It was about 25 years ago that I discovered Qi Gong. I wasn’t actually looking for it but never the less, it found me! I can say for sure that taking it up and practicing Qi Gong daily has been the best decision I have ever made.
Like me many people come to Qigong not in the best of health. I had been suffering with ulcerative colitis for many years and my mind and body were in a terrible state.
Many of the students who come to my classes and workshops are also suffering from various debilitating conditions. This stops them from taking part in most exercise programs. Because of it’s low impact nature Qigong is accessible to many more people regardless of age, ability or health condition.
“A compelling body of research emerges when Tai Chi studies and the growing body of Qigong studies are combined. The evidence suggests that a wide range of health benefits accrue in response to these meditative movement forms, some consistently so…” (The National Center for Biotechnology Information.)
Throughout my childhood and into my twenties my mind was consumed by ill health. Often all I could think about was getting through the painful episodes that would start my day or having to rush to the loo at any moment.
Because I didn’t know otherwise I buried my head in the sand and tried to ignore the powerful symptoms that regularly appeared. This was later going to prove a recipe for disaster.
After ignoring my body for some years it finally came to a head when I collapsed semi conscious in a restaurant and was whisked straight to hospital where I stayed for some weeks to recover.
This was a quite a wake up call!
I began to realise that by not listening to the many messages my body was sending me, I was not allowing my body & mind to enter a state where recovery and healing could take place.
When I started to learn Qi Gong it immediately encouraged me to take a look at myself and how I felt. For the first time in my life I started to realise that my body was talking to me!
Yes you heard that right!
The body communicates with us all the time.
Those tight shoulders don’t just mysteriously appear for no reason.
That is the signal telling you that stress is building up in that area and needs attention.
By not giving our body the attention that is necessary it will inevitably present it’s bill! And more often than not this involves pain.
If we continue to look away even whilst in pain then potential health problems are just around the corner!
So I started to listen to my body…
I learned how to reconnect with myself and build a better and more fruitful relationship with both my mind and body.
Healing cannot thrive when we’re in a state of constant stress.
I found that just by starting to move my body in a more Mindful way I became more conscious and aware of what was going on inside of me.
Becoming more internally aware is key to all Qi gong practice. As we focus our attention we strengthen our awareness of the body. Awareness is a little like a muscle in the sense that before training it is usually quite weak but with the right practice we can strengthen it to become our healing ally.
The more we can fill our body with conscious awareness the more powerfully we engage all our internal resources to direct them towards healing and inner strength.
I am fortunate in that whilst travelling to my classes throughout the week I get to drive around some of the most beautiful countryside England has to offer.
However I rarely get the chance to fully appreciate it as I just don’t have the time to stop and admire it. I just pass by.
I just get a glimpse.
However at the weekend I make a point of going for a walk where I can truly soak in the view.
And you wouldn’t believe what happens?
Midway through the walk I will stop and pause….
I’ll just stop and observe and reflect on the view.
You would be amazed at what emerges. I start to fully see what’s in front of me. The colours become clearer, I see the subtle nuances of the shadows in the trees, shapes, contours, objects all begin to transform right in front of my eyes.
Just by spending time watching the view everything has a different clarity than when I whizz by in my car.
And the same happens when we start to mindfully observe the body. Slowly the volume of our internal physiology is turned up. We can start to feel more as we give it our undivided attention.
Like any healthy relationship, the one we have with our own body must be based on our ability to listen deeply.
Once we are skilled at listening to what is going on, then we are in a much more powerful position to respond positively & effectively.
It wasn’t long before I started to feel that the Qigong was really helping me.
As I settled into a regular practice routine I gradually felt stronger. Not in a muscular way but something much deeper. I felt that I had more energy to get through the day and was able to concentrate more fully on what ever I was doing. I was far less distracted. Gradually the symptoms that I had experienced daily for so long started to disappear.
The slow and gentle movements of qigong have a very deep effect on the body. The more we unpeel the layers of tension, stress & conditioning that the body/mind holds onto, the more we discover the innate intelligence of our body. This will eventually inform us how to move and release.
There is a primal movement that is only discovered when we peel away the body/mind armour that we often think protects us. It does in fact disguise our true nature.
What is holding you back from starting Qigong?
I have seen many people come to my Qi Gong classes with all sorts of health concerns. They range from arthritis, M.E, fibromyalgia, asthma, joint pain, back pain, tiredness, depression and high blood pressure to name just a few!
And I am constantly amazed by the positive results that these courageous members discover by practicing qi gong.
The beauty about Qigong is that no matter what your age is, physical ability or state of health, Qi Gong can be adapted to your needs.
What is your next step?
I would love you to join me for a Live Qi Gong training every Wednesday morning 8am GMT on Facebook.
Until the next time
All the very best
P.S. Here’s the link again to join the next live qigong training on Facebook: