Healing Ourselves with Qigong
Cultivate Natural Healing Energy
by Minke de Vos
Are you ready to have a deeper relationship with your body and energy? Self-healing through Qigong requires listening to the innate wisdom of the body and energy.
When I practice the Inner Smile Meditation, I feel unconditional love expanding in my body. It feels like a warm golden liquid light pouring down, melting tensions and soothing discomfort. In silence my compassionate awareness holds space for my emotions to arise and be transformed. I receive messages from my vital organs about how they feel and how I can care for them.
For over three decades of teaching Qigong, I have had the great honour of witnessing incredible improvement in people’s health. I have seen people with autoimmune disorders, which Western medicine gave up on, have their condition turn around with dedicated practice of internal energy cultivation. One woman who had trouble sleeping said to me how deeply she slept after an evening practice of kidney and bone breathing.
A big challenge we face in modern life is stress, a major cause of dis-ease. How do you manage stress and how is it affecting your health? In Qigong, we train ourselves to be aware of the mind, body, and emotions, and breathe consciously to help us become centred amidst the stresses of life.
Qigong, Tai Chi, Yoga, and numerous other energy-based Mind-Body practices are now being revealed as a major part of the solution to some of the most common diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, stroke, asthma, and chronic lung disorders. The Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi is an example of this cutting-edge research. These practices are also part of maintaining good health.
The Taoists teach us to communicate with our biology and give encouragement to our bodily functions. When we feel gratitude toward all the unseen workers like our T-cells, they work so much better for us. Smiling down to our thymus gland, we boost our immune system. Co-operating with the wisdom of the body, we build trust in the resiliency and renewal of our cells.
Qigong is fundamentally energy work or Oriental Breath Therapy. “Qi” means energy or vital breath, and “gong” means work. Conscious breathing is a fundamental key to self-healing. Our breathing is the link between the conscious and unconscious functions of the body-mind. Taking long, slow, deep breaths can turn pent-up stress into expansive and relaxed vitality. We let go on the exhalation and fill up with life-force on the inhalation.
To build a self-healing routine, you need to understand that in Chinese medicine there are three categories of healing practices: purging, tonifying, and regulating. The intention is to free up energy that may be trapped and distribute it in a balanced way. Like rebuilding a house, we need resources. It takes energy to heal.
Purging or cleansing practices loosen and release physical, energetic, and emotional toxins. This type of exercise is shaking and tapping like shaking dust out of a carpet. This is how to dust your bones! Healing sounds are used to release excess stuck negative emotions. Through movement you can release stagnation and stress that can accumulate in the body-mind.
Tonifying or strengthening practices include standing postures, which have the rooting power of a tree. Empowering practices use breath retention and coloured light to pack energy into the body. When a plant is weak, we give nourishment to the roots. This means building up reserves of yin energy, which are stored in the bones. These restorative practices can also be practiced lying down to relax into the internal breathing process.
Regulating, balancing practices include an equal focus on in/out, up/down, front/back, warm/cold of our energy field. These gestures are gentle and flowing with equal emphasis on inhaling/receiving and exhaling/giving. Good health is a free flow of harmonious energy in the body. Having a daily personal practice is taking responsibility for your well-being.
Your practice can vary by adapting it to the changing seasons. For example, in the cold winter months we take care of our kidneys, keeping them warm and comfortable. In the spring, it is beneficial to mobilize the liver energy through movement. Qigong is about harmonizing with the nature around us.
Apparently up to 80 percent of our thoughts and actions are habitual. How do you change habits that you feel are unhealthy? First, be mindful of what is happening inside of you: your desires, fears, and needs. How does it feel in your body and emotions? How is your posture and breathing pattern? Returning to your natural alignment with heaven and earth, balancing your head, heart, and body expresses your magnificent potential.
One way to make a shift is through affirmations, which are made in a coherent state. Take some deep, slow breaths to calm your heart-mind and centre. This is the ground for making an effective affirmation like, “My mind, heart, and body are strong and healthy.”
In any moment, we can use our free will to choose health. Taking responsibility for our self-healing is very empowering! Qigong integrates mind, breath, body movement, and meditation to enhance our self-healing and total wellness.
Minke de Vos, Senior Universal Healing Tao Instructor, draws from her extensive background in energy arts and her own soul journey and has dedicated over 30 years to spiritual embodiment, teaching, and healing work. She co-founded Silent Ground Retreats for long-term, life-transforming programs. She has worked and co-taught with Taoist Grandmaster Mantak Chia for over 30 years and is part of the core faculty of the Universal Healing Tao System. She also teaches at the Healing Tao University. She is a certified Medical Qigong Master therapist by the International Institute of Medical Qigong. She offers teacher trainings internationally. Minke is the author of “Tao Tantric Arts for Women.” (www.silentground.com)
Minke de Vos and her partner David Gyurkovics will be teaching Healing Ourselves with Qigong, May 4–6 at Ancient Spirals, Saskatoon. Visit silentground.com and see Calendar of Events on page 5 and the display ad on page 24 of the 23.6 March/April
issue of the WHOLifE Journal.