Chi Kung (Qigong): A Tradition of Fitness
Chi Kung (also spelled “Qigong”; pronounced “chee kung”) is the source of the martial arts and of Chinese medicine. Sometimes called Chinese Yoga, Chi Kung is spreading worldwide. In translation Chi means living energy; while Kung means skill or method. So, Chi Kung is the skill of cultivating our vital energy. As an art of self-healing, it includes movement, meditation, and visualization. A modern understanding is that Chi is the biologically generated electricity that flows throughout the body. In that light, Chi Kung is the way to recharge your own batteries.
I teach group classes twice a week. Private instruction is also available.
CURRENT CLASSES (updated 3-4-2014):
This spring our classes will emphasize Master Thomas Tam’s qigong, which he named the Tai Chi Dao Yin. This set quickly activates and distributes your body’s healing energy. It was one of the first chi gong methods I learned and practiced regularly.
My classes also continually draw on the Chi Kung I learned during four trainings in Beijing, China with Professor Wan Su-jian, M.D. Now retired as a four star general from a career in the Chinese army medical department, Professor Wan devotes himself to teaching a next generation of physicians of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including a steady pilgrimage of foreigners from Japan, Europe and North America. There are photos from my 2009 trip to Dr. Wan’s academy at the bottom of this page. You will see him below in the video preview from a PBS-TV documentary about the healing benefits of Chi Kung. For more video of Chi Kung, click the red YouTube button on the side of this page.
I also share qigong learned from my other primary qigong teachers, including Thomas Tam, Lic.Ac., Daisy Lee, Kenneth Cohen, & Francesco Garripoli.
Chi Kung promotes physical endurance and peace of mind. Its healing influence greatly helps people with many different ailments, including stress, fatigue, headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis and rheumatism. Chi Kung is even noted to support cancer prevention and recovery.
Also included in every class series:
Learn Daisy Lee’s Shaolin acupressure face massage. Tune up your face in just minutes every morning.
Learn the Six Healing Sounds. Inhale deeply and then exhale with a series of sounds that activate the major internal organs. This Taoist lineage practice was conveyed to Kenneth Cohen by his master, a Taoist abbot who left mainland China after the civil war in the 1940′s.
All Classes are at Center Street Kung Fu, One Center Street, 2nd floor, downtown Gloucester. This studio is directly above Passports Restaurant, which faces Main Street. The side street is Center Street.
Evening Class: Wednesdays 7:30 to 8:30 PM
Morning Class: Thursdays 9 to 10 AM
$14 per single class (drop-in rate).
$75 pre-paid for 6 classes on an access card usable at your convenience. Equals $12.50 per class. (Card expires after 1 year.)
$50 for 5 consecutive weeks of class. Attend mornings, evenings or both. This membership does not carry over past the 5 weeks time span. (Equals $10 per class; or even less if you come twice a week.)
For information or to register, call 978-525-2255.
One of my American teachers, Qigong scholar Kenneth S. Cohen, M.A. (author of “The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing”) has compiled from Chinese texts and oral traditions this list of Qigong’s benefits that accumulate with regular practice:
1. Better Health 2. Quiet, Alert Mind
3. Restorative Sleep 4. Increased Vitality
5. Comfortable Warmth Throughout The Body
6. Clear Skin 7. Happy Attitude
8. Metabolic Efficiency (classical signs: faster growth of hair & nails, better digestion)
9. Spiritual Effects: Bright Eyes, Intuition, Creativity, Meaningful Dreams, Synchronicity
China’s culture has included Chi Kung fitness skills for over two thousand years. Modern Chinese educational and medical institutions include this health training in their treatment programs. Individuals also learn Chi Kung for its many physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits. The temples and martial arts schools have preserved these skills in Asia. Now each of us in the West can enjoy them with regular practice to restore, refine and build our Chi.
In traditional terms of Chinese health philosophy, Chi Kung enables the student to feel, circulate, and store the three living internal energies:
- Shen – the Consciousness
- Chi – the Physical Energy
- Jing – the Physical Essence
Collectively these three strengths are called the “Three Treasures of Life”. By building and circulating the Chi, we increase vitality, prevent or overcome illness, and promote healthy longevity.
Acupuncturist Eli Jacobe first learned Chi Kung meditation and Taiji movement from Master Mantak Chia in 1982. That inspiring vision of Chinese health philosophy and its personal benefits led him on to study Chinese medicine. He graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture in 1985. In Chi Kung his primary teachers include: Thomas Tam, Lic.Ac. (Oriental Culture Institute, Boston), Mantak Chia, Kenneth Cohen, & Dr. Wan Su-Jian (in Beijing, China). In 1987 after diligent daily practice and continuing instruction, he received a teaching certificate from Thomas Tam. In 2006 and 2009 he earned certificates in Taoist Medical Qigong from Dr. Wan Su-Jian, including authorization to teach Master Wan’s system, which is called the BaGua XunDao Qigong. Before discovering the Chinese healing arts, Eli had taught yoga, meditation and stress management since 1974, having trained with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The field of Chi Kung is diverse, including lineages of many styles and methods. With development extending over thousands of years and in many regions of China, there are innumerable moving exercises targeting all the systems and structures of the body. Chi Kung includes meditation methods using the breath, sound, or visualizations. Chi Kung meditations can be enjoyed seated, standing, lying down, or even walking.
To see a few qigong styles Eli recorded in China, view Eli’s YouTube Channel.
Watch a brief excerpt from a documentary about qigong that aired on PBS, the public television network:
Eli’s holds instructor’s certification in the Organ Cleansing Qigong, brought to America by prominent qigong teachers Daisy Lee and Francesco Garripoli. This qigong method physically limbers you up while recharging the vitality of the internal organs. It is called Organ Cleansing because the stretches pump the lymphatic system while the increased qi within the body maximizes tissue purification. Ten minutes a day will transform you!
Watch Daisy and Francesco demonstrate the Organ Cleansing Qigong.
Movement in Chi Kung exercises ranges from stationary to slow to moderately vigorous. It is suitable for all ages and can be adjusted for any individual’s limitations. Moving forms of Chi Kung cultivate muscle tone, balance and coordination while circulating the healing qualities of the chi energy.
Seated meditations relax the nervous system while training internal awareness of the life energy, the Chi. Gaining a state of calm alertness in meditation lets us be steadier in our hectic daily lives.
Standing meditations promote endurance and smooth flows of energy throughout the body.
Therapeutic Chi Kung treats a person’s particular health problems with exercises or healing meditations to relieve and energize the ailing areas.
Four of Eli’s seven trips to China were specifically to study qigong fulltime. Two others included qigong with the acupuncture curriculum. Here is a photobook from two weeks of qigong training in May 2009 at Dr. Wan Su-Jian’s Beijing International Traditional Medical Exchange Center