May 23, 2012

Seven Reasons You’re Missing the Next Big Thing.

Qigong is preventative medicine at its best. Why aren’t you doing it?

Just because you can’t pronounce it doesn’t mean you should let this big little thing called Qigong slip under the radar.

Qigong (pronounced “Chee-Gong” and spelled a variety of ways including Chi Gong) is energy cultivation. It’s simple, beautiful, Tai Chi-esque movements paired with easy breathing techniques. It’s China’s best kept secret for avoiding excessive doctors office visits. And it’s lurking somewhere in your neighborhood, though you might not have tracked down your future favorite teacher…yet.

So let me light a little fire under your butt giving you seven reasons to track down said teacher today instead of tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day.

Qigong will blow your mind because:

1. It’s preventative medicine.

We’ve all seen videos of people Karate chopping through wood to showcase their strength. Pretty bad ass, right? Imagine if you could harness that strength (or more) and instead of cracking through wood, use it to heal your body. That’s Qigong. And that’s bad ass times ten.

2. It tackles terminal illness.

Can you imagine having bone cancer and being given three months to live at the age of 19? My teacher, Paul Fraser, can. Paul was fortunate enough to stumble upon amazing acupuncturist & Qigong teacher Tom Tam, and a combination of both helped him say buh-bye to the dreaded ‘c’ word and subsequently blow his doctors minds. And you know what’s cool? There are more Pauls out there. So if you know someone struggling with a terminal life sentence, show them this article. Give ‘em a new lease on life. What’ve they got to lose?

3. It’s more customizable than one of those loopy scarf things.

You can practice anywhere (though I recommend exercising caution in the airport, unless you heart airport security) and any time of day, choosing what form suits you best. Needing energy? Try the form called Tai Chi Tao Yin. Need a competitive edge on your triathlon training? Rock out with White Crane. Struggling with a terminal illness? Pull out the big guns and practice Pan Gu Shen Gong. I could go on and on, folks, but you get the idea. In short, it allows you to control your own health. And to that I say—boo yeah!

4. It’s affordable.

Once you learn a form from a teacher, you can practice on your own, daily. For. Free. No membership, no classes to rush off to, no studio. Period. Sure, there is power in practicing in a group, and nothing beats a serene group qigong session with your favorite beach as a backdrop, but that it’s not required. Given our tight economy, stretching the buck is right on up there with stretching the body. How rad is that?

5. Anyone can do it.

Most forms of Qigong are pretty damn easy. Over the holidays, I practiced with my parents with ease. Forms exist to help if you are unable to stand, or move even. Truly. I know the “American Way” leads us to believe something isn’t powerful unless it makes you bleed from your eyes and writhe in pain, that health is impossible without a slew of pills or surgery, but could you suspend your disbelief and open that mind of yours for a hot second to give Qigong a whirl? For little ole me?

6. Anyone can do it and feel it!

Any wrinkles I may have are a result of excessive smiling,often the result of me feeling a strong sensation of Qi in the body. After 5 years of practicing you’d think it wouldn’t excite me so much, but feeling energy is just, well, amazing! So much power is right there for the grasping if we just allow ourselves to feel it. And the great thing is that Qigong isn’t for experts, it’s for everyone. Everyone. It’s highly possible that you’ll feel Qi at your very first class. I can see your future smiling wrinkles from here, y’all. That’s true beauty.

7. It’s what yoga was in the 70s.

There was actually a time where yoga was what only super healthy weirdos did after a morning of juicing and time spent pulling on shiny spandex. Nowadays, you could scarcely find a person in the U.S. who hasn’t at least heard of yoga. And look at the power it has to behold. Qigong, it’s like that. It doesn’t have any shiny flexible superstar promoting it (just yet) but in time, my friends, in time…

I don’t make this up, people.

It’s powerful enough that the Chinese government has currently banned the practice. How do ya like them apples?

So whatcha waiting for?

Track down a class and get your Qi on.

Trust me, you’ll be oh so glad you did.

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Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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