Qi Gong is an internal energy cultivation system, originating in China thousands of years ago. It is one branch of “internal martial arts” – Tai Chi Chuan and Ba Gua being the two main others – versus the “external martial arts” forms more popularized in the West such as karate, tae kwon do, ju jitsu, kempo, judo, wushu, and aikido.
“Qi” is one’s life force, or internal energy, and “Gong” loosely translates as the “cultivation, or practice of”. Qi Gong forms and styles vary widely. Some are very active, fluid and graceful – similar in look and feel to Tai Chi. Some are less outwardly active and more about guiding Qi to your areas of your body to achieve healing, strengthening and concentration. Some forms even involve soaking bricks in Chinese herbs and beating them against organs or energy centers for tonification or purification.
Its creator, Master Li Jun Feng, brought Sheng Zhen Wuji Yuan Gong (SZWYG), “Qi Gong of Unconditional Love” or “Qi Gong of Universal Oneness” to the West. Its basic premise is that of opening your heart, mind and the channels in your body to connect with the universal Qi of nature – “being one with the flow of all”, so to speak. For more information about SZWYG or Master Li, please visit: www.shengzhen.org
SZWYG includes both standing and seated forms (cross-legged on the floor or in a chair), with each form containing 10-18 postures, or movements. Some of the movements are performed once, while others are practiced multiple times. The movements have poetic names such as, “Returning to Heaven and Becoming One with Nature” and “Lotus Blossom going through the Mountain”. Most of the forms have contemplations that are paired with each movement. It is not necessary to memorize the contemplations, but it will deepen your practice and understanding of the forms and their purpose to listen to or read them from occasionally while practicing.
Alison trained with Master Li throughout her acupuncture studies, and quickly realized she would be a lifelong student, and that it was part of her mission to bring this practice to her new community in Wilmington. She has completed two 10-day teacher trainings with Master Li – first in New Zealand in 2006, and secondly in 2011 in Baltimore.
She has been teaching classes in the area since 2006 at a wide variety of indoor and outdoor settings. She taught a class for family members and staff Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center, and was part of the Healing Arts Network, teaching Qi Gong individually to oncology patients at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. In 2011 Alison completed a 100+ hour Medical Qi Gong certification with Paul Fraser which included Qi Gong forms she now includes in her classes and Full Moon Qi Gong gatherings as well.
Click here for Intro to Qi Gong Class Article.
Click here for 2008 Star-News article featuring Qi Gong & Alison.