Archive for Teachers and Healers

Ritual for Beginning Each Qigong Class or Practice

Qigong Self-Healers

Just in time for my Qigong teaching Sabbatical (starting the last week in February and going until the end of 2017), here is the new ritual for beginning a class. It is intended as a way to get more focused and prepared in order to receive the most from a Qigong class, practice or workshop.

Starting with a Stronger Focus

It has often been my way to lollygag my way into focus as the class progresses, following the meandering pathways that present themselves in the process of teaching, listening, watching, following and leading. It is an improvisational, Taoistical method. This is a good method for me; yet it sometimes takes a while for the shape of each class to form out of the fog of beginnings and the sloppiness of drawing a group of people into a unified, health empowerment dynamic. Bringing a number of people together—grounded, open, heart-centered—deepens the class experience and improves individual healing results. And it is more fun to learn and practice together this way. So I am looking at ways to more strongly start, to begin with a multi-aspect energetic and intention that defines our macro-soft outlook and stance; and propels us forward more surely and more fully.

Being in the Heart to Heal

I was inspired in part to put this ritual together by the Heart Centered Therapy course I just took  in Sacramento with the Chikly Health Institute. This was my fourth HCT course. Each time I am re-enthused about being more from the heart in my healing, teaching, and private life (which are all the same, really). HCT is one of many sources I have gone to for healing philosophy and practice principles over the last 30 years (I began Chiropractic College in Los Angeles in January of 1987). It is a worthwhile forever quest.

A Secular Prayer

You will notice that the Class Starting Ritual (which doesn’t have a snappy name yet) is somewhat like a prayer. However, as in all my Qigong, it is meant to be secular. I want all to be welcome in my Qigong teaching, regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof. If you have a particular spiritual tradition, you can—in your private Qigong practice—add that to this beginning prayer.


I hope you find this ritual as inspiring as I do,
Dr. Robert B. Bates, DC
Near Bellingham in Washington State, Earth


The baseline measurement of a good Qigong practice is in improvement of physical health. If you are more healthy with Qigong than you are without it, then it is a beneficial, proven Qigong. Keep doing it to keep being more healthy than not, and maybe lots more healthy for a long time.

And, there are many other aspects of health that Qigong can help with, including psychological, social, spiritual, sense of gratitude and abundance, intelligence, intellect, clear thinking, applied creativity, familial strengthening, connection to nature and its rhythms, vocational clarity and empowerment.


Qigong Starting Ritual

First version: February 4, 2017

Let’s get into our body, breath, and heart.


I let go of the outside world and outside concerns to focus on Qigong.

Breathing deeply I open my abdomen and feel my Dantian.

Breathing fully I feel all the cells of my body become more alive.

Breathing slowly I engage all of my body.

Relaxing down I let go of tension to root into the ground.

Waves of life force rise through me from the Earth.

Standing tall I enter and center in my true spine.

Relaxing upward, light and intelligence from the stars shower downward through my body.

I feel the energy paths throughout my body open and flowing.

I feel the fluids, tissues, and spaces engaged and enlivened.

I connect to my heart and feel compassion and gratitude while being inspired to have a great practice.


Qigong is Sustainable Self-Healing

This Saturday, June 30, I will be presenting a talk and leading some exercises in Qigong at a workshop on sustainable living.

Qigong, I have long thought, is one of the most sustainable practices there is. It is an inexpensive method of self-healing that can save a bundle on medical bills. Modern medicine has devolved into an ever-more expensive commodity, a growing Juggernaut that seems to gain more mass and unstoppable power to sap and suck the money from society and individuals. The number one cause of bankruptcy in the USA is unpayable medical bills. These bills are unpayable for so many millions because of the gigantic amounts that are owed. The system as it is out of control.

This may not effect you directly, but it does effect you. Even if you have insurance that pays most of your bills, that money must come from somewhere, from the greater common fund. The Western World will soon reach a tipping point of unsustainability with these massive costs, these thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars that are charged to millions of patients pulled into and stuck in the gargantuan system.

Much of allopathic medicine is to be admired and be grateful for. Much is not. Sure, surgerical techiniques, a short, few medicines, and the sciences of anatomy, physiology, and sanitation have been of tremendous value. The modern magic of mainstream medicine–with it’s many life-saving and life-prolonging methods–is not all joy and fun. Unnecessary surgeries, botched procedures, expensive tests, drugs rife with side-effects, very short doctor visits, and a great lack of the personal, human touch are rampant. Medical facilities that promote money-making and closed- heart, harried, over-worked practitioners have become the norm.

People are looking for something more, something real and humane and heart-stirring. So many of us are recognizing that how our society is operating with disease and health is not working. A change will be arising soon.

Qigong practice is sustainable healing. When I say sustainable, I mean it is cheap, renewable, takes few resources, and offers more resources than it takes (you get more energy than you spend). Qigong teaches you how to be more aware of your body and mind. It offers many exercises that help the systems of your body function more powerfully to bring you the robust vitality you desire. It teaches you how to breathe right for goodness sake, a crucial and mostly-ignored aspect of healing. Qigong is fun, gentle, and easy to begin. Almost anyone gets benefits from the earliest foray.

For most people, a regular practice of Qigong inceases the health of their bodies, minds and spirits. It decreases illnesses, increases vitality, expands perspective, engenders inspiration, and saves money. Fewer doctor’s visits, fewer invasive procedures, fewer side-effects to deal with. The future of health is in such practices as these. The current economico-medical model is about to topple, unsustainable under its own unwieldy weight and excess. We will need simple home and community practices like Qigong to help maintain our health and wellness.

Sustainable Living Workshop

I know all of the principals of this workshop and reccomend their concepts and work. If you are seeking to bring more grounded truth to your life, and more sustainability to your days, come to the workshop.

Mind, Body, Spirit, and Earth: Techniques for Thriving in a Complicated World

Matheson Farms Sustainable Living Education Center presents its inaugural workshop:

June 30, 2012

Laurel Grange Hall

6172 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, WA

9:00 AM-2:30 PM (Check-in begins at 8:30 AM)

The Workshop Includes

Dr. Robert Bates – Fun with Qigong (release stress and foster health through movement)

Dudley and Dean Evenson, MS – Music, Healing, and Meditation

Serene Stevenson, M Ed – Us for Precedent (empowerment and implementing creative change)

Dr. Sandra Matheson – Respecting the Earth in Your Everyday Living, Building Sustainable Relationships


Lunch will be available from the Community Food Co-op if registered and pre-ordered by June 26—or bring your own sack lunch if you choose.

Everyone 13 years of age and older is welcome. We provide a safe, fun, and sup-portive environment! Come learn and practice some amazing techniques from lead-ers in their respective fields. Wear comfortable clothing/shoes.


Enrollment is limited so register today!

Your Investment:

Adults $59 with lunch included/$49 without lunch

Youth ages 13-17 $39 with lunch included/$29 without lunch

Registrations at the door: Add $10 to the applicable fee

To register online:

Or email:










Master List of Articles

Here is a List of the Principle Articles and Videos on this Qigong Website

Note: These listed articles come from the Blog section of this website. There is also a section of Pages, which contains much information as well. The links to the Pages can be found to the right on any page.

Fun with Qigong Homepage

How to use this site.

Welcome to Fun with Qigong

My first post.

Introduction to Qigong

A video explaining the basics of Qigong.

A Simple Explanation of Qigong

What exactly is Qigong?

Audio Interview

A 55 minute overview of Qigong, along with a sample of the Six Healing Sounds.

The First Principle of Qigong

Practice. Preferably daily.

My First DVD: Fun with Qigong

A video guide to learning the gentle, powerful, principle-based Qigong set called The Five Flows.

Moderation and Fasting

All endeavors seeking health should not be excessive. Excess kills. Moderation heals.

Healing the Heart

Simple approaches to heart health.

Reducing High Blood Pressure

Video detailing some Qigong ideas for lowering pressure.

Breast Health

Exercises and resources from a non-invasive, vitalistic, self-empowering approach. Every woman should learn about these methods.

Inexpensive Acupuncture

Social justice through heartful needles.

Sudden Inhalation Syndrome

Shock breathing is normal but not natural. Learn how to breathe with ease.

Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Decrease pain with Qigong.

Simple Taiji Video

An introductory form to practice the principles and basic movements of Taiji (Tai chi).


Insomnia Article

Thoughts and exercises for working on that night-stealer insomnia.

Insomnia Video 1

Overview of Qigong exercises for overcoming insomnia.

Insomnia Video 2

Charge the Kidneys and connect the Kidneys to the Lower Dantian.

Insomnia Video 3

Warm the feet.

Insomnia Video 4

Draw Qi from the Lower Dantian to the feet. 

Front-loading Qigong

Practice extra amounts of Qigong before travel, expected stressful events, or busy times to come.

Hot Hands of Qi

Qigong will warm and balance your hands.

Qigong and Warm Hands: Part 1

A second class with the heat camera shows some fascinating photos.

Relax Your Shoulders, Descend Your Qi

Sink your Qi to relax your being.

Qigong and the Upside Down Snowman

Get out of your head and center in the lower abdomen. Health and joy await you. Let go of tension and sink your Qi to feel much, much better. [with a video]

You Can Cure Hot Flashes

Make hot flashes a thing of the past with this simple, powerful technique. [with a video]

Qigong, Vitality and “Limitations”

Work within your limits, but don’t let them define you.

Four-Part Protection Process

A Meditation and Medical Qigong Method for staying sane and clear in an insane world.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 1

The overview video of the “Old Man…” exercise.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 2

The second video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Lungs and sadness.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 3

The third video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Open the heart and release armoring.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 4

The fourth video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Clear worry, excess emotions, and anger from the middle burner.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 5

The fifth video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Putting it all together.

Three Types of Qigong Practice: Singles, Sets, and Sequences

Three ways you might practice: Focused, expanded, or sophisticated ways.

Qigong Sets

Understanding what Qigong sets are and how to utilize them.

Qigong Sequences

Understanding what Qigong forms are and how to utilize them.

Five Flows in a Single Exercise

One exercise can take you through all of the flows, if  you stick with it.

Preventing Colds and Flu with Qigong

These gentle, immunity-enhancing exercises truly work.

More on Preventing Colds and Flu with Qigong

Use healing sounds and slow, gentle, movements.

Qigong Strategies for Illness

How, when, and when not to do Qigong when illness is in the picture.

Qigong Workshops

A baker’s dozen of Qigong workshops your group may want to host.

The World-Famous First 64 Form

From Wild Goose Qigong, there is much healing in the intracies of these fun movements.

Reduce Stress with the Super Powerful Method of Belly Breathing

So much of a person’s stress arises from the backward, upside down, unnatural, but entirely common practice of chest breathing.

Pay Attention to Your Feet

With so much heady focus in our world, we lose connection to the whole of our bodies and the sustenance of the earth. Become more whole and balanced by paying attention to your feet as much as to your brain.

Save Yourself from a Lightning Strike

Crouch and survive.

Simplified Exercise Set

Sometimes an entire set is too much.

Open and Move from the Gate of Life

The Gate of Life is so important and so practical and so unknown.

Can Qigong Save America (and the World?)

We desperately need inexpensive, effective healthcare. Qigong is one of the answers to this urgent need.

Slap Yourself Healthy

Gentle tapping methods for wellness.

The Three Intentional Corrections

How to reframe and refocus your experience in the moment with Qigong.

Healing Knee Pain 1

Using the wall sitting exercise.

Healing Knee Pain 2

Success with the wall sitting exercise.

Change Your Life in Two Minutes a Day

Getting a daily Qigong practice started can reward you with big health dividends later on.

Bend Your Knees for Health’s Sake

Bending your knees helps alleviate many chronic pain symptoms.

When in Doubt, Shake

Use the Shaking the Body exercise to release fear, uncertainty, and tension.

Exercise with Ease

Be gentle and moderate with your Qigong to get the most out of it.

Qigong Will Soon Be a Common Sight

“People just have to get used to it.”

Spend a Billion Dollars to Save a Trillion

Qigong could save huge amounts of money, nationally.

Qigong is a Medical Bargain

It is downright cheap. It is gold that takes put pennies on the dollar.

Three Little Words Can Change your Life

The first three principles of Qigong: Practice, Modify, and Refine.

I Healed My Smashed Toe with Qigong

Using the gentleness and gentility of Qigong for giant gains.

Stay Centered or Suffer the Consequences

Multi-tasking leads to injury.

Breathe When You Type

Qigong is cheap medicine, easily accessible.

Train Your Qigong in Calmness

Qigong practice cautions.

The Secret Practice of True Wealth

Invest in Qigong and reap the lifelong rewards.

The Half-Half Rule

At least do some Qigong. You will be happy you did.

The Baby Bowl

Healing babies instead of watching the Superbowl.

Comments (1)

Inexpensive Acupuncture

For those that don’t have health insurance (a large number of us, it appears), cheap healthcare is a must. Taking classes, such as Qigong or Yoga, is one inexpensive way to invest in your health with but a small financial outlay. Another way is through such programs as affordable acupuncture.


My healing colleauge in Bellingham, Washington, Ed Layton, is an acupuncturist and herbalist who offers sliding scale acupuncture treatments. He has a room with four tables in it, so he can work on four people at a time. The fees for these treatments are $15 to $40 on a sliding scale.

Ed Layton

He also offers private sessions for those that that need more in-depth attention. If you could use some extra health help, but can’t afford private sessions, check out the superb option at Hamsterpuncture. “Hamster”, buy the way, is a play on what some folks around here call the locals: Bellinghamsters.

This is a growing trend, the offering of lower fee services for a group of people.

Both Public and Private Sessions

Myself, I offer private sessions and lessons for the reasonable price of $75 an hour. I also ofter Qigong courses that come to just $10 an hour, or less. A lot of great healing can be had for just a little money. And sometimes, more intensive, personalized work is needed to really get at issues.

I believe that our current medical system in the modern world is so bloated and overloaded that it is likely to soon collapse. We, as a culture, will soon need practical, inexpensive, accessible methods of dealing health and illness. We will need them badly. Many of us need them now. Ed and I and many others are doing what we can to prepare for the day when health care will be a neighborhood boon and an easily accessible neccessity.


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.