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Qigong(also referred to as chi-kung) combines body movement, meditation, breath regulation, and healing sounds. This combination enhances the flow of qi, or vital energy, along the energy pathways (meridians) in the body, improving blood circulation, and enhancing immune function. Because people benefit regardless of health, disease, age, physical condition, qigong is one of the most broadly applicable systems of self-care in the world. In China, it is estimated that 200 million people practice Qigong every day. Qigong is simple and generally considered fun and easy to learn. These are gentle exercises based on the inherent wisdom of natural movement. By strengthening the mind-body connection, qigong can influence the course of chronic disease, while improving stamina, overall health, and one’s sense of well-being.
T’ai Chi Chuan, perhaps the best known qigong system, emphasizes body coordination and inner energy (chi), rather than muscle power. Chi is developed through mental concentration, deep breathing, relaxing and sinking of the body. Shifting the body weight and pressing, all act to generate a tremendous inner energy flow. Most obviously characterized by the slow motion manner in which its series of fluid movements are carried out, t’ai chi chuan is defined by its attention to correct body alignment and structural detail. T’ai chi chuan practitioners move slowly and with a minimum of overt muscular effort, relying on exact positioning of the body’s structural components to facilitate the transfer of power through the body. This efficient transfer of power reduces stress on both the body and mind. T’ai chi chuan principles apply globally to walking, sitting, or any other activity for which economy of motion and efficiency of effort is desired.
Approaching T'ai Chi through simple QiGong practices allows students to more fully and joyfully experience the essential nature of T'ai Chi.
TIMELESS WISDOM meets MODERN MEDICAL SCIENCE…the results are in
“Alternative therapies” such as tai chi and qigong are becoming more mainstream and being integrated into medical care programs. Studies published by prestigious medical journals have shown that qigong / t’ai chi can be effectively used as a tool to:
■ manage stress; foster calm, relaxation, joy
■ increase energy, endurance, and agility
■ improve overall feelings of well-being
■ improve sleep quality
■ reduce falling in mature adults
■ improve balance, flexibility, and muscle strength
■ improve cardiovascular fitness in mature adults
■ relieve / eliminate pain
■ promote lymphatic drainage
■ speed and enhance recovery from injury / surgery
■ improve balance / reduce the risk of falls in mature age groups
■ help reduce the risk or alleviate the symptoms of ailments such as,
■ improve one’s sense of placement in space
■ bring about mental clarity, memory
■ improve and maintain healthy immune system
■ maintain/increase bone density
■ balance appetite and enhance digestion
About Heather Chalon, MPH:Curious about what makes people tick, wondering “how can we be our ‘best selves?’”, Heather has been studying people and healing systems for decades. She has extensive international executive business experience in private and public sectors, including success in program development, management, and evaluation; teaching and training. She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health, with emphasis on access to health programs and the shift to an integrative healthcare paradigm.
After completing a degree in Asian Studies, Heather began playing qigong (chi kung) and t’ai chi chuan (a form of qigong) in 1986 while living in the People’s Republic of China. She has become masterful at t’ai chi, numerous qigong forms – including medical qigong, Chinese yoga, and the principles of balanced living according to the ancient traditions of the Tao. She has studied with masters around the USA, and in China, Belgium, Germany, and New Zealand.
Heather has also studied multiple modalities of Oriental healing systems and approaches to wellness and navigated through her own ‘existential health crisis’.
Now, Heather has developed an approach to nurturing individual needs and desires to consciously participate in their health and take charge of their own well-being. With her commitment to supporting the creation of balance and overall life flow, she teaches a consciousness based program including movement, breath, sound, meditation, diet, lifestyle, and livelihood choices
WHY is Qigong vital to Health and Wellbeing?
Western-style exercise and proper nutrition are necessary but not sufficient to maintain your health. Why? Because mind-body practices (Qigong and Tai Chi) are required to sustain and improve the health of your immune system, nervous system, internal organs, and to deal with stress, which is the cause of the majority of diseases and illnesses.
To be truly healthy, it is essential to add mind-body practices to your daily existence.