frequently asked questions
What I Teach:
How to listen to what your body-mind-spirit is telling you
for benefit of health, inspiration & self-confidence
~know yourself, benefit others, change the world~
What you will Learn:
How to tune in to this Qi-energy, what it feels like, what it looks like, what is sounds like, how it makes a difference in your life
NEW TO QIGONG?
YOU WILL FIND THESE FAQs HELPFUL
1. What type of Qigong do you teach?
I teach Healing Qigong. These are specific Qigong forms that benefit your body through neurological pathways. This type of therapeutic Qigong is for the cleansing of established patterns in the body and the mind. What does this mean? Do you have recurrent patterns of aches and pains? These can be thought of as energy patterns that our cells re-create. Are you a worry-wort? Do you have constant anxiety or sadness? These can be energy patterns that the mind holds on to. Healing Qigong is a self-care practice to nourish mind-heart-spirit and address these states of "being" as you transform energy inside the body-mind. You learn to listen to what your body is telling you and then you can receive information on how to best care for yourself.
2. How is Qigong different from other forms of exercise and meditation?
Every Qigong class you will breath, stretch and learn to go "inside". So you get to meditate in addition to all the breathing and stretching you do. Qigong teaches your body how to let go of long held physical and emotional patterns. This is not "brain-mind" teaching, this is learning without thinking, without "trying harder". It accomplishes this through the practice of "dissolving, or purifying" old energy and making new energy. Make no joke here, this is work. It is work to overcome what the brain is programmed to think - "this is stupid, this is doing nothing, I can't do this, I can't feel anything, I am not catching on here, I feel creaky, not fluid and graceful". Yikes! These are exactly the long established patterns that need to be cleared in the head as well as in the body. Not only does Qigong clear these pathways, it replaces the many thoughts with one thought. Why is this important? Because then our attention/intention is not split.
One intention/attention: GOOD! YOU HAVE SINGLE MINDED FOCUS
Two intention/attention: NOT GOOD! your attention is split
Three intention/attention: DISASTER! like driving, texting and talking, doing to many things at once can really affect your health
Qigong is a practice to benefit the mind. It enables the mind to have a single minded focus. Why is this important? Because then we can accomplish things in our life. We see what is important and what is not important. We become sure of ourselves when making big and little decisions every day. This is a different way of being with ourselves, with our body in this world, with our mental state and its capacity for change, for understanding, for single minded focus. We are then able to benefit ourselves with creativity and problem solving easily. Know yourself, benefit others, change the world.
3. I've never heard of Qigong before, only Tai Qi. What's the difference?
Qigong is working on the insides: self knowledge, self care with no projecting of Qi as in a martial arts application. There are many different forms to benefit the health of specific organ systems, specific emotional states. Qigong works with different breathing patterns, and different forms to benefit body systems. Specifically, the Healing Qigong practices I teach come from the family lineage of Ling Gui. Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art practice for defense training and health benefit. Tai Chi specifically refers to the forces of yin and yang and how to transmute them with movement in the practice. Both have the benefit of slowing the body down, which slows the brain down and benefits the nervous system.
4. How do I know if Qigong is right for me?
You will know it is right, when it feels right to you in your body, not in your brain. With any ancient art practice, a commitment is needed. Trying a class one time will not tell you anything. Continuing a practice for two months will tell you something. Then you decide.
5. How is Qigong different from Yoga?
Qigong is different from yoga in that it uses the center of each palm to guide Qi internally as well as externally. It also involves specific intentions for each different Healing Qigong form. This is huge! -This is about gathering the wisdom of the ages and the universe. Our thought, "Li" precede "Qi" - movement and where it is going. Your teacher will be telling you and explain to you what to be thinking as an intention throughout the form. IE: bring your attention/intention here, to this part of the body.
6. What is the best way to prepare for a class?
You can prepare by suggested reading or just come with a curious mind, not prepared at all!
How should I dress? Wear comfortable clothing, if this means jeans for you, then yes, you can practice in jeans. Many classes I now teach people to wear shoes and support their feet if they have foot problems. Also, especially in winter, do not chill the feet.
What should I bring? Bring yourself and comfy clothes and indoor shoes if you need foot support as well as a water bottle.
What's provided? This depends on the studio where the class is taught. We sometimes have cushions and yoga mats and blankets, other times chairs and sometimes we practice outside with nothing! This is the beauty of Qigong; there are no props or special clothes required. You can practice anywhere: standing, in a chair, in a bed.
What is your maximum class size?Classes run anywhere from 3 people up to 20. Average size class is 8-12 people.
Where do you teach? I do not have any one specific studio that I teach out of. Qigong Boise is a forum for my business as I teach all over the Treasure Valley. Just as Qigong can be done any place, any time, so can it easily be taught anywhere! I also teach remotely via Google Hangouts.
7. What type of improvements can I expect from practicing Qigong?
You can expect a sensation of relief from the brain and body because you have stretched and learned a new way of using both. The cells have begun to change with just your very first time. With each continued week, you will find that the form speaks to you, you start making better decisions, you begin to NOT take yourself and your problems so seriously. You begin to stay out of other people's business, not thinking you know what they are thinking! You find that you are not consciously doing this; it is an unconscious new system that has been absorbed through practice. A new program being written in your cells. This falls under the concept of neuroscience as well as epi-genetics and quantum physics. The sages of ancient times actively changed their inner and outer reality for evolutionary change with the universe.
8. Why do we always do warm-up movements before getting into the actual Qigong form itself?
We do a warm up before the practice to come into contact with our body and begin to get out of the thinking- brain. We connect our intention with attention to the physical self. When we come into contact with the physical self, we can begin to go inside. We get ready to receive something. We get ready to receive the information from the family lineage through movement.
How do we go inside? We begin with the warm up to shut the 5 doors to the outside. The two eyes, the two ears and the mouth. EYES: When we are constantly using our vision, like screen time on the computer, TV, smartphone, seeing in general, then we are consuming Liver Qi. So, in Qigong. we focus our vision a short distance away during the Qigong practice, our vision is soft, close to us, not reaching. EARS:When we are constantly listening to music, in meetings all day, listening to other people talk, wearing a headset and listening, then we are using our Kidney Qi. This is why there is no music played during class, then we consume less Kidney Qi. MOUTH:When we open our mouth to speak, we are using Qi in a general sense. Have you ever known someone that talks all day and into the evening, someone who doesn't even stop to "catch their breath"? This is very bad because then for sure they are not even breathing properly.
9. Why is Qigong usually practiced outside?
Qigong is synonymous with nature, and as you can begin to feel this connection with the outdoors, you begin to see how you fit in the overall picture of your life. In nature we find water, plants, animals, the mountains, the desert, the ocean and can feel the energy they give. When you think of nature as a picture in your mind, do you see yourself there? You are a part of nature just like every other living thing, so then yes, you can start seeing yourself there. Nature is so smart, when we connect with nature we begin to see the perfect nature inside ourselves. We begin to not only see what is good for ourselves, - breathing, eating, we begin to just do it without so much thinking, without trying so hard to be "good" at exercising, or improving our diet. This nature connection is the philosophy for your life. When you practice indoors in winter, you can continue to picture with your mind in nature.
10. What exactly is a Qigong form?
Qigong is taught as a lineage art. This means the forms and traditions are passed down through families. The Ling Gui lineage from which I have been taught, teaches about 25+ different forms. A few are medical qigong and some are for connecting with spirit and unconsciousness. The rest are for self- healing of the internal organs and the brain-heart connection, your consciousness. This means you live with more compassion as you gain wisdom from your own brain-heart connection, this is intuition, internal awareness and consiousness. Many of you already have started this journey, Qigong simply helps you continue to clear more space for understanding.
11. Why is the best time to practice Qigong? What if I have no time to do it at the best time?
Certain forms have a specific time of day for the very best practice to gain benefit from. That said, any time of day that you can practice is great! Even just for 10 minutes, even just a warm or a small form is a very good way to start. Yes, just that much, very little time. This is the beginning "way" and leads to great benefit for yourself. As you continue the practice, it becomes a part of who you are every day. Eventually you find that this is a life-changer. When I was beginning, I would think about BEST practice time, I would think wait, I can't do it yet, then I would get busy, then the whole day would go by and I wouldn't practice at all! So, start very small, you can do a practice sitting on the edge of your bed when you first get up in the morning. You can do a practice after you lay down at night and think - shoot! I forgot again. Then, you practice lying there in bed. There are specific small practices for these times of day. Eventually you might read, "do this practice before 11:00 am". Then you do it! Then you realize how far you have come. You add in the details bit by bit. Why? Because once you are a committed student, you find you are looking for ways to deepen the practice and find out what is next. This is how do this- practice corresponding to time and place, you do it eventually, it comes to you instead of reaching for it and thinking - I must do it this way!
12. Why is it best to do Qigong daily rather than just intermittently? What are the increased benefits?
It is just fine to practice qigong once per week to start. A one hour practice charges your Qi for the next 24 hours. So, if you are practice a form to build your immune system, then you charge the Qi for your immune system for 24 hours. Each time you practice Qigong, no matter how long or short, no matter the form, begins to build beneficial Qi inside of you. You can practice a warm up once a day for 5 to 10 minutes. This is a good way to begin a regular qigong practice.
13. How do I know what specific Qigong form is best for me to start with?
Any Qigong form is best to start with. The important thing is that you have started and are practicing! You know because you have landed on this page, you are searching for something in your life but are not sure what. Qigong is so awesome because it shares a philosophy for your life; it gives you something to think about in a more positive way. There is no specific order to learn the forms, since this is a family linage art, each time you practice any form, you are building your Qi and benefits into the family ancient art practice. Are there some criteria for choosing? You might wonder if you are fragile if there is a better form. Yes, if you have limbs that don't work, are undergoing cancer or immune system therapy, then it would be gest to contact me and we can discuss what would work for you.
14. Can a Qigong form be "prescribed" for a specific health problem, or as a preventative measure?
Yes, Healing Qigong in and of itself is a preventative medicine and spoken as of such. For example, you can practice "Hui Gong for the Heart" for anxiety. The key here is you learn to listen to what your body is telling you, months, days, years before a dis-ease or disharmony develops. You become attuned to listening when your body tells you it is tired and needs to rest, rather than "pushing through” you hear the message loud and clear and you actually do rest, before you are forced to rest with the flu OR in a hospital bed.
~ The best medicine is the food in your kitchen, adequate intake of good foods for your own person, keeps your organs and brain in good health.
~ This best hospital is your own bed, getting adequate sleep keeps you out of the hospital!
15. I notice that you teach several Qigong forms throughout the year.I've read that you should do just one form daily for 6-12 months to get the deepest benefit.
It depends. It is important to know why you would want to practice a specific form for 6-12 months. Has a TCM practitioner given this to you as a Qigong prescription? (Yes, there is such a thing). Then you would know that that is the very best form for you to practice for that time period. When beginning, practice the form that catches your interest or the one that is simply available to you. Don't think too hard about it, most times someone will "resonate" with a form, they say, this is my very favorite! Then that is what you should practice. Sometimes a Qigong prescription might include a form that is very difficult for you to practice. This will be precisely why you would benefit from the form.
16. Does doing Qigong mean I have to learn or adopt a Taoist cosmology? I'm very happy with my own religion/spiritual views and I'm not looking for a new philosophy.
Qigong is a practice to bring into your life with your own current cultural, philosophical and religious practice. You can easily take the philosophy and meaning straight into your own beliefs with improved understanding about that part of your life. Qigong can most certainly deepen and benefit your own current spiritual practice. If you have no current mediation practice, or spiritual practice with others, or never really thought about this, then this is good place to begin and adapt it as philosophy on why you live your life.
17. How do I know if doing Qigong is safe for me? What if I have had or have cancer, autoimmune problems, fatigue, am pregnant, or have other health conditions?
Qigong is thousands of years old as a practice for maintaining health. When ill, we can still benefit ourselves by gently moving energy, clearing blockages and nourishing the organ systems. You are changing everyday anyway; why not benefit the process in the body? The body is very smart, we do not give it enough credit. What we do need to to is listen to it. That said, some forms are MORE beneficial for those with disease patterns and currently undergoing treatment for sure.
18. You prefer to teach certain Qigong forms only in their corresponding seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. Why does it matter?
This is the beginning of teaching and practicing the forms that are best suited to the seasons of nature. So, while you are taking a class, you never need to think- I wonder what time of year I should practice this one? I do that for you!
Lung for the fall
Kidney for Winter
Liver for Spring
Heart for Summer
There is also a transition period between each season where it is very good to work on the Stomach & Spleen. Good to practice anytime of year.
19. I've taken a couple of classes from you and wonder why the Qigong forms seem so complex as compared to, say, Yoga?
I have to concentrate diligently to lodge them into my body memory, and it seems to take a long time to master. Why? It takes awhile for the brain to disengage. Also, the body comes into a state of confusion. With repetition we are working to "entrain" the body. The importance of just mimicking what you see without trying so hard to think about remembering what you are doing. This has the added benefit of getting out of the mind. The mind uses SOOO much of your daily energy. When you learn to use your gut and intuition to pick up a concept like qigong practice, you learn to apply this to other areas of your life. It is somewhat like osmosis: how your body absorbs information, a different concept.
20. Why is it so challenging to do Qigong at home outside of class, even with detailed instructions?
Same answer as above, because you are trying to "learn" using the brain with a handout. While this is still beneficial and certainly ok to learn this way, (I did at first,) eventually you need to get away from the handouts, and just practice maybe one element of the form over and over again. Then, just like riding a bike, the body intelligence just knows what to do!
21. Can you onlyteach forms you've learned from your own Master Qigong Teacher, Master Liu and Dr. Liu, or do you teach other types of beneficial or lifestyle practices that aren't "officially" forms?
The forms I teach are certified through Master Liu and Dr. Liu at the Ling Gui Healing Qigong School. The smaller practices as well are handed down from my teachers at this school.
22. You've said not to be surprised if emotions or certain thoughts arise when practicing Qigong. Why do they arise?
In a word: "Internal Housecleaning". Should we "do" anything about them? Nothing, the practice itself teaches you to dissolve old stuff. These are accumulations of energy patterns that can lodge in joints, organs, mind, you name it. It is the Liver organ that eventually opens up to release these patterns of body/mind dis-function. The process of Qigong sweeps/dissolves negative thoughts (Qi) away. It is like drawer opening in your house, the thought can then be released.How can we tell which ones arise from Qigong and which might just be occurring anyway? When you are actively working in your life to become more aware, more awake, when you are practicing qigong, or yoga, or tai chi, or meditation then you are "cleansing" and so thoughts will arise that you can let go of. You do not need to give them more attention, let them go like a leaf in the wind. Resume your life. Eventually you get really good at this!
23. When we occasionally chant -- words or sounds -- during a form, what does that do?
Chanting is vibration. You also use a specific word which has an intention- like: "change", this is a vocal way to bring out your intention as well as vibrate your water molecules as a way for change to occur. Not all forms have sound- chanting as an element. Some forms use this concept to more strongly activate a change.
24. How does having 10 years' experience practicing Amma Therapy enrich what you offer during Qigong classes?
My training gave me a full background in Traditional Chinese medicine. I learned all the channels and points of acupuncture and how they moved Qi in the body, as well as common herbal formulas, "Herbs as food, Food as Medicine" to treat chronic and acute stuff in the body. When I can work with the physical body, it tells me many things: is it hot? is it cold? Is this happening internal or externally? I take a persons pulse in the three positions and three levels and check their tongue for signs. As work progresses, the client remembers to tell me many things that are relevant in their healing process! When I palpate an area, I look for cold or heat, tight or loose, empty or full of qi. These assessments are a guide to "symptoms". When you practice Qigong, you are doing this assessment for yourself. Working with many people has allowed me a rich experience of understanding the beginning of where the body system breaks down. What causes "dis"-ease patterns to form and build. More important, how do we prevent such things from happening in the first place? This is the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a preventative medicine. You learn for yourself how to stay well and full of life.