Iím not the most zen person in the world so when the practice of Qigong was suggested to me as a of form relaxation and dealing with stress, you can imagine how reluctant I was. I did a bit of reading on the subject first, as my inquisitive nature compels me to research a potential project before engaging in it.
Iíll tell you this much: if you want to learn the ways of this Chinese art, which stems from an ancient form of Eastern martial arts, then find a good park where many Qigong masters practice there or find a local Qigong school. The internet forums might be packed with information about Qigong, but youíll never really know whatís true until you talk to a Shifu (teacher). Let me tell you about my experience.
The Visit at the Qigong School
After reading reviews of the local Qigong schools in my area in the same way Iíd conduct a search for a restaurant, I eventually decided on one and paid it a visit. The head teacher of that school was, by my account, a sixty-something year old Chinese man Ė I would later learn that he was in fact 72 Ė who looked more fit than I did in my twenties.
Now, before you go thinking that I was one of those scrawny teenagers, Iíll have to point out that I was the captain of my high school football team and that I kept practicing the sport throughout college. Nevertheless, this Shifuís perfect posture and balance, his quick but confident motions, basically everything about him completely shattered every concept about getting old I had. I was sold before we even started talking.
What Qigong is All About
I explained to my Shifu that I was struggling with sobriety, negative thoughts, frustrations, and the physical repercussions of years of heavy drinking. I was expecting a lecture about life decisions and the consequences, but instead he smiled and told me that the practice of Qigong is as beneficial for the mental health as it is for the body. I would later have to wrap my head about the concepts of this art and the life force flowing through everyone of us, referred to as qi.
In essence, qi†blockages represent the source of physical and mental issues, and the motions performed in Qigong eliminate theese issues by allowing the life force to once again flow undisturbed. While it does take a leap of faith to accept these concepts, I would later learn that Qigong is often recommended by mainstream physicians in conjunction with physical therapy. I guess what Iím trying to say here is that, whether or not you agree with the spiritual part of Qigong, the tangible benefits are undeniable.
How Qigong Helped Me
A month after I started visiting the Qigong school and some sessions at the park, my health and my state of mind were already significantly improving. I was sleeping better, I felt healthier than ever, my physical stamina had increased, and yes, even my sexual drive was that of a teenager! I was also finding it easier to grasp the delivery of the Qigong techniques and was even receiving compliments about my posture that boosted my self esteem considerably. If you find yourself in a rut after rehab, I wholeheartedly advise you to try Qigong.