AS YOU'VE ALREADY READ, I'm a big basketball fan. I like to play and I like to watch basketball. I don't get the chance to watch much television but I know televised sports are very popular.
Often on these sports programs you hear the coaches or the commentators talking about the energy of the players. They also talk about how the energy level is key to peak performance.
Whenever I hear this I always think the players should be practicing Qigong. Qigong is all about energy, all about peak performance. You simply cannot have peak performance in sports, in health or any other aspect of your life when you have energy blockages in your body and your energy is not balanced and flowing freely the way it was intended to do.
One of my most advanced and dedicated students was a professional basketball player at one time. At age 20, Jim Nance was recruited to play on a professional team in Europe. Jim had devoted his life to basketball and was looking forward to a career in the NBA after a successful season in Europe. But a series of serious injuries ended his career after just one season.
Jim had suffered back problems for many years. He had done serious damage to both ankles and knees and he suffered shoulder injuries that over time greatly limited his range of motion. "It was impossible for me to keep playing ball," Jim says. "I really couldn't stay on my feet. I'd dribble down the court and all of a sudden I'd lose my leg strength."
Jim had surgery on his back and knee but his medical treatment wasn't completely successful. The sudden end of the career he'd been planning on all his life left Jim suffering not only physical pain but emotional pain which was even worse. "Physical pain I'd lived with my whole life so I was used to physical pain. But at that time I had no direction and it took me years to figure out that my problem was a lack of direction and it wasn't so much vocational as it was spiritual."
For the next 25 years, Jim traveled all over America and around the world searching for answers to his physical and emotional challenges. In 1995, shortly after I had returned to Minnesota he learned about me and came to see me. "In just that first session 80-percent of my pain was gone. I could really move my ankles again," Jim says. "I could move my shoulders. I had full range of motion again and I hadn't been able to raise my shoulders or raise my arms above my shoulders in years."
"What I experienced with Chunyi was so immediate, an immediate kind of release and relief. I felt like a load had been lifted off my shoulders and physically I felt like I could move again without a lot of discomfort and that really piqued my interest."
"Had I known about Chunyi and Spring Forest Qigong back when I was playing I'm sure it would have lengthened my time in sports. It certainly would have helped me physically. Also, it would have helped me with concentration. It would have helped with my attitude. It would have helped with my whole take on how you compete, healthy competition as opposed to unhealthy competition. It definitely would have changed my lifestyle away from basketball. It would have increased my understanding of how certain activities really deplete your energy and others build your energy and strengthen your body. So, I know that I would have played longer."
Based on his experiences Jim believes Spring Forest Qigong would be helpful to professional athletes on many levels.
Jim explains it like this:
"There are athletes and coaches who already are interested in alternative approaches to thought. They're interested in Eastern thought and they do meditation and they do Tai Chi. They don't know this though. It's not the same. The results come quicker with Spring Forest Qigong because you can target specific organs, because you can target specific muscle groups and because you can heal quickly.
It's very different than other forms of healing that I
know of. And you can do it yourself, that's the key.
Many teams might have an acupuncturist, they might have a shiatsu specialist, and many trainers know about acupuncture and shiatsu, and other techniques. However, the athletes don't have the time to study all this so they go to the trainer and say fix me.
With Qigong when they have a pain they can do something about it before they ever have to deal with a trainer or a physician. They can do something right away and then they can go and check with a trainer or a physician to see if something more needs to be done. The difference in this is it makes the athlete more responsible for his or her own health.
When people feel like they can be responsible and they have a payoff that accompanies being responsible, their level of commitment to themselves just goes up. They feel like, 'Okay, I can do this.' They feel more capable. The confidence level increases and that affects performance on the court and that affects life choices off the court or wherever the athlete's involved."
"Just to know how the body works from a different perspective, from an energetic perspective, just helps people have a better understanding of what's going on when they have blockages in the body. And then to know how to remove those blockages, ohh, it's just tremendous what it does for the confidence level. It's so empowering.
There is a sense of well-being and an increased sense of calm they will take into their sport as a result of the work they would be doing with Spring Forest Qigong. In the calm, you don't have the fatigue because the stress level goes down. You don't feel the stress level the same. So, in your body, you don't feel the fatigue the way you used to feel it.
There's a pre-Qigong experience of fatigue and a post Qigong experience of fatigue and they are very different.
If you work with Spring Forest Qigong enough you learn that fatigue is caused by blockages and you can break up those blockages as you're performing and in doing so you prevent the fatigue from taking hold."
"It really helps with perspective, with values. It helps you identify what's important in your life. It helps with that process. You begin to realize that you're a spiritual being and it helps you to form a kind of personal relationship with something bigger than yourself. I think without a doubt that is the most important aspect of this. It helps bring a sense of peace and clarity to whatever you do.
There are a lot of athletes who compete and compare and deny themselves all the time. Their whole thing is to be better than the other guy and in the process they lose track of themselves because they are constantly comparing what they have with what someone else is doing.
Qigong opens you up to listening to your internal voices so creativity comes from within as opposed to mimicking something else or someone else.
I think that an athlete today would really benefit from this involvement with Spring Forest Qigong. It makes you a better person first and it makes you a better athlete second."
- Jim Nance
If Spring Forest Qigong can help you to be the best athlete you can be that is a wonderful thing, but if it can help you, as Jim says, to be the best person you can be, to live your life with peace, clarity and joy, that is the most important.
Let me share with you another story one of my students told me about an experience she had. My student was watching her son play a little league baseball game when another mother arrived who was limping. This woman was very athletic and had been a competitive athlete in college. That day she was wearing tennis clothes.
My student asked her friend what was wrong. The woman said she'd been running and twisted her ankle. She was really "bummed" because she was supposed to play a tennis match that afternoon and was going to have to cancel it.
My student told her she could help. She told her friend a little about Spring Forest Qigong and the woman asked what she needed to do. My student told her just to put her tongue gently against the roof of her mouth, close her eyes, put a smile on her face and take three slow, deep breaths through her nose. Then, she told her friend to say once in her mind, "My pain is gone. I'm completely healed." Then, she said, just relax and think of something really beautiful, something that makes you happy.
Her friend followed the instructions and my student used the simple techniques she learned in my classes to help her friend. Using these techniques, she helped remove the energy blockage the injury had caused around her friend's ankle. Then, she used these simple techniques to help balance all the energy in her friend's body and help the energy to flow freely.
Within about ten or fifteen minutes, she was done and told her friend to take three deep, relaxed breaths through her nose and then slowly open her eyes. My student was smiling when her friend opened her eyes and said, "Feel better now."
Her friend moved her ankle around a little and then stood up and took a few steps. Her eyes got as big as saucers and she smiled a big smile and said, "I can't believe it. It doesn't hurt. It feels perfect." She was very happy.
My student said her friend called her that night very excited. Her friend said she'd felt so wonderful and relaxed the rest of the day and played one of the best game of tennis she'd played in years. She was amazed.
My student just smiled and started answering all of her friend's many questions about Qigong. Later on, her friend became a student too.
This is a very simple and beautiful story. I hear many stories like it from my students all the time. You see how easy it is to use Qigong to help others. It also shows how quickly things can change and that when you are relaxed and your energy is balanced and flowing smoothly that's when you can achieve peak performance.
Practicing Qigong alone will not make you a better tennis player or basketball player but it can help you to be the best you can be. Whether it is sports or business, your studies, your health, your attitude or your daily life, wherever you seek peak performance in your life, Spring Forest Qigong can help.
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