(Shown above) Reproduction of the Qigong exercises silk scroll (Dao-Yin Tu) found in the tomb at Mawangdui, China, in 1973, and dating from the period around 168 BCE.
Learning to strengthen life energy through Qigong
Qigong is a powerful and ancient Chinese system of exercise and meditation. Qi (pronounced chee) is the Chinese word for “life energy” or “vital life force.” According to Chinese medicine, qi is the animating power that flows through all living things. When one is healthy, the qi in our bodies is clear and flowing smoothly, not blocked or stagnant. Gong, (pronounced gung – rhymes with lung) translates to work or practice. Thus qigong is the practice of energy cultivation.
Qigong is a form of complementary medicine. It works well with other forms of therapy and should never be used as a substitute for necessary treatment by a physician. Qigong is the most popular and best researched method of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the world.
What is a session like?
Ellen teaches you the specific breathing techniques, gentle movement and meditation of qigong that are used to cleanse, strengthen and circulate the energy (qi) in the body. Instruction is tailored to the individual needs of the client. Ellen’s goal is to bring the client to a personal practice that is achievable for them, and that allows them to feel better and happier. As the client practices the exercises and meditations, the client begins to trust that her body, mind and spirit "knows" what it needs and learns to trust, listen and act.
What does it do?
While practicing qigong, your mind stays focused on your movements, relaxation and deep breathing, while distracting thoughts are ignored. That is why qigong can also take the place of seated meditation if you find a seated meditation challenging.
Qigong makes the mind and spirit tranquil, improves physical stamina and strength, and cultivates health, vitality, well being and long life. Here are some of the known benefits:
- Aids with digestion and waste elimination
- Boosts the immune system, helpful for fighting off colds, flu and other viral and bacterial infections as well as disease
- Stimulates the central nervous system helping all parts of the body to communicate with each other
- Strengthens and regulates the internal organs
- Tones muscles, improves posture, balance, strength, stamina and flexibility
How may it help me?
Qigong has been found to:
- Improve circulation, helpful for angina, migraines and Reynaud's Syndrome
- Improve mental health by releasing deep-seated emotions and stress and reducing anxiety and depression
- Lower resting heart rate and help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Slow the respiratory rate, with significant benefits for asthma and other respiratory illnesses
For those in chronic pain or confined to a wheelchair
Qigong may be particularly beneficial for those struggling with chronic pain and stiffness from all sources, including from arthritis, fibromyalgia, injury or surgery. It is also beneficial for the elderly, thanks to its low impact. You can even do qigong if you're confined to a wheelchair. More often than not, one of the worst things you can do when you're in pain is to stay inactive, as this merely weakens your muscles further, increasing rather than lessening your pain and stiffness.
Additional Qigong Healing Techniques
If appropriate, Ellen may also teach techniques including:
A simple method of a specific Chinese chant while tapping, patting or knocking on particular energy channels and points of the body to dissipate the energetic charge around emotional issues, ultimately reducing or removing the intensity of these feelings so that you can have a happier life.
Paired Organ Meridian Chanting, a powerful healing technique that works with specific paired organs and meridian points, together with a corresponding healing sound, to heal and strengthen the internal organs.
Thorough knowledge of qigong, patience and quiet presence
“Ellen brought a youthful energy, thorough knowledge of qigong, a good listening ear, patience and quiet presence when she came to my home to give me a personal lesson. She replied quickly to my emails and adapted her assignment to my health issues. It takes many years of dedication to qigong to attain the teaching skills and to have the healing abilities that Ellen carries within. She is easy to work with, has reasonable expectations, sets fair goals and shares her vast experience willingly."
A calm, patient demeanor . . . really cared about my progress and my needs
"Ellen was referred to me by my Reiki healer and from the moment I sat down with Ellen, I realized it was a great referral. I immediately felt listened to and understood as I described what I was looking for. Ellen has a calm, patient demeanor yet she energized me as she explained her process and approach. Working with her I found her to be a wonderful teacher who provided clear directions, guidance geared to my personality, and clarity about what to do and how to do it. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her and felt she really cared about my progress and my needs. She is an open, honest communicator whose vast experience as a Qigong instructor was evident and helpful to me."
– Ginny O'Brien