Archive for January, 2010

Qigong in the Public Consciousness

Qigong is slowly making inroads on the consciousness of America. An article on one of my students was recently in the local newspaper here in Bellingham, Washington, USA, North American Continent, Planet Earth.


Lee Willis has been benefiting from Qigong for a decade or so. I find Lee to be one of the most present, friendly, happy, helpful and engaging people I know. The photo and article don’t quite show her effervescence. And she vehemently denies–as the article speaks of–that she is a sufferer or victim of any kind. In the decade plus I have known her, I agree with this self-assessment. She leads not just an active life, but a thorough life.

Lee Willis in 2007

Qigong Awareness is Growing

Anyway, read the article. The benefits and joys of Qigong (and Tai Chi) are trickling up, seeping into general consciousness. Maybe we will soon see a bigger awareness of these arts. Most individuals–and the country as a whole–would be better off practicing these internal movement arts.

Lee Willis teaches a short, gentle Tai Chi form that was designed for people with arthritis (whether or not they are victims), but the form is actually great training for anybody seeking better internal and external balance, smoother movement and less pain in their bodies.

Modify Your Movements When You Need to

Lee mentions the principle of modifying in the article, which is so key in making a practice work for whatever your current physical needs, abilities, and areas of concern. To restate the principle of modifying: Find a way to move that doesn’t hurt, whether this means using less effort, doing slightly different movements, or making the range of the motion smaller. By modifying as necessary, you engage your body in relaxation, which engenders healing responses at all levels of your being.

The Omnipresence of Limitations

Another point she touches upon is the fact that most of us have some “limitations” in our health to deal with. Actually, everyone does. Working within the boundaries of whatever your current abilities are–rather than fantasizing or blithely stepping into the dangerous water of overdoing–is so much of what Qigong is all about. When engaged in healing practices, activated movement within relaxation is necessary. Working within your limits is both wise and pleasurable. Pushing into pain is the path to problems.


Reduce Depression with Qigong #5

Below is the fifth of five videos on Reducing Depression with the “Old Man” Qigong Set.

The final video in this series puts each part of the form together into a flowing whole.

The Ratio of Moves

Once you have practiced each of the 3 moves separately and can perform them well–with good amounts of feeling and healing–then you put them all together. The connected movement ratio is as follows:

1, 2, 3

2, 3

2, 3

Put Another Way, You Do

1. Lungs

2. Heart

3. Middle Burner

2. Heart

3. Middle Burner

2. Heart

3. Middle Burner

Then start over, again starting with the Lungs.

The Daily Exercise Prescription

The basic formula for practicing the full “Old Man” exercise is to do it for set amount of time. Get into a flowing groove by the set over and over and over again for 5, 10, 20 or more minutes at a time.

As you practice, you don’t need to count reps. Just glance at a clock every once in a while.

Urgent Prescription

Those who need to get their bodies on track quickly can elect to do 25 minutes of the “Old Man” 3 times a day.

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Reduce Depression with Qigong #4

Below is the fourth of five videos on Reducing Depression with the “Old Man” Qigong Set.

The Middle Burner

In this section of video training, I detail how to release blocking tensions in the the center organs of the body: the Spleen, Stomach, Pancreas, Upper Small Intestine, Gall Bladder and Liver, as well as the Solar Plexus area. The entire area is known as the Middle Burner.

Emotional Release in Masse

Releasing blocks in this area will help you easily release repressed emotions such as worry, over-thinking, anger, grumpiness, and rage. It will also help generally clear held-onto emotions from your body, resulting in more freedom for feeling well.

Ho, Ho, Ho

The healing sound used for this central section of the torso–the Middle Burner–is a long “Ho.” This sound is expressed to vibrate the target area from left to right (or right to left.) While making the sound you lower the bent arms to the lower ribs and turn the torso from left to right (or right to left, if you like.)

Twist the Towel

The torso-turning is a unique method that will take a little practice to get. It is an organ-wringing style–like twisting a towel–that is done from the center, between the chest and the belly button. This massages the organs of the upper abdomen and helps release tensions, trapped emotions and toxins from them.

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Reduce Depression with Qigong #3

Below is the third of Five Videos on Reducing Depression with the “Old Man” Qigong Set.

Open the Heart and Release Armoring

Opening the heart area can release stuck and stagnant emotions such as impatience, frustration, criticalness, anxiety, cold-heartedness, and armoring against feeling. All of these emotions get in the way of healing; as well as living a full, vibrant, friendly life.

The Healing Sound of the Heart and the Sparrow Fist

The Heart healing sound used in the “Old Man” exercise is a sighing, descending “Haaa.” The hands are held in a partly open palm shape called a Sparrow Fist. The hands descend from head level down to the lower chest as you make the chest-vibrating “Haaa” sound.

It is also important to slowly, slightly lower the head with the movements here, bringing  your gaze somewhat downward. This helps lower excess rising Qi.

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