Vegan in the Region: Qigong

Local practitioners of Qigong.

Provided

I am a pretty rational person and generally don't believe what I cannot see or understand.

So I was pretty skeptical years ago when I signed up for a weekend course in Qigong.

I am generally very healthy, but I do have seasonal allergy issues, bouts of anxiety and other minor health problems that are just part of inhabiting a temporary body.

I have practiced various forms of mediation over the past 35 years and have always been curious about the promises of Qigong and other forms of energy healing. I also lean heavily toward alternative healthcare and am a big believer in the body's inherent ability to heal itself if it is properly maintained.

So there I sat conflicted at the start of the course with my rational side at odds with the teaching that our health problems are the result of energy blockages in our bodies and that I could pretty easily heal those blockages within myself and others.

I remained doubtful until the first exercise of practicing a simple healing technique with a partner. The benefit from that first short session for both me and my partner eased enough of my doubt to allow me to not only finish the weekend course, but to go on to establish a regular practice that continues to surprise and baffle me.

The individual practice includes slow, mindful movements similar in appearance to Tai chi. Healing work with another person is entirely hands-off and involves a silent series of movements that are incredibly calming and restoring for both.

Many forms of Qigong have developed over the few thousand years it has been around. I practice a system taught by the Minneapolis-based Spring Forest Qigong and teacher Chunyi Lin.

I choose this group because it offers a readily-accessible, yet very effective and immediate approach. We are also fortunate enough to have a teacher from the school right here in Porter County, who is offering at least a couple ongoing opportunities to experience Qigong yourself.

May the force be with you.

The opinions expressed here are solely that of the author.

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Bob is a 22-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.