Qigong is the name given to exercises and meditations, which use and direct flow of chi energy in the body.
Qigong originates from China and is an ancient form of exercise for health and vitality, having attributes of both tai chi and yoga. In fact, some people call it Chinese yoga.
It as been passed down through the generations and is closely linked to traditional Chinese medicine. Although still not well known in the west it is practised by millions of people all over the world.
Qigong is a discipline that exercises the mind, and combines breathing, posture, movement, stretching and meditation to promote mental and physical health, vitality, flexibility and stamina.
It helps fight stress, increase blood circulation in the body, improve flexibility of the muscles, ligaments and tendons, boost your immune system and energy levels, developing a sense of calm and equilibrium. If practised regularly, it is effective in preventing illness.
Qigong is used as a healing therapy and regulates the body’s energies in order to prevent, postpone, reduce or even sometimes eliminate suffering caused by disease.
Scientists are now studying qigong and they have noticed that regular practice helps reduce stress and promotes a sense of calm and improves health, vitality in body, mind and spirit.
It also helps practitioners with health conditions such as hypertension, arthritis, rheumatism, headaches, migraines, insomnia, asthma, diabetes and ME.
New beginners can join in any time during the year
Just wear loose comfortable clothing and shoes and bring a small bottle of drinking water.
New members to to the qigong class receive a 15% discount off their first term fee. Qigong sessions are paid by term and cost £6 per session and members joining the additional optional tai chi that follows pay £7 for the two sections.
While practising, remember to stand with your feet grounded, allowing a slight give in all your joints to enable the chi to flow freely.
Concentrate your energy just below the navel; spread your shoulder blades outward to create a space under your arms.
Keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind the upper teeth and imagine that your body, like a puppet, is hanging from the top of your head by a thread, keeping your spine straight.
Don’t force your breathing, it should be deep but gentle and make the movements as fluid and smooth as possible. Smile from within and let your mind guide the flow of chi.
Shibashi simply means ’18 movements’ in Chinese, and consist of qigong exercises, inspired by tai chi, created and developed by Lin Housheng.
The practice of qigong and shibashi can be adapted to the sitting position if required.
Short history on Lin Housheng:
Lin Housheng was born in China in 1939.
When fifteen, he began studying with a Southern Shaolin monk.
Lin Housheng graduated at Shanghai Physical Education University in 1964, in aquatic sports and Wushu (martial arts/Kung Fu).
In 1979, Lin Housheng combined elements of qigong and, modified and simplified Yang style tai chi to create the first set of eighteen movements of Shibashi.
The second set was created in 1988, based with elements from Chen style tai chi and tai chi sword. (Other sets were later created in the 1990’s and in the new century).
As well as in China, Lin Housheng has travelled world wide promoting shibashi, especially in South-east Asia countries, such as Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and also in the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, France, Germany, etc. Currently, over 10 million people around the world are practising shibashi exercises. Even some South-east Asian countries are promoting shibashi as a national health exercise.
In 1989 Lin Housheng came to the United States to participate in a research project at the University of San Diego. In 2010, he became a United States citizen.