What is Qigong?
Qigong is the ancient Chinese practice of cultivating good health. Qi, pronounced chi, is vital or life force energy flowing through the universe including human beings. Qigong is effectively translated as ‘energy work’ and it is the practice of cultivating vital energy by deepening self awareness, focusing attention through physical movement, breathing exercises and meditation.
The benefits of qigong are endless and include improved immune function, blood flow and overall organ health. Sequenced movements strengthen tendons throughout the body and the meditative movements are beautifully calming.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care practice that integrates slow physical movements, breathing techniques, focused intention and meditation to gather, store, cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the vital energy (qi) within the body. Qigong practice leads to better health and vitality, a tranquil state of mind and higher self-awareness.
Qigong dates back to at least five thousand years ago and the original ancient word for it was ‘Yang sheng’ translated to ‘nurturing life’. This term includes healing exercises, meditations and any other practices that contribute to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. To nurture life is not only for our own personal well-being but to live in a way that cares for the life around us, all of nature.
Qigong’s simplicity, yet with its profound effects on body, mind and spirit, makes it easy to learn, enjoyable to do and suitable for all ages and capabilities.
With consistent practice Qigong works on breaking down energy blockages and promotes the free flow of energy throughout the body’s meridian system…the invisible pathways through which ‘vital energy’ moves and that connect everything in your body. The internal organs are stimulated and nourished, making the energetic communication between them more efficient. By increasing the effectiveness of all the body systems Qigong helps to conserve vital energy. In order to have good health you must have sufficient vital energy that flows freely throughout your body, and your internal organs must function together in harmony.
Practicing Qigong consistently and even with as little as 20 minutes a day, you can replenish your body’s ‘vital energy’ at a very deep level, reawakening your body’s natural self-healing capacity. It is completely possible to overcome any chronic physical or emotional issues you may be experiencing and dramatically improve your quality of life in a non-invasive way. For those who are truly ready to engage with life and health issues on a more profound level, serious practice of Qigong and a deep commitment to change can not only entirely transform your physical health but also your life direction and Way of Being.
In practicing Qigong there are both external and internal movements. These internal movements or flows in China are called neigong or “internal power”. It is these internal neigong movements that make Qigong a superior health and wellness practice and which also differentiates it from almost every other form of exercise in the West that often emphasises prolonged cardiovascular movements (such as running and biking) or that focus on muscular strength training (weight lifting etc).
Qigong creates an awareness of and influences dimensions of our being that are not a part of traditional exercise programs. Most other forms of exercise programs do not include the meridian system nor do they emphasise the importance of adding mindful intent and breathing techniques to physical movements. When these dimensions are added the benefits of exercise increase exponentially.
The gentle, slow rhythmic movements of Qigong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality and enhance the immune system. Some of the other benefits that can be derived from the regular practice of Qigong are; relaxes the mind, muscles, tendons, joints and inner organs. Improves posture, balance, flexibility, circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol and hormone levels, kidney function, digestion and mental acuity.
One of the more important long term effects of Qigong is that it reestablishes the mind, body, spirit connection. People do Qigong to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds, and reconnect with their spirit. When these three aspects of our being are integrated, it encourages a positive outlook on life and helps to eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors. It also creates a balanced lifestyle, which brings greater harmony, stability and enjoyment into life.
When asked “What is the most important aspect of practicing Qigong” the answer is always “Just do it”…
Benefits of Qigong
- Improve your physical, energetic and spiritual wellbeing
- Cultivate energy, feel light, grounded and peaceful
- Regulate emotions and balance hormones
- Release stress, anxiety & negativity
- Stimulate blood circulation
- Improve joint & tendon function; mobility
- Reduce muscle tension
- Repair scar tissue after injury or surgery
- Body shaping; weight-loss
- Deepen your focus and self-awareness.
Calligraphy Health was developed over 20 years by Master Yang Zhen Hua Yang, drawing on his experience in Chinese martial arts and Qigong that spans over 45 years and teachings of Confucian, Buddhist and Daoist traditions.
“Your soul is your cells’ spiritual home.” Master Yang
The aim of Calligraphy Health is for the practitioners’ cells to find their home. This is possible through consistent training which simultaneously builds Qi and body awareness. The ability to listen to one’s body is paramount to providing the appropriate environment for your cells to thrive and for responding to your cells experience in the world.
“When you look after your cells, your cells can look after you.” – Master Yang
Calligraphy Health offers hundreds of forms of movements that encompass traditional qigong as well as aspects of hatha yoga and martial arts.
I’ve been training with Master Yang since 2015 and I have spent many hours, days and months at his workshops and courses forever learning and going deeper in to the knowledge and practice he openly shares.
For me, as with others, Calligraphy Health has been profoundly life changing. The system has guided me to deep healing from physical and emotional trauma and I am humbled to share these keys with others who are ready to seek healing.
The principles of Calligraphy Health are foundational to the work I do and the way that I live my life.
I hold private training sessions and group classes in Sydney. You can find my current classes here or contact for private bookings.
Me with Master Yang after 20 days of training in 2016.
Healing Trauma with Calligraphy Health
The Calligraphy Health system offers an empowering practice that allows you to explore your body and release trapped emotions while building a ‘new home’ for your cells. Specific exercises are deeply moving, emotive and naturally feel good in the body. The key is to “dance like no one’s watching” and let your emotions be free to express you.
Often trauma does not occur overnight and like a frog in boiling water chronic stress, worry and negativity will take its toll on us and show up as physiological symptoms. Regardless of the cause or type of trauma, Calligraphy Health training will give you the tools to reconnect with your cells and cultivate a safe home for your cells to do their job.
If you place a sharp rock in a river and come back one year later, the rock will no longer be sharp, but smooth. Calligraphy Health works the same way. The more you flow, the more you flow. Unlike modern methods of talk therapy, Calligraphy Health requires no discussion regarding the trauma and instead you are encouraged to take your mind out of your head and back into your body in search of ‘no mind movement’.
If you are interested in Calligraphy Health for healing trauma you are welcome to any of my group classes and I encourage you to reach out for private training if this is what you prefer. If you would like to understand more about trauma and healing the body you may benefit from visiting my page on Trauma Awareness.