My Path with Qigong
My Qigong path is an ever-evolving journey of self-healing, study, practice, exploration, mentorship and apprenticeship. I developed systemic Epstein-Barr Virus in early childhood that plagued me with prolonged bouts of illness through the first forty-plus years of my life. I also accrued many injuries, many of which left me with chronic pain and alignment issues. I treated my illness and injuries first with western medicine, and then with acupuncture, naturopathy, homeopathy, and various self-healing modalities. Starting in my early twenties, I began studying and working with western herbs, nutrition, Yoga, Reiki, acupressure, Qigong meditations and practices, Buddhist meditation, and shamanic techniques.
By my late twenties, I had learned so much about healing through nature, Qi, and meditation that I felt called to teach and offer healing sessions to others. The bulk of my work with others involved channeling Qi through meridians, organs, and acu-points. At the time, I didn't know I had accidentally reinvented medical Qigong. It was simply how I was drawn to work as a Reiki practitioner.
There is another thread to this story. I had a lifelong draw towards martial arts, perhaps inherited from my grandfather. I studied fencing, Jeet Kune Do, and Aikido, but was uncomfortable with the inherent possibility of causing harm through fighting. I enjoyed Butoh dance, but did not continue with it when my teacher died. Yet the sense it gave me of channeling energy through movement stayed with me.
In my late thirties, I damaged a sacroiliac joint and a couple discs in a Yoga class. I couldn't practice almost any Yoga after that, so I turned to Qigong. I deepened the practices I knew well, and learned new forms. It was during this time that I came upon Wild Goose Qigong and fell in love. Through this deepening of my Qigong practice, not only did I mostly resolve the Yoga injuries (I finally resolved these injuries completely in my mid-forties by going through an Anusara Yoga teacher training, which deepened my understanding of how to work with the muscles, connective tissues, and joints of the body), but I also found that all of my symptoms related to Epstein-Barr had immensely improved. For the first time in my life, I wasn't sick and exhausted for 10 months of each year.
I was so inspired by this transformation that I deepened my studies of Chinese medicine, and intensified my practice of Qigong. In 2018, I began studying with the late Dr. Bingkun Hu. It was a profound inspiration to work with a master of his level. His depth, knowledge, and power completely transformed my practice, and my sense of what is possible not just with Qigong, but with a human life. I made a commitment to be an inheritor of his approach to the Wild Goose tradition, which focuses on whole body movement, "3-D movement," and variations in rhythm. Dr. Hu called Wild Goose "the encyclopedia of Qigong," and indeed it is. In this one form, I find the essence of all the other forms I've studied merged in centripetal motion.
On Dr. Hu's encouragement, I began teaching and healing with Qigong more, and have been deeply moved by witnessing the transformation that Qigong can bring to people's bodies, minds, hearts, and lives.
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"The space between Heaven and Earth is a bellows;
Empty, yet inexhaustible.
The more it is pressed, the more pours out."
- Lao Tzu