Interesting Times

here’s a well known Chinese curse that says, ‘May you live in interesting times’. We certainly are, all of us, now affected by something that feels as though it has come right out of a science fiction novel.

We’re seeing a lot on television and social media about Chinese doctors and nurses who are practising taiji and qigong with their patients. Let’s dispel one myth straight away: this is not a cure for the coronavirus.  People in China use qigong all the time to strengthen the immune system.

While Ba Duan Jin (8 Fine Treasures or 8 Pieces of Brocade) seems to be the most common, I’d like to recommend a practice that was devised by Professor Zhang Guangde at Beijing University, It’s called Yiqi Yangfei Gong, Qigong for the Respiratory System and is part of the Daoyin Yangsheng Gong system that Professor Zhang Guangde created. There’s one for the heart, one for the stomach and so on.

Qigong works through the meridians which mainly relate to the organs of the body and this particular one focuses on the lungs and the large intestine.

The lung is said to be the master of qi. It connects to the throat and to the openings of the heart and liver. It controls breathing, taking in fresh qi and eliminating stale qi. Breathing, in turn, controls the autonomous nervous system, which is why breathing is the basis for meditation and qigong and forms a bridge between the body and the mind.

Physically, the lungs sit on top of all the other organs, keeping them in check and pushing materials down into the large intestine, hence this connection between these paired yin and yang organs.

Taijiquan and Qigong teachers can no longer run face to face classes so a fair few are making videos or running classes by live streaming.
Ruyi School of Taijiquan & Qigong in Aberdeenshire is one of these and Tina Faulkner Elders actually studied with Professor Zhang Guangde at Beijing University and is a graduate of the university so, rather than watch me doing it, I recommend you to Tina, a direct lineage student, as she goes through this form in detail over the next few weeks.

If you’d like to watch the whole form, here is a link to Professor Zhang Guangde himself going through all 8 moves.

I hope you’re keeping virus free, or if you do catch it that you recover quickly and don’t pass it on. By taking care of ourselves, we look after the community. By taking care of the community, we look after ourselves.

Other things you can do, I’m sure you know anyway, Eat good food, get outside every day, not just when the weather’s nice, and try to do something interesting with your extra time at home. 

Author: suse

My introduction to Chinese martial arts came through an evening class at Bathgate Academy where I had the chance to learn Wudan style Taiji. On leaving the area, over ten years ago, I studied Qigong through the Qigong Teachers' Association, enabling me to introduce people where I live on the West Coast, to this wonderful healing practice. My personal studies continue through an open approach to study with several schools and teachers, to whom I am eternally grateful.