One thing we know about 2020 is that we all had a shared experience, something that left us more anxious, stressed, isolated and in many cases depressed. For me it has been a call to action, an opportunity to deepen my love of Qi Gong and bring it to others.
For over 6,000 years the Chinese have studied nature and determined that Qi (pronounced “Chee”) or energy is the essence of all life. If Qi is flowing, there is wellness if there are blockages in the flow of Qi there is illness. The Qi Gong exercises mimicking the natural world and foster the flow of Qi.
I see Qigong as a panacea for the pandemic in many ways. The benefits, such as relieving isolation, stress, anxiety, sleeplessness and even depression can be immediate, with as little as 20 -30 minutes practice several days a week. It needs little space (can be done in a small apartment, in your home office), It can be practiced by all ages, all abilities and even people with injuries and disabilities. For me, it has also been a lifeline reconnecting me with the outside world via Zoom.
It has always puzzled me why Qigong has not taken off in the U.S. in the way yoga has? Forty years ago, when I started practicing yoga, my friends were worried that I had joined some weird cult or religion. Today it is practiced by nearly 36 million Americans and there are thought to be 300 million yoga practitioners of all ages worldwide. Only 500,000 people in the US practice Qigong while it is estimated that anywhere from 60 – 200 million people practice Qigong in China today.
Hundreds of Qigong videos are available on YouTube, but most people are unaware of them. Perhaps it is the name that throws people off? It is often mispronounced and shows up in various forms: Ki Kung, Chi Gong, Qigong. It is pronounced “Chee” gong and means energy work, skill, or methodology.
There are more than 3,000 recognized forms of Qigong and for decades much of Qigong was kept from the general public. It was a seen as a battlefield technique for war and as such, was kept a secret. Qigong is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and in hospitals in China it is regarded as highly as surgery, chemotherapy, and is a major form of physical therapy. It has proven to be effective in the treatment of chronic pain, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, headaches, gastro-intestinal disorders, chronic fatigue, cancer, and heart disease.
Qigong is known as the anti-aging remedy. In China those that have practiced Qi Gong are strong and vibrant and continue in an active lifestyle into their hundreds. Wouldn’t you like to spend your “golden years” healthy, and active in mind and body and change the prevailing statistics in the U.S.
During one of my recent Qigong classes a student shared that “as a result of starting to practice Qiigong, I am taking action and my Fitbit tells me I am succeeding. My pulse average dropped from 89 to 78. My sleep average advanced from 5.5hours to 7.5 hours. Your class has opened my mind to incorporate a more proactive lifestyle. I feel happier for it.”
Another student shared “I am so grateful to have discovered Qigong. I only wish I had known about during my working years. The 10-Week Workshop changed my whole outlook and given me a deeper appreciation for nature and life’s experiences.”
This feedback comes from seniors that have started practicing Qigong for the first time just since the lockdown began. In general, major health benefits begin to manifest in less than a year of practice. Not only do I see the positive results in my students but experience them in myself every day.
I continue to offer free weekly classes via Zoom for anyone that would like to participate. We accept donations, with half of all the money going to our local Food Pantry. Over the past year, students have donated over $1500. During the pandemic, all our classes are online and as such, are a safe way to continue working on self-healing, mindfulness and reducing stress.
My long-term vision is to expose people of all ages to the benefits of Qi Gong. During this time of uncertainty and stress, I believe Qi Gong can provide the balance and stability we need to face this and other obstacles life throws at us. I hope you will join me and take a free class to experience the benefits for yourself.
For more information about Free Weekly Classes, Free 2-Hour Workshops, and 10-Week “Journey into Qi Gong” Self-Healing Series visit: Judymilinowski.com