cultivating energy. In China, people have been working with energy for over 3,000 years; it is the basis for both Chinese Medicine and martial arts. In practice, qi gong combines breath, intention, and movement.
Qi gong is a powerful self-healing tool. Just as an acupuncturist uses needles to balance the qi of the different organ systems in the body, you can help keep your own qi flowing well, open up areas of stagnation, and recharge your own energy by practicing qi gong regularly.
It’s appropriate for all ages and can be done regardless of one’s level of mobility. Even if you just do the form in your mind, the body benefits. There are many different forms and styles of qi gong: some forms are done in a seated posture and are more meditative; other forms involve more physical movement for the added benefits of opening up the joints and meridians, increasing flexibility and circulation. If you are interested in learning qi gong, you may wish to try out several different forms and practice the ones that resonate with you the most.
Brodie Welch’s qigong classes have been a gateway to my discovering health and ease of being. Her depth of knowledge, engaging teaching style, and experienced practice offers a profoundly transformative experience that has helped me feel enlivened on a cellular level. I feel so lucky to have her teachings as a part of my life. It’s because of Brodie that I was introduced to qigong and fell in love with the practice. Qigong has helped me overcome many negative emotions in my life, including anxiety, fear, sadness and overwhelm. Some of these had such a powerful grip on my body that they were daily companions that continually depleted my ability to step into the life that I was wanting but wasn’t experiencing. Qigong has helped me get out of this dissociated rut. It has also helped me restore my natural wake-sleep rhythm. Qigong is the most empowering and transformational “medicine” available to help us restore ourselves from the afflictions of modern living. The best part of this “medicine” (a form of right action) is that it’s cheap, portable, and has no negative side effects. – Rachael Mueller
Why Qi gong?
I teach qi gong to empower people to take care of themselves, because the lifestyle and diet choices you make every day will always have a greater effect than any treatment or medicine you may be given.
All kinds of interesting research has been and continues to be done on how 30 minutes of qi gong a day can decrease the risk of strokes, increase circulation, help with balance and focus . . . the list goes on. For more information, read about it here.
Learning qi gong is an excellent way to reduce stress. Stress is a contributing, if not the primary causative factor, in a majority of chronic conditions I see with my patients. Qi gong provides you with you a specific, concrete way to relax, to recharge, to meditate, to get back in touch with yourself, whenever or wherever you need it.
The Forms I Teach:
Most forms I teach are part of Liu Dong’s Method, a family system of healing qi gong that goes back many generations, geared towards healing different systems of the body, developing the power of intention and single-minded focus, awakening to your true self. Liu Dong’s Method is part of the Official Repertory of Chinese Medicine, which catalogs China’s most revered family systems.
Eight Treasures (Ba Duan Jin)
Eight Treasures, also known as Ba Duan Jin or Eight Pieces of Brocade, is one of the oldest and most popular forms of qi gong, dating back at least a thousand years. Practiced in a standing position, it combines breath and intention with eight simple movements. Each movement brings energy to a particular system of the body: the lungs, liver, heart, spleen, kidney, the seven emotions, and overall energy flow. It is among the easiest forms to learn and remember.
Twelve Treasures builds on the foundation of Eight Treasures, adding movements that open the Extraordinary Vessels, the deepest level of the energy in the body. Like a daily vitamin, this form offers a movement for each internal organ of the body, plus the spine.
Thousand Hands Buddha is a meditative qi gong method practiced in a seated position. Combining intention with breathing and gentle movements of the hands and arms, this form brings your attention from the outside world to your inner world to reduce anxiety, calm the heart/mind, cultivate compassion, develop your intuition and clarity, and heighten mental focus.
Jade Woman is a graceful, flowing, healing form designed specifically to support women’s physiology. It is an excellent self-healing tool for any woman, but particularly good for those dealing with menstrual pain or other gynecological problems, infertility, PMS, menopausal transition, or emotional stress. Because of its focus on purifying and supporting the Liver Blood, this form may benefit anyone who has been exposed to toxins (all of us in our toxic world!), chemotherapy or who is dealing with chronic liver problems. Jade Woman feels a bit like a shamanic dance, pairing visualization and chanting with movements to open the “secret Taoist point of Blood.”
Hui Gong 1: Wisdom Qi Gong for the Heart
Hui Gong 1 is a healing qi gong form practiced in a standing position as a moving meditation routine. This practice dates back thousands of years and is designed to cultivate your inner wisdom by balancing the “souls” of the 5 internal organs, which roughly translate as: the will, the imagination, the heart-mind, the intention, and the decision-making capacity. When all of these are in harmony; you are less distracted and better able to focus, you make good decisions, your life is less exhausting, and all emotions turn into compassion. On a physical level, this form helps to open up the shoulders, increases circulation to the arms and hands, and encourages strength and flexibility of the lower back.
Qi Gong of the Great White Crane
White Crane is a graceful standing/walking form that benefits the Lungs, the immune system, and the Extraordinary Vessels. These Vessels are indeed extraordinary, as they contain the deepest, oldest level of programming we have in the body. As such, they have the capability of affecting deep constitutional issues. The Lungs are responsible for the circulation of qi throughout the entire body, taking in fresh qi from the air, and letting go of what is no longer needed. When the breath get shallow due to stress, these functions of the Lungs are impaired and the body’s energy stagnates, leading to disharmony. Helping to restore the Lung qi to its full capacity helps enhance vitality and immunity. Because of the strong relationship between the Lungs and the Liver in Chinese Medicine, this form helps to purify and regulate the Liver qi as well. Like all qi gong forms, working with the breath and the intention helps to quiet the mind, relieve stress, and create a sense of internal peace.
Yuan Shen Qi Gong
Yuan Shen Qi Gong supports the deep, foundational energy of the body rooted in the Kidney system. In Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys are the source of all yin and yang, providing support to every organ system. They govern growth, hormonal changes (such as menopause); the strength of the bones, lower back and knees; the healthy functioning of the brain, ears, and eyes — everything we associate with aging. The Kidneys also store our Essence and Will, connecting us to our deepest inner wisdom, enhancing confidence and motivation, and solidifying our intentions while decreasing fear. This form reconnects the Original Kidney energy to each of the other internal organs, restoring harmony to the body.
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