• Exploring the art of qigong

    Ancient Chinese system of self-healing has many local adherents
  • Mind-body exercises employed by Chinese warriors millennia ago can poise modern people for the "battle of daily life."
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    • Schools of qigong
      Qigong (also spelled "chi kung") is a system of self-healing used in China for thousands of years to achieve health and longevity.
      Qigong exercises combine three elements: abdominal breathing, ...
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      Schools of qigong
      Qigong (also spelled "chi kung") is a system of self-healing used in China for thousands of years to achieve health and longevity.

      Qigong exercises combine three elements: abdominal breathing, slow movement and visualization to harmonize the body, mind and spirit. Regular practice of qigong's simple movements is shown to increase vitality, enhance immunity, build stamina and sharpen mental function.

      A component of traditional Chinese medicine and the martial art tai chi, qigong cultivates and manages the body's life-force energy. Whereas tai chi is intended for self-defense, qigong's basic tenet is that mind and body are not separate and that focusing the mind through intention can change humans' internal environments. Qi (chi) can be induced and directed to a certain area or along defined routes inside the body for healing or for displays of power.

      In the Western Hemisphere, there are four main schools of qigong: martial, medical, Buddhist and Taoist.

      — Source: www.womensqigong.com
  • Mind-body exercises employed by Chinese warriors millennia ago can poise modern people for the "battle of daily life."
    "It's really about harnessing our own energy," says Laura Winslow while teaching qigong (CHEE'-gung) to students in Medford. "We're all made up of energy."
    Translated in English as "energy exercise," qigong is an ancient philosophy that's gained popularity in recent decades with Western recognition of traditional Chinese medicine. While acupuncture, massage and other complementary therapies manipulate the "life force" known as "qi" (or "chi"), principles of qigong increasingly are applied to the contexts of exercise, meditation and relaxation.
    "I just really believe in its healing and restorative powers," says Sheree Butsch, who has been taking weekly qigong classes, along with yoga, for the past year at Medford's Rasa Center for Yoga and Wellness.
    A recent Rasa class begins with subtle modes of breathing and stretching before moving into several scripted series of movements guided by "healing sounds" and color imagery. Students finish the 45-minute session seated for a short meditation and visualization.
    "It works with releasing emotional debris ... and I find that fascinating," says Winslow, who incorporates qigong into her Integrative Recovery Therapy program, used in Medford and Ashland for addiction treatment.
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