Experience Qigong — Revitalize Your Life

September 2012 View more

NMAG0912_FitnessMany adults are seekingalternative ways to reclaim their health and revitalize their life in order to maintain an active, quality lifestyle. Qigong (pronounced chi gung) is fast becoming a popular way to do just that—connect with your body and calm what is typically an overstressed system. Qigong may very well be what the doctor ordered.

Origins of QiGong

The word Qi means vital energy and Gong means skill or accomplishment. Together, Qigong translates to energy work/practice. “There are literally thousands of styles of Qigong practiced worldwide. It’s a practice that has been evolving over thousands of years. It’s now being integrated in the Western culture and I predict that one day we will see Qigong studios popping up the way yoga studios have,” said Jeremy Cornish, a licensed acupuncturist and Qigong instructor.

The Benefits

The practice of Qigong is performed in order to make your entire system stronger. “Practice can be tailored to help specific problems. Based on the way you practice, Qigong can provide more energy, better balanced mood, flexibility, stronger bones, decreased pain, and improved internal organ function,” said Cornish.

The key components of Qigong practice are slow, smooth movements, with an emphasis on internal visualization, relaxation, and breathing. It is traditionally seen as a longevity practice that not only will help you live longer, but help you age well so that you can realize an enhanced quality of life.

First-hand Experience

“Most people haven’t been exposed to an exercise class quite like this. The things you learn in Qigong will translate over to anything else you practice. It will improve your yoga, your sports, weightlifting, dance, and of course martial arts. Also, it tends to make you more balanced at work, with your family.”

I had the opportunity to participate in a class of Cornish’s, and it was indeed a very unique experience. I consider myself pretty fit, yet found the first class to be challenging. The challenge came from an uncommon effort of concentration, focus, and calm, all of which were new experiences for my body. I’m used to my exercise sessions being demanding and hard-hitting.

“I tend to be a person that is fairly sensitive to energy from working in the counseling field in traumatic situations. I found Qigong’s ancient and powerful way of becoming more aware of and restoring one’s inner sense of peace and joy highly effective,” said Joe Dooley, a yoga teacher and licensed professional counselor.

Anthony Nelson Bey found relief with Qigong for existing back issues. “I’ve had severe back problems for the last three years. Since starting my classes with Jeremy, I feel a big difference. Now, I just need to keep up with my practice so I don’t regress,” said Bey.

When you attend a Qigong class, you’ll likely find that every class is different, though there is a general format of warm-ups, stretching, then internal work and meditation.

“The thing I love about Qigong is that it helps me become more aware of my own internal environment. I become more centered as a result of practice, and conscious of my actions during the rest of the day. Posture improves, mood improves, energy increases. One of the reasons I decided to teach was to keep myself practicing regularly. If I miss my own practice, I can always tell,” said Cornish.

Although there are many panaceas out there, the truth is that finding what’s right for you, and ultimately what’s right for your health, can only be determined by your experience and outcome.