Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Why Practice Qi Gong

Recently a friend asked me why do I practice Qi Gong?

I had been exposed to QI Gong on meditation retreats and guitar seminars.  While I liked the affects, I did not practice on my own until I was injured.  A nasty case of tendinitis in my left wrist had me stop playing guitar.  After little progress with Western Medicine I received an acupuncture treatment which had an immediate effect.  Of course the nature of tendinitis and inflammation meant I had to have repeated treatments.  One day I noticed that my acupuncturist Dr. Nianzu Li, also taught Qi Gong.

After the treatment I asked him if there was an exercise which would help my condition. He showed me “Opening the Energy Gates” which I practiced daily until my next visit to his office. I showed him the exercise and he commented that I was doing good.  He then shared a secret with me, if I practiced Qi Gong, I’d probably not need to see him for acupuncture.  I signed up for his next class. 

That was over twelve years ago.  I have learned many forms in this time, relishing in the calm and energy that the practice of Qi Gong delivers.  I developed a daily practice. When Master Li offered a teacher training program I joined with my wife.  Our practice and learning accelerated and I continue to reap the rewards of daily practice.  When we began teaching our own class, I was happy as others embraced Qi Gong for the first time and many have continued their studies.

Last year I had an opportunity to present Qi Gong during a week long residential Guitar Seminar.  What would best serve the guitarists on the course?  I settled upon the Daoist 12 Postures form.  One of the intentions in this form is to release the spine, known as the Heavenly Pillar in Mandarin.  Several of the participants told me how this helped them release their own issues arriving from poor use of their bodies. The various postures are simple, yet powerful and allow the shoulders, arms, elbows, wrist and hands to release the various tensions related to the demands of playing an instrument.  These exercises are great pre-instrument practice warm ups and can be done anywhere at anytime.  Even back stage prior to performing. 

My wife & I will be offering the Daoist 12 Postures for the first time in a class offered by the Takoma Park Recreation Department.  While Qi Gong is great for musicians, the benefits of stimulating our energy flow is great for all.  We’ve had students from the age of 15 to 78.  Join us.