Qi-Gong (also spelled Ch’i Kung) is a powerful system of healing and energy medicine from China. It is the art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the life energy (qi). Qigong practice leads to better health and vitality and a tranquil state of mind. In the past, qigong was also called Nei Gong (inner work) and Dao Yin (guiding energy). Qi gong is a form of Tai Chi.

In May 2009 I learned a style of Nei Gong called Tao Ahn Pai – “Taoist Elixir Style”. This style dates back to over 1300 years ago when practiced at Taoist monasteries.  I had the pleasure of studying with Master Share K. Lew, a 91 year old Taoist priest who learned this style of qi gong and many other martial arts.  He was trained at a Taoist monastery in Canton,China and brought the form to the United States in 1970. Master Lew was the first person to openly teach authentic Taoist internal cultivation to non-Chinese, beginning in Los Angeles in 1970. All of the exercises have traditionally been kept secret.  Belief of experiencing qi is not necessary for the Nei Gong to be effective.

The specific set of exercises I learned at this seminar were the Shen (Spirit) Exercises which consist of 6 standing and 6 seated exercises.The benefits of qi gong are reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system.I have been practicing this style for the past 6 years. The ailments that qi gong can help to minimize are asthma, arthritis, cancer treatment side effects, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia,headaches and body pain.

I will be teaching this style along with some simple tai chi and yoga stretching exercises at the Westbury Healthy Living Center. Come join me on Saturday mornings to fill your lungs and feel young!

Sharon McDermott, L.Ac.

Quote of the Month: “He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes.” – Proverb

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