Qi Gong – what is it, and how can it help you weather the COVID-19 crisis?
“Qi” (pronounced “chee”) means “life energy.” Any living being has Qi, while the literal translation of the Chinese way of saying someone is dead is, “they have no Qi”. “Gong” means “work.” Gong is also the benefits and gains achieved through the practice of manipulating Qi. Qi can be manipulated through any action carried out by the living being through which Qi flows. Every time you breathe, eat, sleep, move, sit, stand, and so on you are manipulating that which is your capacity for life, health, and contentment.
Qi Gong refers to an ancient practice which uses breath, mind, and body to clean, build, and move energy and support health on all levels, similar to how acupuncture is theorized to function. In fact, in order to learn to needle points and work on other people’s energy, I was trained in qi gong during my graduate degree. Qi Gong is an important part of the work I do with my mind, needles, and hands while I carry out my work. The main pillars of medical care in Chinese medical practice include diet and lifestyle advice, Qi Gong, acupuncture (including moxibustion, Gua Sha, Tui Na, and cupping), and herbal therapies.
During this pandemic crisis, I am shutting my clinic doors to protect my health, and yours. This means no acupuncture.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still cultivate health by moving, building, and clearing Qi through other Chinese medical preventative care practices! So I’m supporting my patients, friends, and family through this medical crisis by offering free Qi Gong sessions for all every weekday from 11 AM to 11:30 AM EST!
Qi Gong is something you can do any time, anywhere. The movements can be small or big, and you can do it alone or with others.
In fact, you can do it every weekday with me at 11 AM!
Here’s why you should join us
1) Qi gong moves energy and promotes health just like acupuncture does
When I’m feeling really cruddy, I often do Qi Gong as a form of self care. Qi Gong uses the same channels, points, and theories to support whole body, mind, and soul health. There are eight movements of energy which we practice – gathering qi, dispersing qi, raising qi, lowering qi, expanding qi, contracting qi, pushing qi, and pulling qi. By learning how to move qi in all of these ways, we can manage our health from within. There is a saying that qi follows yi, Intention. The practice of qi gong hones the yi to direct our energy within ourselves to promote health.
Just like I begin treating a patient by clearing qi, the first thing I do when I feel unwell is to clear my qi using practices I will teach in my daily qi gong class. This supports the wei qi, which is the force that we use to keep our bodies free of pathogens. By inviting things that don’t belong in our system (xie qi meaning Evil Energy. This is the catchall phrase referring to pathogenic factors) to leave the body, we create greater opportunity to support the good or upright zheng qi. We can then gather and contract our upright qi to create a stronger center and promote the further generation of qi and other substances necessary for health according to the Chinese medical model, such as xue, jing, and shen (Blood, Essence, and Spirit). During times of acute concerns, the movements of qi can be used to counter unhealthy movements of energy in the body. When qi rises up too much (such as in cases of nausea, cough, pulsating or squeezing headaches, and anger or anxiety), we can lower qi. When qi moves down too much (such as in cases of diarrhea, urinary incontinence, excess uterine bleeding, varicose veins, edema of the lower extremities, sadness or shame and so on) we can move qi up.
This is exactly the same goal as acupuncture! To reduce the evil qi and promote the good in order to provide greater opportunity for health.
2) Qi gong can promote a greater sense of interconnectedness
You’ve probably heard Yoga instructors use this phrase. Do you know what it means?
It comes from Hindi and is a greeting which means “the light in me sees the light in you.”
My qi sees yours.
By practicing qi gong with a group, even while practicing social distancing, you have an opportunity to cultivate togetherness. Our common sense of humanity, that which connects us, is necessarily linked to our aliveness. That’s why the death of another being is so difficult – we lose a piece of the very light that sustains us, because we can no longer connect with that light in the being we hold dear.
I believe the most important protective factor through this crisis is our physical separation from one another, but that doesn’t mean we have to be emotionally separated, too.
Join me for qi gong so you can be a part of something bigger than yourself. Your light matters, so shine on with me!
3) Learning qi gong now will let you apply this beautiful practice to your life beyond the course of this crisis
Just because the social distancing ends doesn’t mean you have to stop practicing qi gong! I’m planning to do this daily on weekdays as long as my clinic doors are closed.
That doesn’t mean we have to stop practicing when my clinic opens again!
I invite you to begin your day, or end it, or both, with a simple practice, as many days as you can and want to. This is a powerful form of self-cultivation which you will forever have access to, for as long as you want and need it.
So what are you waiting for! Put this on your calendar every weekday at 11:00 AM EST for the rest of March! And on the weekends, keep on practicing – our health may depend on it.
Follow me on Instagram @threetreasureswellness and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/threetreasureswellnessllc/?ref=bookmarks to get notified of my live stream videos and join me from there!
You can also join using the following Zoom meeting information:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 618 381 564
I am also providing e-meeting consultations for folks looking for more individualized qi gong, acupressure, and Chinese medical lifestyle advice. Contact me to learn more and set up a consultation.
Want to learn more about Qi Gong? Check out The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing by Kenneth S. Cohen.