Medical Qi GongIn my early twenties, a phenomenal character entered my orbit, a psychologist and former martial artist in his late 50’s who was reputed to cure his clients of their ailments in as little as one session. He introduced me to Qi Gong and the cleverness with which its physical principals could be applied to my mental and emotional life.
Asi Ben-Porat was my first formal teacher – I had the privilege of studying Tai Chi and Qi Gong with him and his dedicated group for less than a year before life catapulted me from Tel Aviv to London.
I left many things behind in the move to London, but the Qi Gong stayed with me, a trusted ally and guide through the years. When the pressure of my Masters degree and life on a shoestring in Europe’s most expensive city would get to me, I’d use the breathing and tuning techniques I had learned to find relief. I turned to them again when I found myself in Brooklyn, trying to carve out a little corner in the immensity of NYC in which I could experience grounding and quiet. I kept coming back to the simple exercises over and over again – they never failed to help me find relief and were always completely free.
More than a decade after my initial introduction, a reunion with a friend and colleague in Thailand brought me to the quiet clinic of Ajan Toh, a Medical Qi Gong master from Indonesia now living in Thailand and dedicating his skill and energy both to the public hospitals of Chiang Mai and to the high forest monks in the mountains of Northern Thailand. Ajan Toh also shares his knowledge with a few apprentices, and I am very, very lucky to be one of them.
My favorite definition of Qi Gong is “Life Energy Cultivation”. There are variations in translation and even more so in forms and practices. The oldest therapeutic modality of Chinese medicine, Qi Gong is a science based in the ancient wisdom of observing the laws of nature and applying them to understanding the nature of our experience.
In practical terms, Qi Gong is a mind-body practice that integrates postures, movement, breathing techniques, and focused intention. It improves mental and physical health by creating greater alignment between the movement of your mind, body and heart and cultivating equilibrium in all aspects of your being.
Cultivation is the antithesis of manipulation, and it implies a development and growth over time……Taken in this way, Medical Qi Gong offers a potent set of tools and techniques for healing your body and integrating your physical, emotional and mental being into a more unified and therefore higher state of conscious being. Like all tools, it’s power is in how you use it and what you use it for.
Follow the links in this page to learn more about Qi Gong and some of the people that have shared their practice with me.
- Qi Gong Defined
- More soon!