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home : sports : sports April 29, 2016

9/3/2013 1:22:00 PM
Qigong for health and relaxation
By Diane Goble

Qi (energy) gong (work), which originated in China about 5,000 years ago, is similar to tai chi and shares aspects of other energy work, like yoga and reiki, but is based on Chinese medicine theories (like those that acupuncture uses).

Joyce Brown, who has been teaching qigong for nine years at Central Oregon Community College, Sisters Athletic Club, Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD), and privately, describes "Soaring Crane Qigong," as a full form of energy work. Master Chen, who brought the form to the U.S. directly from China, certified her as a teacher of this practice.

Brown describes qigong as "slow, focused movements to help you feel and direct your body's energy into balance," which provides relaxation and other health benefits to people of all ages (over 14), including:

• Body - Strengthens muscles and bones with weight-bearing positions; increases physical balance; improves heart and respiratory health (circulation, vitality and sense of well-being) and increases energy as the body is revitalized.

• Mind - Provides intellectual stimulation, including memory/attention, and enhances the mind/body connection; emotional support through reminders to be mindful of the present moment; relaxation and stress management through breathing techniques to increase oxygen flow and lower blood pressure.

• Spirit - Adds a spiritual dimension to exercise adding to wellness benefits-and connecting with the

"big picture," using a quiet and calming focus.

"Soaring Crane Qigong is so beautiful to do or watch as you mimic a crane's movements while adjusting qi from head to toe," says Brown. "The practice of qigong supports a calmer and more focused approach to life and leaves you feeling peaceful but energized."

Wellness expert Dr. Andrew Weil (www.drweil states that "older people may find it helpful for maintaining flexibility, balance and general vitality. Research in Asia suggests that practicing qigong regularly can lower blood pressure... reduce arthritis pain and even enhance immunity."

The beauty of qigong is that it can be done sitting if you can't stand, and uses such slow, gentle movements that most people find they can do it easily. The mental intention of working with the qi is really the most important part of qigong. So if there is a physical problem people can do the mental work only. There are many health benefits to balancing the energy of the whole body.

Brown will be offering a class in Soaring Crane Qigong at SPRD Mondays, 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. from September 9 to November 18. To register for the class, contact SPRD by calling 541-549-2091 or register online at

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