1st Set, 2nd Set &
Pai Da Gong
“Qigong is a 1700 year-old practice, good for people of all ages, improves health and longevity…” Seriously? Yes. Keep reading.
Several years ago, a co-worker told me about Dayan (Wild Goose) Qigong classes at Wen Wu School. I had never heard of it, but it sounded like “Tai Chi” which had always held some interest for me. I listened with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism as the instructor told the class it can benefit everyone and help with a variety of health issues. Well, I wasn’t there for the health, I just wanted some exercise, and I could fit it into my busy schedule. The class was enjoyable, so I attended the whole course. As a self-characterized “Type Triple-A” person with an extremely stressful job, I struggled with the concept that “this isn’t a competition,” and I should “relax,” but found I could challenge myself with the warm-ups without causing myself pain, and stopped beating myself up for not immediately learning the movements to perfection. I learned relaxation within movement, as I reminded myself I was doing this for me, for my enjoyment.
After a few weeks, I went from being a human Popsicle wrapped in five layers of clothing, a full-length winter coat and a 20-foot scarf to a person to being comfortable in a T-shirt. (I’m the person who moved to California from Upstate New York to get warm.) Also, I stopped taking Gabapentin to take the edge off chronic pain, as the pain was gone. Whaaat?!? This was totally unexpected! I noticed others had similar experiences with a variety of health issues. Could there really be a practice that helped in so many ways? Almost a “one-size-fits-all?” What was it about this mysterious, invisible stuff they call, “Qi”? My Curiosity became stronger. Not one to easily let go, Skepticism was still there, but it took a serious blow. There must be something to this.
Later, I had the rare opportunity to attend and graduate from the intense year-long 1st and 2nd Set Teacher Certification classes at Wen Wu School taught by Grandmaster Hui Liu, TCM Dr. Erlene Chiang, and other expert instructors. Now I understand why the form works, as an adjunct to Traditional Chinese Medicine, which holds that when the Qi moves freely, we are healthy and have no pain. Dayan Qigong is the form approved at Colleges of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the VA system, Kaiser, and various other venues worldwide. Comparative studies show that this practice offers benefits beyond those of a regular exercise program, and Qi can actually be measured as an electromagnetic force.
My academic background is in Behavioral Neuroscience, and I have always been fascinated with the measurable and not-yet-measurable ties between the brain, mind, environment and body. Working in healthcare, I have knowledge and experience in Western Medicine models. How exciting to find another set of theories and descriptive language in Qigong and TCM! I have shared Qigong with students, patients and staff, who have reported improvement in pain, anxiety, depression, asthma, sciatica, digestion, flexibility, focus and more.