Change is inevitable, it allows for the growth cycles that accompany us through the phases of our lives. Change enables us to become smarter, stronger, taller, older, wiser, healthier, or sicker. The effect of change on our lives depends in large part on our constitution, hereditary factors, environment, behaviors, and the phase of life that we are in. Scientific research has consistently proven that the prolonged stresses of modern life are a contributing factor in most of the disease processes of today: headaches; high blood pressure; digestive disorders; heart disease; cancer; arthritis; and respiratory problems. At some point in the natural aging process, the effects of modern-day stresses will manifest as affecting certain characteristics of our health: memory; stamina; strength; balance; sensitivity; and awareness.

Imagine how valuable it would be to have at our disposal a stress-reducing technique that would slow down the inevitable deterioration that accompanies the modern aging process. Oriental medicine includes acupuncture, herbology, massage, diet, and an exercise regimen referred to as Medical Qi Gong. Medical Qi Gong has been developed over thousands of years to improve performance and fitness. Relieving stress is one of the health benefits of practicing Medical Qi Gong on a regular basis.

Qi, pronounced “Chee,” has been interpreted many ways, but generally means “Life Force.” Qi is what Western science refers may refer to as “BioElectricity.” Gong is most often intended to mean “Work” or :Benefits acquired through perseverance and practice.” Qi Gong is the art and science of refining and cultivating internal energy through movement, meditation, and breath-work. The practice of Qi Gong is not difficult to learn, the moves are relatively simple to do, and often times the results are quickly felt. Qi Gong can be practiced at any age, sitting down, lying down, or standing. One does not need to be in exceptionally good shape in order to perform Qi Gong. In China, Qi Gong is often prescribed for patients as part of their recovery process.

To benefit from Qi Gong one must learn basic techniques and practice regularly. To master Qi Gong takes dedication, practice, time, and an increased internal awareness. To practice something that one knows will bring good health and happiness should be a joy!

Jim Slaymaker has been a Licensed Acupuncturist since 2004. Introductory Qi Gong class meets every other week starting Sunday, January 20, at One Yoga & Wellness Center, 405 Route 130 North, East Windsor. 609-616-2281.

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