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Friday, April 29, 2011

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

People are born soft and weak.
We die stiff and unyielding.

Everything -- grass, trees --
begins life soft and tender,
and dies, decaying, rotting.

Therefore the hard, the unyielding
are death's companion.
The weak and pliant belong to life.

The unyielding army cannot prevail.
Unbending trees are felled.

The great unyielding belong below,
the pliant and tender above.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Qigong as Therapy

From Encounters with Qi: Exploring Chinese Medicine by David Eisenberg, MD
(C) 1995

The most intriguing Chinese therapy is that of Qi Gong. It is ancient, fundamental, and the most perplexing of Chinese therapeutic interventions. Various of its phenomena challenge the foundations of Western biomedical thought.

Qi Gong techniques epitomize the Chinese claim that the human psyche can influence susceptibility to disease and the natural course of illness. In the West we are beginning to investigate the relation between life stress and immunology, particularly as it pertains to cancer. Western medicine has begun to ask whether and how meditation, biofeedback, the relaxation response, and faith alter human physiology. Researchers in behavioral science, psychosomatic medicine, endocrinology, and neurology are redefining the links between brain and body. The interdisciplinary field has been called psychoneuroimmunology. Three thousand years before the birth of the first psychoneuroimmunologist, Chinese doctors were struggling with the same mind-body relations. 

Qi Gong can theoretically be applied to all patients and all disease states. Clinical studies using hypertension and survival from cancer as objective end points may verify the claim that Qi Gong can reduce the susceptibility to disease as well as the morbidity or mortality associated with disease. If studies in American laboratories confirm any of China's assertions about Qi Gong masters' energy emission, psychokinesis, clairvoyance, or healing powers, we will need to adjust our sense of the limitations of the human body. 

The marriage of Chinese and Western medicine offers Western scientists more than clinical techniques and physiological mechanisms, however. It also offers an alternative approach to health and illness. Western medicine emphasizes intervention over prevention. Most Western research focuses on the intricacies of active disease; it gives comparatively little attention to the effect that life-style, personal disposition, and thoughts have on disease. China has taken a very different approach. In its traditional system, health is much more than the absence of observable pathology. Activity, diet, and psyche play critical roles in the Chinese perception of health and illness. 


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tadasana - Mountain Pose - Yoga Wuji


Notes from B.K.S. Iyengar
Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practising and teaching yoga for more than 75 years. He has written many books on yoga practice and philosophy. In 2004, Iyengar was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.

The body extends upwards, with the base as firm as a rock; the mind is steady and attentive. Tadasana teaches balance, centering and evenness and direction of extensions. These principles apply to all the postures. -B.K.S Iyengar

Tadasana is perhaps the most basic yoga pose. All yoga poses are called asana and the word tada translates from Sanskrit to mountain, thus this is the 'mountain posture'. As it is a very simple and restful pose it is usually one of the very first that must be mastered by a new student. It is the base for all the other asanas, particularly the standing ones.
  
Although the pose looks simple, and indeed is the most simple of the asanas, it still takes much practise and concentration to master all the different areas of the body and combine them into a strong yet relaxed posture. Placing the body correctly from the beginning is of utmost importance as this will help the pose to be balanced for its entirety.

The ideal when practising tadasana is that the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and ears are exactly in a straight, vertical line. At first, this may take a surprising amount of concentration and effort. In order for your body to be lined up this way, its base, that is your feet, must be lined up. Think about the way people stand most of the time, they pretty much always lean one way or the other. Resting most of their weight on one leg, perhaps switching between the two, or standing with one leg placed more forward that the other. Even when sitting ones feet are hardly ever planted flat on the floor.

That is why this pose is so important and teaches many of the fundamental disciplines needed to carry out other standing poses successfully. Balance, alignment, concentration and awareness of the body are all focused on whilst practising tadasana. When one first begins to practise it is very important to take care when doing each of the following steps so that the end result is good. As one becomes more experienced the body will more naturally align its self, and many of the steps will become less conscious.

Once the body is correctly lined up and placed in this position, it is very important to focus on keeping it this way. Make sure that you are not leaning more weight onto one foot and that your arms are still hanging in line. Focus on taking long, deep breathes. Checking your alignment will make you aware of adjusting your body in a sensitive and subtle way. Your left and right and front and back should be exactly in line and parallel, even if one finger is bent and the other is not, this alignment is lost. Become aware of the line that runs between your legs, through the front and back of the body and to the crown of your head. This line should be vertical and once achieved you should take note of the balance and stability your body has in this position.

Try and make the mind still, do not let it wander, instead making it focus on the body, thus making it aware of the equilibrium gained. The position is normally held for about a minute, but at first you may wish to only stay in it for shorter amounts of time, and with practice you may extend it to any length you feel comfortable with. It is an excellent pose to start off with and once mastered will make all other poses more balanced and strong.

Settling into the posture brings repose. It follows precise placement of the limbs, correct extension and balance. There is peace and unity within. The mind fills every particle of the body, bringing harmony. This is Yoga.
 - B.K.S Iyengar


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bruce Lee on Formless Form

Notes from Bruce Lee

I have not invented a "new style," composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from "this" method or "that" method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see "ourselves"...  Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don't, and that is that. There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one's feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move only within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back.

The highest technique is to have no technique. My technique is a result of your technique; my movement is a result of your movement. A good JKD man does not oppose force or give way completely. He is pliable as a spring; he is the complement and not the opposition to his opponent’s strength. He has no technique; he makes his opponent's technique his technique. He has no design; he makes opportunity his design. One should not respond to circumstance with artificial and "wooden" prearrangement. Your action should be like the immediacy of a shadow adapting to its moving object. Your task is simply to complete the other half of the oneness spontaneously. In combat, spontaneity rules; rote performance of technique perishes.

Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them, we shall eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No.1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5. Instead you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation. It is as though when I call you, you answer me, or when I throw you something, you catch it. It's as simple as that - no fuss, no mess. In other words, when someone grabs you, punch him. To me a lot of this fancy stuff is not functional. There must be a 'being' instead of a 'doing' in training. One must be free. Instead of complexity of form, there should be simplicity of expression. To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.  In building a statue, a sculptor doesn't keep adding clay to his subject. Actually, he keeps chiselling away at the inessentials until the truth of its creation is revealed without obstructions. Thus, contrary to other styles, being wise in Jeet Kune-Do doesn't mean adding more; it means to minimize, in other words to hack away the unessential. It is not daily increase but daily decrease; hack away the unessential.

When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style. I'm not saying form is not important - economy of form that is - but to me, efficiency is anything that scores. Don't indulge in any unnecessary, sophisticated moves. You'll get clobbered if you do, and in a street fight you'll have your shirt zipped off you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Dalai Lama on Meditation

Notes from The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness

Whatever forms of meditation you practice, the most important point is to apply mindfulness continuously, and make a sustained effort. It is unrealistic to expect results from meditation within a short period of time. What is required is continuous sustained effort.

If you are able to do a little meditation daily, withdrawing this scattered mind on one object inside, it is very helpful. The conceptuality that runs on thinking of good things, bad things, and so forth and so on will get a rest. It provides a little vacation just to set a bit in non-conceptuality and have a rest.

Practice in the morning. See if this makes your mind more alert throughout the day. As a temporary benefit your thoughts will be tranquil. As your memory improves, gradually you can develop a kind of special perception and understanding, which is due to an increase of mindfulness. As a long term benefit, because your mind has become more alert and sharp, you can utilize it in whatever field you want.

It is helpful not to practice too long in the beginning; do not over- extend yourself; the maximum period is around fifteen minutes. The important thing is not the length of the session but the quality of it. In the beginning, start with many short sessions -- even eight or sixteen sessions in a day -- and then as you get used to the process of meditation, the quality will improve, and the session will naturally become longer. A sign that your meditative stabilization is progressing well is that even though your meditative session may be long, it will feel as though only a short time has passed. If it seems that you have spent a long time in meditation even though you have spent only a little, this is a sign that you should shorted the length of the session. This can be very important at the beginning.

Effort is crucial in the beginning for generating a strong will. We all have the Buddha nature and thus already have within us the substances through which, when we meet with the proper conditions, we can turn into a fully enlightened being having all beneficial attributes and devoid of all faults. The very root of failure in our lives is to think, "Oh, how useless and powerless I am!" It is important to have a strong force of mind thinking, "I can do it," this not being mixed with pride or any other afflictive emotions. Moderate effort over a long period of time is important, no matter what you are trying to do. One brings failure on oneself by working extremely hard at the beginning, attempting to do too much and then giving it all up after a short time. A constant stream of moderate effort is needed. Similarly, when meditating, you need to be skillful by having frequent, short sessions; it is more important that the session be good quality than it be long.

When you have such effort, you have the necessary "substances" for developing concentration. Concentration is a matter of channelizing this mind which is presently distracted in a great many directions. A scattered mind does not have much power. When channelized, no matter what the object of observation is, the mind is very powerful. There is no external way to channelize the mind, as by a surgical operation; it must be done by withdrawing it inside. Withdrawal of the mind also occurs in deep sleep in which the factor of alertness has become unclear; therefore, here the withdrawal of the mind is to be accompanied by very strong clarity of alertness. In brief, the mind must have stability staying firmly on its object, great clarity of the object, and alert, clear, sharp tautness. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wang XiangZhai Combat Science

Notes from Master Wang XiangZhai

While learning martial art, you should think about why you are learning it. If you are clear about this, it is easy to achieve results. In most cases it is about health and self defense. Health is basis for all activities of human beings. So you shouldn't neglect the issue of cultivating health. When you learn in proper way, benefits are great, but if methods are wrong, it could even cause death. Among those whose training is based on fierce movements not many achieve longevity. There are numerous cases of people who became cripple because of improper training. Such martial art is cause for laugh and for sadness at the same time. Practice for health and practice for self defense are one thing and should not be separated. If one part is lost, it will create deviations and lead astray. 


First you should start from mind training, to reveal and develop natural human ability of using nervous system and body. First step in learning martial art is mind training as basis, experiencing subtle movements of body. Second step is shi li - testing force and shi sheng - testing voice. Third step is self defense. 

1. Basic training
You should start from zhuangfa - postural exercises. You can fit them freely into everyday life, practicing anywhere and anytime, standing, walking, sitting or lying on bed. You should assume the posture, body should be straight, there should not be any distracting thoughts, in the state of non-movement and calmness nervous system is positively stimulated, breath becomes even and calm, muscles are mildly stimulated, each cell is naturally taking part in movement, force is everywhere inside and outside. In this way, although you don't use typical form of training, bones and muscles are trained, mind is trained naturally too. You only need to observe all the subtle changes. If you practice for longer time, this seemingly simple standing will bring incredible results and satisfaction. If you want to learn essence of combat science, you should start from zhan zhuang.

2. Testing force and testing voice
After you practice basic exercises for some time, your natural potential develops. Very often, because illusory thinking, practice changes into something opposite to what I'm talking about. Pulling sprouts up will not make the plant grow faster. But you should understand the state of force in movement. Only then you can move further. If talking about introduction to combat science, shi li is most important method. Ability of using force is developed thanks to shi li. By testing you get to know force. Thanks to knowing you can efficiently use it. First you should make sure that the feeling of force is even in whole body, that your body feels agile, bones are supporting posture. This way you can use mutually related contractions and stretches, relax and tension. Force from inside is issued outside. In shi li there, shouldn't be partial, superficial force, especially there shouldn't be unbalanced one directional force. You should observe if the whole body force is round, full or not, if it is possible issuing force at any moment, if there is feeling of mutual reaction between body and surrounding air. Intention shouldn't be broken, spirit shouldn't be dispersed. Light and heavy are ready to be used. If one moves, whole body follows it. Force should be unified, swift and solid at the same time, round and full. There shouldn't be anything forgotten or lost on any side. Summarizing, if someone has not achieved satisfactory state of comfortable force, we don't call it combat science.

3. Self defense
Self defense is combat skills. You should know that big movement is not as good as small movement, small movement is not as good as non-movement. You should know that in nonmovement the never ceasing movement is born. Movement which has obvious form is expression of lack of proper force. The wonderfulness of using it is in using mind, intention leading, elastic use of joints working, stretching and contracting, strong point of support, spiral force, movement around pivot, moving center of weight in stable way, using elastic force of breathing. If someone can use it, he has basis for combat. What I'm saying sounds abstractive. But there are many things which it is difficult to express with words. If someone practices diligently, he will achieve understanding. Differentiating between big and small movement is actually depending on mastering basics, whether you achieved practical perception of various kinds of force. If you master basics of using force of whole body, movement can be big or small, it doesn't matter if it is big or small. When basics are not mastered, everything is wrong. Summarizing, dachengquan is not based on beauty of outside form, but on using mind. Shortly, when there is form, this is something not ripe. Only when technique achieves level of unconscious using, miraculous appears. This is what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stand-a-Thon 2011

Date: 4/19/11
From: Jim info@apricotforesthall.com
Subject: Stand-A-Thon 2011

Hello,
  A big THANK YOU to everyone who donated and attended our 1st ever MIT Qigong charity event! Monday night was our Stand-A-Thon fundraiser for the Boston Children's Hospital. We had a dozen Qigong enthusiasts all training Zhan Zhuang for a 1 1/2 hour class. We also had FIFTY donations from outside sources. In total our event raised $1305.00 for the BCH!!! Without a doubt this was a huge success. We will post a copy of the receipt on the MIT Qigong Club webpage from our donation. Once again: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Total Raised: $1305.00

See you next Monday!

Peace,

Jim Roselando
www.apricotforesthall.com

Monday, April 18, 2011

MIT Qigong raised >$1300 for Childrens Hospital!

MIT Qigong Stand-a-Thon 2011

Thank you to everyone who helped support our first charity stand!
Congratulations to the group above who stood for 90 minutes!

MIT Qigong Charity Fundraiser

Spring has finally arrived, the moon is full, tonight we will stand together to support the Boston Children's Hospital. Thank you to everyone who is has contributed and to those who will participate at this special event tonight. We have already raised more than $1000! There is still time to join us - RSVP to info@apricotforesthall.com to reserve your spot.

Time: 7:00-8:30
Location: Student Center/Room 306
Minimum Donation: $15-


Gather Qi {5]

Post #3 {10}

Post #1 {15}

½ Supporting Post (L) {15}

½ Supporting Post (R) {15}

Post #1 {15}

Post #3 {10}

Seal & Wash {5}


Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

Don't Seek Your Self in the Mind
End the Delusion of Time
Nothing Exists outside the Now
The Key to the Spiritual Dimension
Accessing the Power of the Now
Letting Go of Psychological Time
The Insanity of Psychological Time
Negativity and Suffering Have Their Roots in Time
Finding the Life underneath Your Life Situation
All Problems Are Illusions of the Mind
A Quantum Leap in the Evolution of Consciousness
The Joy of Being 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Zhang Zhuang (Sphere) Structure

Notes from Warriors of Stillness by Jan Diepersloot

The basic sphere is made by holding the arms in front of the chest in a circle somewhere between shoulder height and solar plexus height. Any higher will cause the qi to rise, any lower will destroy the connection of the circle with the center. Other salient points regarding its structure are the following: 

   First: relax the shoulders by keeping them low, so that the centerline can carry the sphere. Tense, hunched up shoulders can't distribute the weight of the sphere to the centerline and causes the qi to rise, thus disintegrating the sphere and centerline (body). 
   Second: relax, hollow the chest and round the back to provide a "cushion of space" in front of you. Thus, if you are hit you will not be hurt because there is nothing there. Failure to do this (i.e., if the chest is tense and sticks out with the shoulder blades pulled back) breaks the integrity of the sphere which allows the opponent to control your centerline and strike your body.
  Third: you must cultivate the intimate connection between the mingmen in the lower back and the sphere. Filling the mingmen, i.e., straightening the lumbar spine by pushing it out to the back activates the sphere. The mingmen acts as both trigger and pump which fills the ball with air pressure to discharge energy and repel the opponent. 
  
The sphere is more a feeling than a geometric construction. Therefore it can take on innumerable shapes or manifestations without losing its essential characteristics. Variations include the height of the hands and variations in turning of the forearms and palms. A sphere exists in three dimensions, while a circle exists in only two dimensions. Actually, a sphere may be thought of as an infinity of simultaneous omnidirectional circles around a common center. The sphere our bodies make reflect how we relate to gravity: it consists of two main circles, vertical and horizontal. An infinite vertical circle is the most fundamental, then the horizontal, and then the diagonal combinations. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MIT Qigong Training from Monday, April 11

Date: 4-12-11
From: Jim <info@apricotforesthall.com>
Subject: Training

Great work out last night!
Here is the schedule for last nights Qigong session:


10 Gather Qi
5/5 Crane Post (L&R)
5/5 Universal 1/2 Body (L&R)
5 Turning Cow
20 Universal Post
5 Seal & Wash


***

Next week is our Charity Stand-A-Thon. 1.5 hours of standing!
We will have a full house so please arrive a few minutes early.
Class will start at 7:00 p.m. sharp!!!

http://web.mit.edu/qigong/Children.html

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jim Roselando: The Root of Yang Sheng Qigong


Subscribe to the Apricot Forest Hall Newsletter: www.apricotforesthall.com
Auto-Respond 46
Fr: Jim Roselando, Boston, USA
Re: The Root of Yang Sheng Qigong


Hello again,
     There are many ways to affect ones energy level! Our art is called: Yiquan (mind boxing) as the Mind is the key aspect for regulating ones physical well being. Since our method of cultivation is based on Mind cultivation, we need to understand the benefits of Non-Attachment. An active mind will cause all sorts of issues.  Examples:
                           Anger makes energy rise
                           Worry makes energy low
                           Over-thinking makes the energy knot
                           Grief makes energy vanish
                           Fear makes energy descend
                           Shock disorients the energy
                           etc..

     In Yiquan Qigong we follow the maxim of: Use silence to lead action. Non-attachment is the road to silence, and it is being mindful of the posture, relaxation and breathing that is essential as they are our "loose guidelines" to keep us developing. Awareness of these three elements will gradually change the frequency from chaotic to calm. A calm mind, body and breath will give birth to vitality & energy!  

Greetz from Boston, USA
Peace,
Jim Roselando

Friday, April 8, 2011

Harmony and Unity of Whole Body

Notes from Master Wang XiangZhai

No matter which posture you practice, whole body must be relaxed. After assuming posture, you shouldn't change it. All joints should be slightly bent. You should put your attention to relax of body, but it means the state of relaxed but not slack; tense, but not stiff. Which means that basis for relax is keeping harmony and unity of whole body. In martial art it is called "three internal harmonies and three external harmonies." 

Internal: harmony of heart and intention, intention and energy, energy and force. 
External: harmony of palms and feet, elbows and knees, shoulders and hips. 

Inside body empty agility; outside body balance and roundness. Intention for use, body as basis, non-movement for harmony, unity of form and intention. Getting intention from form, intention is born from form, form is following intention. External and internal are one. Only by practicing long time you can master the spirit of these principles.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Seek Fullness of Spirit and Intention

Notes from Master Wang XiangZhai

Although the principles are simple and easy, for a beginner it is not easy to understand them. What is important is spirit, and not seeking superficial form. Mind should embrace the whole and the internal. A part should not disturb the unity of the whole. External movement should not spoil internal harmony. Whole body should be naturally relaxed and light, you should keep pleasant mood, as if taking a pleasant bath in the great bathroom of nature. To achieve this, before starting exercise you should calm mind, get rid of disturbing thoughts. You should also put attention to four external attributes and five demands. 

Four external attributes: straight head, straight sight, posture of dignity, calm voice. 
Five demands: respect, carefulness, intention, truth, harmony. 

You should be respectful towards people and all matters. You should express your intentions truly. You shouldn't be rude toward anyone or anything, you shouldnĂ­t harm anyone. These are demands for character and external behavior of practitioner. He/she should keep the attitude and feelings like those of children toward parents, of parents toward children. When talking about exercises, you should seek fullness of spirit and intention, not resemblance of form. This is the basic demand of training.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jim Roselando: Nourishing Qi

Date: 4-4-11
Subject: Nourishing Qi

Hello,
     I am looking forward to a great Qigong session tonight with everyone.  As always, our Qigong training is absolutely FREE, so come exercise and unite your mind, body and breath @ MIT every Monday with us.  Our Qigong will provide the deepest therapy for your entire being!  

Some notes on Qi from Master WXZ:

Although nourishing and training the Qi originate from the same fountainhead of Qi, yet the study of the stillness and movement of one's nature and life, and the skills of formness and formlessness each have their differences. The art of nourishing the Qi does not diverge from one's nature, the art of training the Qi does not diverge from one's life, the spirit is namely one's nature, the Qi is namely one's life, so nourishing the Qi must start from considering one's primordial nature. The Tao of one's nature and life cannot be expressed in words.  Moreover, the Tao is beyond words, what can be expressed in words is not the Tao. Thus Mencius said: Difficult to say! Nowadays what is difficult to say is said by force, but one's nature and the Tao are void.  Voidness is the fountainhead of heaven and earth, and origin of the myriad things.  So when you want to nourish Qi and cultivate life you must calm your mind and spirit, for mind is the monarch fire and movement is the ministerial fire.  When the monarch fire does not produce, then Qi and thoughts will be quiet naturally, when there are no thoughts, then the spirit will be quiet, when the spirit is quiet, the mind will be calm. Thus it is said; "All the germinating thoughts are like fire. When the myriad reasons are quiet, only then is Truth produced. Letting the Qi be unobstructed leads to nimbleness, the anima will be full, and the spirit will live naturally".  Movement comes from immobility and an act comes from inaction.  

***

Time: 7:00-8:00
Location: Student Center/Room 306
Cost: Free Free Free

We are only a few short weeks away from the MIT Charity "Stand-A-Thon"!  All donations go directly to the Boston Children Hospital! This event is a win win situation for all who attend.  The kids at the BCH win thanks to our donations and our bodies win from the work out!  Reserve your spot today!
http://web.mit.edu/qigong/Children.html

Peace,

Jim Roselando

Qigong as a Treatment for Neck Pain

http://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/news/pb/18785

Qigong Comparable to Exercise for Treating Neck Pain



Similar effect regarding neck pain, disability, and quality of life; superior to no treatment

In patients with chronic neck pain, Qigong is comparable to exercise therapy and superior to no treatment, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

WEDNESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic neck pain, Qigong is comparable to exercise therapy and superior to no treatment, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

Daniel Rendant, M.D., from the CharitĂ© University Medical Center in Berlin, and colleagues compared Qigong to exercise therapy and no treatment in 123 patients, aged 20 to 60 years, with chronic neck pain. Participants with a visual analog scale (VAS) greater than or equal to 40 mm, who had neck pain for an average of 3.2 years, were randomized to three groups: Qigong, 18 sessions of exercise therapy over six months, or waiting list (no treatment). The participants completed standardized questionnaires assessing their quality of life, neck pain (VAS), and disability at baseline, and after three and six months. The investigators found a statistically significant difference between the Qigong and waiting list groups after six months (VAS mean difference, −14 mm). The mean improvement of patients in the exercise group and in the Qigong group was comparable (difference between groups, −0.7 mm) and there was no statistically significant difference between the two. Qigong was found to be superior to no treatment and comparable to exercise therapy in respect to neck pain, disability, and quality of life. "In this study, Qigong was more effective than no treatment in adults between 20 and 60 years of age with chronic neck pain," the authors write.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feeling of Real Qi (zhen qi)

Relax and Calming Qigong
By Wang Peisheng and Chen Guanhua

What is the qi in qigong? It sometimes refers to the air we breathe, sometimes to the universal qi, or to the original vital energy (yuanqi). But there is also a special and important type of qi, which we can feel when practicing qigong. It is sometimes called "real qi" (zhen qi). After practicing qigong for a certain period of time, most people can feel that the acupoint on which their attention is concentrated becomes warm and expansive. This sensation is called "feeling of qi." Along with a rise in your qigong level, a feeling of qi will develop, and this feeling of qi will gradually build and eventually be felt throughout your body. As a result, your original vital energy or yuanqi can be recovered, your chronic diseases cured, and your health improved. It is not known what causes the feeling of qi. Perhaps it has some unknown connection with the air you breathe and the universal qi.