- balance and harmonize the yin (blood, body fluids, and quiescence)
- balance and hamonize the yang (metabolic functions, Qi activity) of the body.
- harmonize the body and mind with our environment,
- go along with the seasonal diurnal cycles
- avoid contaminants, physical and energetic pollution, and stress.
The goals of QIgong are to
If you're like me and have been eating a lot of processed food over the years, you may not even recognize you could feel better just by making some changes in what you eat. While I was in Chinese Medicine school, I would hear how food was 70-80% of the solution to help a person feel better, and that meant fresh and local foods.
I wanted to know if what I ate really did make a difference in how I felt, so I tested it out.
I am a person who LOVES convenience and comfort. Cooking is not convenient. It is time consuming. It is messy, Often at the end of the cooking experience, the food is burnt, or undercooked, or too salty, or tastes like cardboard, or just not that great. So started to choose the convenient route; frozen individual meals from Trader Joe’s. I would fill my freezer so I only had to shop once a month. I lived off prepared and microwaved meals.
To test the theory that eating fresh food would help me feel better, I signed up for a healthy organic meal program in Berkeley called “Three Stone Hearth”. This community kitchen provides a weekly selection of different healthy foods and all you have to do is order what you want and pick up from their kitchen each week. Very simple, easy, and convenient. Here is a sample of what they are offering this week:
To see if fresh healthy food would change how I felt, I ordered from their weekly menu and would go after work to pick up the food. After just two weeks, I was SHOCKED how much better I felt. I really did feel a difference in my energy, my moods, and also was mentally sharper. I had a better memory.
But, after my office relocated to a different city, it wasn't as convenient to pick up the meals so I started to slip back into my old habits of the frozen Trader Joe meals. I started to return to that feeling of sluggishness. I was convinced I needed to stop eating prepared meals and also needed more fresh veggies. This meant I needed to frequently go to the store to get fresh veggies & fruits and then go home to cook a meal. So I went to the store every time I needed more fresh veggies & fruits. This turned out to be about every 3 days. For me, a person who hates shopping, I knew this was not going to be sustained.
So I looked for another solution.
I found an organic food delivery service called Planet Organics. They use local farmers and deliver at my door every Thursday. For me, this has helped tremendously. I get locally grown organic fruits, veggies, milk, bread, and meats delivered right to my door. The flavor of the food is sooooo much better from a grocery store and it helps keep me on my target of preparing meals and eating healthy food.
For example, I now always make a baby spinach and fruit smoothing each day. I have easily doubled my consumption of fresh and healthy veggies just by the changing to home delivery for locally grown organic foods.
Getting rid of old familiar behaviors and habits is difficult. For me, eating less processed food, filling up the kitchen with fresh organic and locally grown foods has helped improve how I feel. For me, these may still be baby steps of change, but they are making a difference.
Fennel seed, also known as Xiao Hui Xiang, is known to soothe and warm the digestive track. Sometimes you will see a bowl of fennel at Indian restaurants. Fennel helps move the Qi in the stomach, so next time you see a bowl of it in a restaurant, take a bit and see if it helps relax and soothe your stomach.
For children, the recommended treatment is to use Gripe Water, which contains fennel (or Xiao Hui Xiang), ginger, and chamomile. It is used to help teething, colic, and digestive problems in young children.
People can become healed through Qigong treatments, but long-term and more permanent treatments require patients making changes in their lifestyle.
Long-term treatments include helping patients through five stages of healing awareness that can help them develop their own medical qigong self-regulation therapy.
Dr. Suzanne Friedman, author of “Heal Yourself Through Qigong” recommends guiding patients through the following self-regulation steps:
If you are a Qigong instructor, I highly recommend Dr. Friedman’s book, “Medical Qigong Exercise Prescriptions.” If you are a patient, the book “Heal Yourself Through Qigong” is a great resource to learn about Qigong exercises.
Today at the clinic, I could feel the presence of my former father-in-law and mother-in-law, who are both deceased. The impression I had was my former father-in-law, who just recently past away, wanted to know what kind of medical work I was now doing. He was interested in learning more about it, so I allowed both of their presences to come into the treatment room to observe a medical Qigong treatment.
I began the assessment of my client and then started the Qigong medical treatment. In my mind I could hear my former father-in-law make remarks like "Isn't that interesting?" and "WOW!" and "Well, I'll be darned! and "Look what is happening now!" He was totally captivated by the whole experience. I could also hear his wife explain what was happening and why. Their invisible presence and total interest made me smile.
At the end of the Qigong energy treatment my client sat up and said, "I need to give you a message!"
"I know this sounds very weird," she said, "but I have a message for you. "I kept hearing, you need to give Beth a message from me!"
I then told her about how my former father-in-law had just recently died and how I felt his presence in the clinic and had allowed him to come and observe her treatment.
My client then said, "Well, l now I get it. This now makes sense," she continued. "This message is from your former father-in-law. He was very forceful with his message and kept hounding me over and over to remember it and to tell you what he told me."
My client then shared the message (which was very comforting).
We both found it interesting his energy presence was felt by both of us and it was she who received his message.