Qigong is Wonderful

Qigong can literally change your life. In China there are countless stories of those who have been helped by its often incredible effects. One such person is Wang Yan. It had such an effect that she made it her life's work.

The practice of Qigong in China has a history which stretches into the mists of antiquity along with its' companions, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. These arts have been practised so long and wide by the people that they have become entwined as a golden thread in the fabric of the culture. From the very beginning of their civilisation the Chinese have believed that all things arc comprised of a living energy (Qi) and that this energy can be influenced.

Over hundreds of generations Qigong developed in China until today, at least 10,000 separate types arc recognised. Today in China between 4 AM - 9 AM every park is packed with people practising, almost every hospital throughout the country has a Qigong consultant. Pharmaceutical companies, scientific research associations, sports associations and many commercial interests embrace and study Qigong as a method of disease prevention, energy invigoration, and harmonising mental concentration. As the gates to the mysteries of China open ever wider, and it is no longer forbidden to teach Qigong to foreigners, more masters of the art emerge. One such individual is Wang Yan of Nanjing. Following a family tradition of maternal transmission she began her studies of the Internal Arts 35 years ago while training as a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her practice of Taijiquan and internal weapons forms blended naturally with her studies and between 1970 and 1989 she taught at 7 different universities in China including the renowned Nanjing University. She "came out" of China in 1989 invited by The Eastern Tai Chi Society at The University of Groningen and subsequently became president of The Holland/China Wushu Institute. Currently living in Amsterdam, Madame Professor Wang Yan carries on her traditional practices in Chinese Medicine and has become well known throughout the Netherlands and even continental Europe for her success in treating disease and preventing illness.

"I believe that the law in China of having only one child has had a profound effect upon the evolution of Qigong in the modern age. Traditionally, Qigong has been an art practised within family and monastic settings. After the dissolution of Taoist monasteries with the coming of the Communist government and the intimidation of traditional practitioners under the Cultural Revolution, most Qigong had gone underground by 1970. The ancient custom of passing on family secrets to the eldest son or grandson was compromised by a law allowing only one child per family. In 50% of cases no son came to a family and many Qigong systems were tragically lost. Sensing the depth of destruction caused to our society by the Cultural Revolution the government began to take steps to save any remaining fabric twenty years ago. I worked for the provincial government sports office in Nanjing during this period for two years. We contracted with researchers to scrutinise the province for any Qigong Masters and to induce them, by any means, to reveal their Qigong practice. These reports were then forwarded to a central office, where I worked, and compiled for analysis for the benefit of society as a whole. This program, which was instituted all over China, saved Qigong from extinction and encouraged its practice once again. To practice Qigong takes persistent study and research. It is an art form like the practice of medicine. In China we take it very seriously. In the west people seem to approach these things differently. Some people take one lesson and then go out and teach as a Master. This is wrong. In some cases it takes a year of practice with a teacher to just perform the movements correctly. It is best to remain with a teacher for two, even three years to fully understand the depth and nuances of a Qigong system. It is not unusual in China for a student to stay with a master five or ten years before going out to teach.''

"My teacher is Grandmaster Hu Wan Lin of Xinjian. A Taoist priest, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Qigong

"The ancient custom ofp on family secrets to the eldest son or grandson was compromised by allowing only one child per family."

Prolessor Wang Yan giving a lecture.

Healer. He is a man of indeterminate age. He has lived in the mountains for the majority of his life collecting herbs and roots for his patients. He learned his art in a traditional monastic setting long before the communists came to power. Since that time he remained almost exclusively reclusive, only coming to the city infrequently to sell his potions and visit his few remaining patients. He is a man of high honour and integrity and a marvellous, happy, healer. On one of his visit to the city in the early 1990's he learned of the trouble of one of his patients, a widowed lady. She was being constantly harassed by debt collectors trying to foreclose on her dead husband's estate. They had been very abusive towards her in the past and on the last visit she slammed the door on the man, knocking him backwards. Somehow he tripped over a stone and when he fell he badly hit his head, causing internal bleeding from which he died. The widow was in quite a state when Grandmaster Hu arrived, the dead man laid out on her kitchen floor. He said he would take care of everything and went to the police claiming it was he who had caused the death."

"Grandmaster Hu was sent to prison where he served his sentence for two years quietly before his name came once more before the authorities. This time it was in connection with his healing powers, as he had been treating fellow prisoners in jail. After studying his practice and investigating his background, they brought him back to the city and encouraged him to treat members of the public under their supervision. So it was that he "came out" in 1992 and his reputation began to spread far and wide. Today people come to the clinic from all over China for his healing. Each year when I return I take people with problems incurable by western medicine to him for treatment as well. So great is his power and success that the authorities have opened a clinic exclusively for him which is visited daily by hundreds of people from all over. In Holland people come to learn Qigong from me by recommendation and from my reputation for success. I have been featured in many articles in the press and national television interviews."

"They find it difficult to believe in the results I get from simple Qigong exercises. But as they see the changes in their friends they decide to try for themselves regardless of their scepticism. I say believe, not believe, this is not important. What is important is that you must do! It is easy to perform the Qigong but the change comes from persistence and patience. Qigong is really wonderful then."

"Most Qigong is comprised of three elements; Concentration, Breath, & Movement. Sometimes there is a special or secret clement also involved, but for the most part it is simple and easy to learn and can be performed by anyone. I know some two hundred types of Qigong exercise. Some is done as preventative exercise but also a lot is performed as a component of treatments I prescribe. I also use Tuina therapy in treatment, a combination of massage and accupressure. Finally people come to me from all over the Netherlands to correct imbalances they have accumulated through bad habits such as smoking, overeating, insomnia & stress, as well as fatigue and depression. These conditions have no real answer in the western realm of treatment and my Qigong has been very successful in helping these people. Moreover western medicine has no treatment for the common cold, discomfort of flu symptoms, migraine, loss of appetite, menstruation & menopausal problems, and many other conditions arising from modem life. Qigong can help with all these problems when the imbalances are properly diagnosed and specific treatments prescribed. I have been very successful in the Netherlands using a combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tuina & Qigong therapy."

"People in the west seem to have very little consciousness of their body, either in function or requirement. They seem to think that they may eat, drink, and carry on how they please indefinitely without proper exercise, concentration, or goals. They seemed surprised when they develop conditions and diseases that require very radical or invasive treatments or can not be cured at all. We Chinese look at things through a different perspective. Qigong and Taiji are preventative treatments performed regularly in order to harmonise and balance the bodily functions. Proper nutrition is our medicine, not just the foods we select to eat, but also the methods with which they are prepared. The recognition of the differing seasons of the year and of our life, means that we try to behave in harmony with the environment rather than to force our way through it. All of these ways of acceptance of life's path encourage happiness within ones self. Stress and demand, bad habits and debilitating forms of exercise only discourage the proper flow and maintenance of Qi."

"For example correct exercise and maintenance of the perineum (uro-genital diaphragm) in the west is almost unheard of. Western toiletry practices, diet, soft furnishings, and lack of proper exercise means up to 90% or the population will develop haemorrhoids at some point in their lifetime. This ailment is almost unheard of in China. From early on children learn 5 Animal play, which includes the Deer exercise. Many standing and seated Qigong systems focus upon the Hui-yin point on the perineum and exercise the diaphragm itself, as well as the fascia which connects to most of the organs of the lower abdomen. These Qigong exercises stimulate circulation to these organs, they contract and invigorate them to aid them in their function. They encourage good digestion and elimination, proper functioning of the reproductive organs, and stimulate the glands to secret hormones at a level which promotes longevity."

"My goal is to introduce Chinese Qigong to the people of the west so they may see it not just as a system of exercise, but on a deeper level. Qigong is a therapeutic and preventative medicine that should be used regularly in moderation to balance the practitioner with their environment, and create immunity to the stresses of modern life. Used in this way people in the west will learn that Qigong is not a miracle cure or some mysterious new age fancy, but rather a sensible, scientific system, tested by generations of masters to help man on his journey through life. Qigong is wonderful!"^

by J. Reynolds Nelson

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