Qigong translates as Qi (Chi) = vitality, energy, life force. Gong = practice, cultivate, refine.
Qigong = to cultivate, develop and refine through practice one’s vitality or life force energy.
Qigong is one of the Four Pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with Acupuncture, Massage and Herbal Medicines.
Qigong is most often described as systems of exercises practiced in China for millennia that use meditation, gentle, mindful movements and breathing to cultivate internal energy, resilience and strength, and integrate and balance the body, mind and spirit. But, Qigong is so much more than that! It is a way of living in the world with mindful awareness, using the power of your intention to change your own personal paradigm, to master and liberate your inner world and bring yourself into harmony with the natural order of the universe in every moment.
Qigong is one of the most powerful self-healing traditions developed in human history. Those who use Qigong faithfully tend to need less medication, less acupuncture and heal faster. The primary mechanism that is activated by one’s practice of Qigong is a spontaneous balancing and enhancing of the natural healing resources in the human system. Over thousands of years, millions of people have received the benefit of these practices, believing that improving the flow and function of the qi reverses the effects of aging and empowers you to reclaim health, peace and joy in your life.
While Qigong has strong roots into mystical and philosophical ground, the practical healing and stress management applications are the most popular aspects of the tradition in China today. Both the health and spiritual applications are rapidly gaining in popularity in the Western world as people realize that disease and stress are relieved by peace of mind.
At Eternal Strength Tai Chi Chuan & Qigong, we specialize in helping each student gently relax and release the physical, mental, emotional and energetic aspects of their being, and safely cultivate their life force energy (chi), resulting in lasting health, vitality and overall wellness.
Systems of Qigong Taught at Eternal Strength Tai Chi Chuan & Qigong include:
A profoundly beautiful and powerful system of health and wellness developed by Chang San Feng (the creator of Tai Chi Chuan) during the 13th Century. Primordial Qigong is a three dimensional physical representation of sacred space encompassing all of the primary aspects of Taoist philosophy: the concepts of Yin and Yang, the Taoist trinity (heaven, earth and man), the Five Element theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the I Ching, the Bagua and the mystical aspects of numbers. Primordial Qigong is a relatively simple form to learn and yet, like Tai Chi Chuan, the refinements and investigations can last a lifetime.
Master Zhu Hui transmitted this system to our teacher, Sifu Donald Rubbo, and told him that practicing Primordial Qigong will “turn back the hands of time.” During one of the teachings, Sifu Rubbo asked Master Zhu, “What are the benefits one might receive from practicing the Primordial Qigong?” Master Zhu replied, “In my personal experience, I have developed the capability to see what ails you. But not only that, I have cultivated the wisdom and ability to heal you.”
Primordial Qigong is one of the primary practices we teach. Practicing this form of qigong harmonizes and strengthens the flows of chi in the body, releases stress, regulates all internal systems and brings you to optimal health, wellness and internal power. In addition to its many health benefits, Primordial Qigong opens up a profound and peaceful inner space, where ‘the face of your soul before it was born’ can reveal itself in all its beauty and potential.
The Long Life Exercises
These qigong exercises are based on Grandmaster Kuo Lien Ying’s comprehensive system of warm-ups. Practice these exercises daily to promote the unobstructed flow of chi and stimulate the internal hydraulic system of the body. These exercises will also slow the aging process by stimulating the natural healing functions of the body, calm the mind, strengthen the internal organs, loosen the joints, increase energy, enliven the spirit, and balance and center the internal system.
The Bright Smile of Spontaneously Present Joy Qigong
A simple, powerful, profound practice for generating within oneself the qualities of compassion, gratitude and loving kindness, essential components to healing oneself and others.
Whole Body Breathing
Simple, highly effective practices to help you breathe well, into the fullness of your being. These gentle, deep breathing practices:
- Facilitate oxygen intake and balance the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange in the body
- Increase lung health and capacity, and reduce symptoms of respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphasema
- Fully expel carbon dioxide
- Improve cell metabolism
- Calm your nervous system and enable you to deeply relax
- Improve the functioning of your internal organs
- Increase chi (energy) in the body
Taken from the I Chuan (Mind Intention Boxing) tradition, the standing postures are used to cultivate optimal health of body, mind and spirit, and bring forward the innate power and potentials residing within each human being. Practicing standing postures will help you:
- Refine your structural alignments to improve posture, prevent injury, recover more quickly and dramatically reduce chronic pain
- Enable you to sink your energy and deeply relax
- Store healing energy (chi)
- Balance your emotions and harmonize the flow of your chi
- Open up, balance, integrate and strengthen your energy channels
- Bring forward your own unique potentials and capacities
- Awaken to the present moment
- Become enlightened
One of the treasures of our school is the ‘Universal Post’ (Jan Chuang or Yu Chou Chuang) standing posture that was taught to our teachers by Sifu Kuo Lien-Ying.
Dragon and Tiger Qigong
A 1500+ year old system developed primarily as an effective way to maintain the physical health of meditators, enhance emotional aliveness and well being and develop strong, resilient bodies for martial artists. Dragon and Tiger is used today primarily as a form of Medical Qigong, based on the acupuncture model of balancing the body’s energies to prevent, eliminate, or reduce the suffering of disease. The seven therapeutic exercises that comprise this system are a superior form of low impact exercise and health maintenance. Practicing Dragon and Tiger Qigong will help you:
- Harmonize the left and right sides of your body
- Enhance immunity
- Strengthen musculature
- Increase blood flow
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve balance and flexibility
- Develop a felt experience of your chi
- Enhance your overall sense of well being
This system was transmitted to our teacher, Donald Rubbo, by Master Bruce Frantzis.
A healthy, flexible spine is essential to the good health of your body, mind and spirit. Learn to develop awareness and sensitivity of your spinal column, while increasing strength and restoring flexibility to your spine. These exercises are designed to stimulate the spine, the nervous system and the circulation of the entire body, and promote self-awareness and self-healing for all levels of back and spinal problems, as well as increasing general health. Some of the Spinal Qigong forms taught at Eternal Strength include:
- Wisdom Patting (Twist and Pat)
- Turtle and Snake
- Tai Chi Spinal Stretch
Yin Style Bagua Zhang Qigong
From the internal martial art system of Bagua Zhang (Eight Trigrams Palm) comes the healing and self-awareness aspects in the form of Yin Style Bagua Zhang, transmitted to our teacher, Donald Rubbo, by Dr. Xie Peiqi. This complex Qigong form, which encompasses 8 exercises to store and develop sensitivity to Qi, is an essential tool for health practitioners, martial artists and anyone who seeks to promote their health and vitality.
Five Element Balancing Qigong and Inner Smile
This is a particularly popular form of medical Qigong that quickly brings body, mind, emotions and spirit into harmony. Each component of our bodies has a relationship with all aspects of nature: element, color, direction, season, sound, taste as well as what we would consider to be negative and positive emotions. Practicing this method of healing daily will transform your health and your life. This practice was transmitted to our teacher, Donald Rubbo, by Dr. Angela Wu.
Healing Hands Qigong
This system encompasses a series of chi cultivation techniques that strengthens the quality and flow of life force energy in the body, and creates the ability to emit powerful healing energy through the hands. This form of Qigong is especially recommended for massage therapists, physical therapists, energy healers, martial artists and acupuncturists. This system was transmitted to our teacher, Donald Rubbo, by Master Yang Yuan Jing.
In addition to producing a general sense of joy and well being, laughter has many health benefits:
- Purifies the entire system and helps to flush toxins, similar to deep breathing
- Massages the organs
- Lowers blood pressure
- Engages and relaxes the diaphragm, increasing lung capacity and oxygenation of the blood
- Increases healthy cell metabolism
- Reduces pain and stress hormones
- Activates the immune system
- Improves alertness, creativity and memory
Walking is one of the most accessible exercises we can engage in to enhance our fitness and overall well-being. Chi Walking is designed to increase your enjoyment of this wonderful activity and optimize its many health and life enhancing benefits. Chi Walking focuses on proper body alignment and includes Qigong, Tai Chi Chuan, Bagua and I Chuan practices to build core strength, resiliency, clarity of mind and spirit. The mindful application of these energetic and physical practices will assist you in cultivating an ‘effortless and tireless’ aspect to your stride (no matter the speed!) as well as a centered and tranquil view of life. The daily practice of Chi Walking greatly enhances all healthy life activities and relations.
Some of the many health benefits of Chi Walking:
- Improves balance, posture and stamina
- Increases vitality, flexibility and internal/external awareness
- Stimulates the flow and function of life force energy (chi)
- Cultivates a clear and powerful mind
- Releases tension and increases relaxation response
- Reduces stress and pain
- Heals and helps to prevent injuries
- Builds fluidity, grace and internal power
- Restores and strengthens connection to nature
- Reclaims health, peace and joy in life!
Other Systems of Qigong Taught at Eternal Strength:
- Guardian Qigong
- Taoist Yoga
- Luo Han Patting