Welcome to the MIT Qigong Blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jim Roselando: Last Class of 2011

Date: 12/19/11
Subject: Last Class 2011!


First I would like to send a big THANK YOU to everyone for making this semester at MIT nothing short of fantastic.  I truly enjoy sharing this art and to be able to exercise with such a nice group of dedicated people is wonderful.  I would also like to thank everyone such a generous and thoughtful Xmas Card!  Tonight will be our last Qigong session for the semester.  We are going to finish off 2012 with a one hour Wuji Zhuang.  I look forward to working out with everyone tonight and would like to wish you a very Merry Xmas & Happy Holiday season.   

We will be off for the next two Monday nights returning in three weeks.  For those who have a little extra free time over the holiday's I am providing you with a number of links to some scientific research papers on the subject of Qigong and internal health.  Merry Xmas and Happy Holiday's!

Scientific Papers
A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi
Jahnke R, Larkey L, Rogers C and Etnier J - To Purchase the article, visit the 
American Journal of Health Promotion website.Watch a one minute segment on this research shown on abcNewsAdditional information on the authors, the review effort, and results (scroll down to page 15).
Table of Qigong and Tai Chi Literature Reviews
Roger Jahnke OMD, Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi & Linda Larkey PhD, Arizona State University
Researching the Benefits of Mind-Body Practice by Investigating Genetic Expression
Roger Jahnke, OMD. The Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi.
Introductory Articles on Qigong and Energy Medicine
Qigong Institute website: Scientific Basis of Qigong and Energy Medicine page.
A Pilot Study of External Qigong Therapy for Patients with Fibromyalgia(PDF 181KB)
Kevin Chen, et. al. Originally published in: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2006) Vol 12, No. 9
Qigong - Energy Medicine for the New Millennium(PDF 72KB)
Tom Rogers, President of the Qigong Institute. Originally published in Qi Magazine.
Multifaceted Health Benefits of Medical Qigong (PDF 69KB) - Kenneth M. Sancier PhD and Devatara Holman MS. MA. LAc Originally Published in: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004) Vol 10, No. 1
Electrodermal Measurements for Monitoring the Effects of a Qigong Workshop (PDF 574KB)- by Kenneth M. Sancier PhD. Originally Published in: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2003) Vol 9, No. 2
Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong - by Kenneth M. Sancier PhD. Originally Published in: Journal of the International Society of Life Information Science,14 (1) 12-21 (1996).
Integrative Tumor Board: Advanced Breast Cancer (PDF 124KB) Kevin papers Ph.D. and Binhui He
Review of Qigong Therapy for Cancer Treatment  (PDF 531KB) Kevin Chen Ph.D. and Raphael Yeung Originally Published in: Journal of the International Society of Life Information Science,20 (2) 2002.
A Preliminary Study of the Effect of External Qigong on Lymphoma Growth in Mice  (PDF 1,381KB) by Kevin Chen Ph.D., Samuel C. Shiflett, Nicholas M. Ponzio, Binhui He, Deborah K. Elliott and Steven E. Keller. Originally Published in: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2002) Vol 8, No. 5, pp. 615-621.
The Wonders and Mysteries of Qi  (PDF 138KB) A book Review by Kevin Chen Ph.D. Originally Published in: Journal of Scientific Exploration. 2002;16(3)
External Qigong Therapy for Chronic Orofacial Pain  (PDF 134KB) Kevin Chen Ph.D., Joseph J. Marbach D.D.S., Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Originally Published in: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2002) Vol 8, No. 5, pp. 532-534.
Use of Qigong Therapy in the Detoxification of Heroin Addicts  (PDF 153KB) Kevin Chen Ph.D., Ming Li, Zhixian Mo M.D.     Originally Published in: Alternative Therapies, Jan/Feb 2002, Vol. 8, No. 1.
Exploratory Studies of External Qi in China  (PDF 227KB) by Kevin Chen Ph.D. and Zhongpeng Lin Originally Published in: Journal of the International Society of Life Information Science,20 (2) 2002.
THE EFFECT OF QIGONG ON THERAPEUTIC BALANCING MEASURED BY ELECTROACUPUNCTURE ACCORDING TO VOLL (EAV): A PRELIMINARY STUDY (PDF 595KB) Kenneth M. Sancier PhD. Originally Published in: Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research, International Journal. 1994; vol.19
Medical Applications of Qigong and Emitted Qi on Humans, Animals, Cell Cultures and Plants: Review of Selected Scientific Research  (PDF 905KB) Kenneth M. Sancier PhD. and Bingkun Hu PhD.; Published in The American Journal of Acupuncture Vol. 19, No. 4, 1991
Qigong and Neurological Illness (PDF 150KB) Kenneth M. Sancier; Published in Alternative and Complementary Treatments in Neurologic Illness. By Michael I. Weintraub,, Chapter 15, pp 197-220 (2001), and reprinted with the permission from Elsevier.
Search for Medical Applications of Qigong With the Computerized Qigong Database? (PDF 84KB) by Kenneth M. Sancier PhD.; Published in: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2001) vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 93-95.
Therapeutic Benefits of Qigong Exercises in Combination with Drugs  (PDF 149KB)  Kenneth M. Sancier PhD. Originally Published in: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (1999) Vol 5, No. 4, pp. 383-389.
Medical Applications of Qigong (PDF 661KB) Kenneth M. Sancier PhD.; published in "Alternative Therapies January, 1996, Vol 2. No.1.
A Criticism of Qigong with Pseudoscience Method   PDF Version (PDF 124KB) Book Review of "Qigong: Chinese Medicine or Pseudoscience?" Kevin Chen, Ph.D. MPH
An Analytic Review of Studies on Measuring Effects of External Qi in China (PDF 169KB)
Kevin Chen, Ph.D. MPH; Originally Published in Alternative Therapies. July/Aug 2004, VOL. 10. No.4.
A Case Study of Simultaneous Recovery From Multiple Physical Symptoms with Medical Qigong Therapy
Kevin Chen, Ph.D. MPH; Originally Published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004) Vol 10, No. 1.


Jim Roselando

"The ordinary is the extraordinary" 

Monday, December 12, 2011

MIT Monday Qigong: December 12, 2011

Date: 12/12/11
Subject: Two Classes Left!


     This week and next week will be the last two Qigong classes until we take a break over the Xmas & New Years holiday's.  Come stand with us and treat your mind, body and breath to an hour of profound cultivation.  Below are some words of wisdom from Master Wang Xiang Zhai:

     "In general, most athletic exercises tend to be overactive, and to a certain extent injurious to the body.  And most exercise only benefits a certain part of the body.  For example, if you lift weight with one hand, you develop muscle only in that one hand and you have a kind of cemented and limited exercise.  Therefore, if those who are defective in health do not practice the appropriate exercises, they not only do not regain their health, but they are injured.  In more serious cases people may die because they do the wrong exercises."

     "Exercises should not create abnormal results.  In the past, many prominent teachers spent their entire lives practicing exercises that were opposed to the natural processes of human life.  When they grow old they became paralyzed or withered, and this is nothing more than an indication that their exercises were opposed to the normality of life"

     "If the exercises are inappropriate, the results will be fatigue, regenerative processes will slow down, the circulation of the blood will not be normal, and health, as a consequence, will be injured."    


Time: 7:00-8:00
Location: Student Center/Room 491
Cost: FREE

See you soon.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pin Sun Wing Chun Dummy Hands

Jim Roselando demonstrates the Siu Lin Tao and Dai Lin Tao wooden dummy techniques on his grand teacher's jong in Gulao Village, China.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Qigong Wash-up: Buddha Washes the Face

From Qi Magazine | Issue 54 | Mar/Apr 2001

a. Following the last movement, stand up and let the hands follow the body with palms still closed up to middle Dantian. Then
bring the palms up the face so that the Shangyang point on the index finger touches the Yingxiang point on either side of the

b. Push the palms upwards so that the Laogong points of the palms cover the eyes. Continue upwards so that the palms pass
over the top of the head.

c. Continue to move the hands to the back of the head and around to the ears so that the lower part of the palm covers the
ears. Repeat these movements three times.

This movement stimulates the five external organs of eyes, ears, nose, tongue and mouth with the Laogong point and fingers. The eyes relate to the liver, ears to kidneys, nose to lungs, tongue to heart and mouth to spleen. So from the external organs, the energy will go back to the internal organs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

MIT Qigong: December 5, 2011

Subject: MIT Qigong Info


     We are getting close to the end of another productive semester of Yiquan Qigong @ MIT.  I am going to push everyone limits with some longer stands these last few weeks so be prepared for some simple yet challenging sets!  In Yiquan Qigong we cultivate Zheng Qi (proper or true qi) .  The road to enter the door of Zheng Qi requires the practitioner to loosen the body and quiet the mind.  Zhan Zhuang is the most direct way to achieve loose & quiet.  So, just stand, relax & breath and nature will take care of the rest!

Below you will find some information written by Wang Xiang Zhai Shirfu (Yiquan Qigong founder):
"Confucius cultivated the character and trained the Qi in order to be able to govern.  Xianyuan trained the spirit and promoted the flow of Qi in order to live happily with the Tao.  Damo meditated, came to the East to preach, started teaching the method of developing the marrow and changing the muscles and tendons.  From ancient times, from among the famous great Confucians, the great sages , and warrior attendants, there is no one who did not cultivate the temperament or train the Qi."

"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.  People have birth and death, all things get broken, but the Tao exists forever.  So, when you want to nourish the Qi and cultivate life you must calm your mind and spirit.  When the mind is quiet, only then is truth produced!"
Time: 7:00-8:00

Location: Student Center/Room 491

Cost: Free

See you in a few hours!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Fung Chun demonstrates Som Bai Fut

Leung Jan's grandstudent, Master Fung Chun, performs Som Bai Fut outside his home in Gulao, Heshan, China. Coach Roselando and two of his students visited the Fung Family in 2010. Respect to Master Fung Chun and his art.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Demystifying Qi Gong

By Joseph Davis, LAc
Acupuncture Today
December, 2011, Vol. 12, Issue 12

Qi Gong is broadly recognized for its therapeutic effects in the Chinese medical community, and increasingly in the modern medical community as well, yet it remains a practice shrouded in unnecessary mystery.

What will it take to bring Qi Gong to the place yoga is now, where one can find regular classes at most fitness centers across the country? The question can't be answered in one short article, but our first priority must be in clarifying what makes real Qi Gong different than other methods of health cultivation. After successfully building aQi Gong class in the strange environs of a modern gym, I have a few basic insights to share about how to bring our methods to the mainstream.
Unfortunately, we are starting at a significant disadvantage, as the phrase "Qi Gong" is a long way from having one commonly accepted meaning. For some people it evokes images of exotic people in silk pajamas, moving slowly on a clifftop by the ocean. For others it might be a practitioner laying hands on someone else, using their breath, intention, and energy to heal. And for others it might mean a solo practice of meditation, hard training and creative visualization to build martial and psychic power, or to foster spiritual growth. Frankly, for most Americans, it probably doesn't mean anything.
As Traditional Chinese Medicine providers, it is incumbent on us to approach Qi Gong with an understanding that is not mystical, foreign, or other-worldly. So what is the essence of Qi Gong for TCM practitioners? It is a method of fostering basic awareness of body and breath, coordinated with simple movements, with the aim of cultivating smooth flow of qi to promote health. It is critical to communicate to our patients and students that the gateway to Qi Gong is not through some portal bedecked with dragons and tigers in some far-off land. It doesn't demand faith, special uniforms, ineffable transmissions, or beautiful landscapes. Foremost, it is vital to explain that qi isn't some magical force that emerges once we've purified the body, silenced the mind, and harmonized the emotions. Qi Gong begins with connecting with how your body, breath, and mind feel, exactly in this moment.
If we want people to follow us through the gate of Qi Gong practice, we have to keep it incredibly simple. So, let's try a basic exercise together. Take a deep breath in, then release. No really, do it! What's there? The pressure of your weight on your seat, if you are sitting. The space inside your body changing as the breath moves in and out. Perhaps some tension in some muscle groups. The patter of thoughts, up in the brain. Our mind will naturally come up with names for these experiences. For our purposes, we are just trying to connect with the quality of feeling awareness that is before these names - that, which experiences these different levels of our being. It's critical that we do not try and change anything at this point. Rather, we start with what is actually here right now.
With just a little bit of attention, we begin to see that these sensations, feelings, and thoughts occur in a spectrum - from the very dense sensation of embodiment in gravity (down/earth/yin), to the rarified realm of ideas (up/sky/yang), and the subtler nuance of breath and emotions that happens between these two poles. And here's the real transmission - it is this whole collection of experiences that is actually our qi. This recognition is the portal to real Qi Gong, and it certainly does not require some Qi Gong "master" to point out. Yin, Yang, and qi are experiences that we all have, all day long.
Instead of introducing our patients and students to qi as something distant and mysterious, we start right where we are. As I noted above, I find the phrase feeling-awareness, or aliveness are often better to use than something from a different language. What we are looking to get our patients and students to recognize is this basic subjective sense of being alive, which is the most immediate and concrete thing in the universe. Without trying to define or capture it too tightly in thought, we can then begin working with it in the context of simple movements, coordinated with the breath.
Most everyone agrees that the breath is a great way to bring more awareness to the mind-body connection. Breath is the great mediator between the denser "body" and the lighter "mind" ends of our mind-body spectrum. Respiration is unique because it will conveniently take care of itself if we don't pay attention to it (involuntary/body), but will also obey our commands if we choose to give it a specific task (voluntary/mind). It impacts our emotions, as taking a few deep breaths to calm down clearly demonstrates. Breath is also affected by emotions, as the shortened breaths of someone anxious or stressed shows us. So if we move the body in a simple pattern while coordinating the breath, and pay attention to what's happening, we begin to "fill in the blanks" between the mind and the body, and see that there actually never was a separation.
For many this may seem rudimentary, but then the people reading this periodical are steeped in the sophisticated language of meridians, elements, and different kinds of qi. Our patients, students, and friends may come from a very different place, where it may be a radical idea that doing an activity while actually paying attention to it differs from doing the exact same activity while listening to headphones, reading a newspaper, and watching a television out of the corner of your eye. It often seems like the job of the modern fitness center is to distract you from your body any way possible while you get your time in and your calories off! One day the cable TV was out at my gym, and there was practically a riot.
As non-specific as the phrase "Qi Gong" may be, the key is that we recognize that it is this quality of making the effort to be with your sensations (a practice called "mindfulness" in some communities), which makes it different from other activities. We can do any manner of convoluted visualisations and complicated techniques, but if we aren't starting from basic feeling-awareness, we are just playing mental games. We can push our bodies to the limit, but if we aren't with our sensations, we are also still standing outside of the gate. We spend so much time embroiled in fantasies about places we aren't, planning for the future or stewing over the past, looking to embellish or mask what our basic existence feels like right now. The simple act of coming into our own present-tense can be a profound therapy to address the many ills that result from this preoccupation. We may very well find that in cultivating this habit of presence, a sense of space and ease reveals itself to have always been right here all along.
Qi Gong practice has a long way to go before it becomes as mainstream as other traditional methods of health cultivation. It will have to adapt, just as yoga has, to meet some of the expectations of our fitness-oriented culture. I'm confident that if we can lead our students and patients to the gateway of feeling-awareness, we can preserve what is unique to these time-tested methods. As the baby-boomers age and the gym-going culture realizes that peak fitness is not a viable (or even desirable) goal, Qi Gongwill become an increasingly attractive alternative.
Over the past couple years, I've built a class of very dedicated students in a traditional gym, without turning my class into "Power Qi Gong," or "Qi Gong for a Great Butt." As long as we keep it simple, focus on the present moment sensations of qi, and not lose ourselves in esoterica, Qi Gong's future in the West is promising.

Joseph Davis is an enthusiastic practitioner and instructor of Tai Ji Quan and Qi Gong. He teaches at the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences, and at several gyms in the Oakland area. He is also a co-founder and Licensed Acupuncturist at Octagon Community Acupuncture Clinic, where he holds periodic introductory Qi Gong courses for patients and practitioners alike.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Qi Gong for Longevity

by Bob Flaws 

Qi gong means to train or discipline one's qi. According to Ken Cohen, a well known qi gong teacher in the West, this term did not come into use in China until 1934.[1] However, what we today call qi gong has been practiced in China since not less than 400 BC. In the 1970's, a series of tombs were excavated in China at a site called Ma Wang Dui near Changsha. These contained a cache of books written on bamboo slats and silk rolls. A number of these books were on medical subjects. Amongst these books were pictures of various exercises believed to confer health benefits and contribute to longevity. At approximately the same time, the great Daoist philosopher, Zhuang Zi, wrote about such exercises and their healing properties.  During the Han dynasty (25-220 ad), a scholar named Wei Bo-yan wrote a book on what has now come to be known as qi gong. Titled Chan Tong Qi (Three in One), it discusses the relationship between Daoism, the Yi Jing (Classic of Changes), and qi gong. Wei was the first Chinese to write about qi gong from the perspective of the jing essence, qi, and shen spirit. Also during the Han dynasty, Hua Tuo, perhaps the most famous doctor in Chinese created his Five Animal Frolics. This was a series of qi gong exercises based on mimicking the movements and breath patterns of five different animals known either for their strength or longevity. These exercises are still taught and practiced to this day. Hua Tuo lived to be 97 at which time he was executed. He was still married when he died. His two students, Fan Ao and Wu Chin lived to be 100 plus and 90 years old respectively.  

During the next 1,700 years, according to the Dao Shu (Daoist History), 3,600 different kinds of qi gong developed. According to Gan Zhen-yun, "The main features of Qigong development in this stage were: the widespread application of Qigong for health protection and medical care, and its integration with Chinese medicine which promoted the development of traditional medical science."[2] In more modern times, Zhang Zi-yang wrote several books on qi gong and health preservation, including Understand the Truth, 400 Characters on Qi Gong, and Secrets for Keeping One's Youth. In these books, Zhang further developed, enriched, and perfected the theories on the relationship of qi gong to the jing, qi, and shen first advanced by Wei Bo-yan 900 years before.  As mentioned above, there are many different styles of qi gong and literally thousands of different qi gong exercises. However, most qi gong exercises are based on the coordination of three elements: 1) a specific pattern of breathing, 2) a specific posture or movements coordinated with that breath pattern, and 3) a visualization accompanying both breath pattern and movements or posture. As we have seen above, one's qi is manufactured in part from the purest essence of the air we breath. Through qi gong exercises we can manufacture qi more efficiently, store qi more effectively, and circulate our qi more smoothly. In addition, we can circulate our qi to particular places or organs in our body to bath those areas in healing, revitalizing energy.  

In China there are Confucian styles of qi gong, Daoist styles of qi gong, and Buddhist styles of qi gong, each with their own unique theories and techniques. In addition, many qi gong exercises are associated with Chinese martial arts, such as Tai Ji Quan, Ba Gua Zhang, and Xing Yi Quan. Further, there are also types of medical qi gong specifically meant for the healing of disease or increasing one's health. Qi gong has become extremely popular, even faddish, in China in the last dozen years or so, and there are many books available on this subject in both Chinese and English. There are even a number of video tapes available to help one learn qi gong.  Generally, it is best to study qi gong as part of a class under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Qi gong instruction is now available in all large cities and many medium sized cities in the United States. 

It is important to mention a couple of more introductory things about this ancient Oriental exercise art.  First, qi gong emphasizes deep, abdominal breathing. Such deep diaphragmatic breathing rids the lungs of stale air and bathes the organism in fresh air. In addition, this deep breathing has a massaging effect on the internal organs and promotes the flow of blood, lymph, and cerebrospinal fluids. Secondly, the breath associated with most qi gong exercises has four characteristics. It is long, thin, even, and slow. It is not hurried, choppy, coarse, or rough. This relaxed, rhythmic, deep breathing thus helps calm the mind and relieves stress.  And thirdly, qi gong involves concentrating the mind and ridding it of distracting thoughts. In Chinese this is called shou yi. Shou means to concentrate, to attend to, or to look after. Yi means one. Thus shou yi means to concentrate on only one thing. During qi gong, such one-pointed concentration can be on a point within or part of the body, on the breath, or on a visualization or sensation. As Wang Zhi-xing, a qi gong teacher active in England and Europe says:  Shou yi teaches us to rest our mind internally on the oneness instead of restlessly jumping from one idea to the next. Shou yi helps us settle our mind and spirit internally and to focus our senses deeply within instead of looking outward all the time. Shou yi guides us to integrate ourselves with our circumstances and helps us to relax in different situations. Through shou yi, one's mind becomes peaceful and empty; the body, mind, and spirit are harmonized and the shen is therefore pacified and nourished.[3] 

This article is adapted from Imperial Secrets of Health & Longevity (1990) by Bob Flaws, published by Blue Poppy Press. For more information call 1-800-487-9296 or visit their website at www.bluepoppy.com.