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Hi, Im Beth Misner, and I want to welcome you to episode 8 of the Abundant Health podcast.  

Im glad youre joining me today, and I do hope youll come back over and over. In my weekly podcast, I tell stories, share strategies, and practical information about creating abundant health.  

My focus is three-fold: body, mind, and spirit. I believe abundant health needs all three of these areas to be working together, they are like a three-legged stool! Without any one of the legs, the stool is going to fall over.  

 Im bringing over 35 years of experience in health and wellness to this podcast series. My experiences and the things I have learned along the way will benefit YOU so you dont have to make the same mistakes I did.  

In todays episode, Im going to be talking with you a little bit about what Qigong is. Many people I work with do not know exactly what it is or how it can be of benefit.  

First of all, let me start by saying there are two forms of martial arts: external martial arts like Kung Fu and internal martial arts like Tai Chi. Both of these forms of martial arts are fighting styles! Many people have no idea that Tai Chi is actually a fighting style. There are Tai Chi boxers, a practice called Push Hands, and sword forms and other weapons forms Tai Chi. I was at a Tai Chi seminar once being taught by Grandmaster William CC Chen when a woman in the seminar with us, upon realizing Grandmaster Chen was breaking down the Tai Chi form into all the strikes, punches, blocks, kicks, and throws we were actually practicing in the form, fled the room saying, Im a pacifist!”  

Sometimes when you see people moving slowly together in the park, doing morning exercises, you may think they are doing Tai Chi because the movements are slow and flowing, but they actually might be practicing Qigong. It can look quite similar if you dont know the difference because we do gentle exercises to assist with moving vital energy around in the body.   

Qigong sits in the stream of Daoist healing arts known as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. I like to compare Qigong to acupuncture without needles. The purpose of acupuncture is the clear energy blockages, build up the Qi of the organs and tissues of the body, correcting Qi deficiencies and Qi stagnation. This is true of Qigong, as well.  

The ancient Chinese word for what we call Qigong today meant Nurturing Life.Eventually this practice has come to be referred to as Qigong which might be translated this way: Qi means breath or energy and Gong means work or effort. So its easiest to think of it as energy work.  

We use the breath extensively to allow us to feel energy flowing around in the body. We say where the breath goes the Qi flows. Working with your own Qi and the Qi in the environment around you is a complete systematic approach to wellness and longevity, and it can be very different from the way most medical doctors might approach health. What I love is that there are now more and more research studies popping up to verify and quantify the positive healing impact on the body Qigong can have. So many positive results are being reported in these studies that a lot of comprehensive medical treatment plans will now include Qigong and other aspects of TCM!  

One thing I really love about Qigong is that there is such a wide variety of practices with different emphases. It really is a study one can do for their entire life without ever running out of things to explore and learn. I particularly love Dayan Qigong or Wild Goose Qigong. I also love learning the sets called Five Elements practices and 8 Pieces of Brocade. Another favorite of mine is Shibashi, a form of Qigong which is actually based on Yang Style Tai Chi. It feels a bit like a Tai Chi form, but the exercises have a completely different purpose and focus.  

There you have it, a brief discussion about Qigong and what it actually is. I might have stirred up some questions in your mind about the subject. And if that is true, please pop your question into the comments below because Ill be checking back here to address them for you.  

I hope you enjoyed the Abundant Health podcast today, I want to thank you for being with me on the 8th episode. I would really love to meet you back here again next week!  

Until then, may you experience Abundant Health