Article from National Tai Chi Examiner by Violet Li
Read full article and pictures here
Qi is pronounced “chi” and means “life vital force” or “breath”. Gong means work. Qigong means the exercise people practice to cultivate Qi via proper breathing. Even though human beings breathe all the time, most people do not breathe accurately or know what Qi is. But Tai Chi and Qigong practitioners feel the buoyancy (or Qi) when practicing the art. Undoubtedly, Qi and Qigong seem foreign or even mysterious to millions of people.
Dr. Effie Chow, respected as the Mother of Qigong in the U.S., applied her unique method and made people feel Qi almost instantaneously during the recent seminar and workshops in Columbia, Missouri on May 4th through 6th. Furthermore, she literally brushed away chronic pains from the shoulders, knees and lower backs from many attendees. She helped a Vietnam War veteran with Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) depression. One person’s tinnitus was almost gone. One person, who could hardly muster the energy to walk into the auditorium on Friday evening for Dr. Chow’s seminar ended up “dancing” away afterwards. The successful stories went on and on.
What is the secret of Dr. Chow’s magical healing power? During Friday’s seminar, Dr. Chow started with a warm welcome to a packed auditorium. She asked all participants to have gentle thoughts, hug each other and laugh. It was quite amazing to see how contagious laughing could be. All of a sudden, the entire auditorium filled with warmth and love. Everyone was relaxed and felt spirited. Once seated, Dr. Chow reminded everyone to sit straight and maintain good posture so Qi could flow smoothly. Afterwards, Dr. Chow asked a lady in the front row to stand up and talk about her leg problem. It was shocking to learn that this young woman had so many foot surgeries in recent years. This patient reported that 70% of her pain was gone after Dr. Chow brushed her leg for two minutes prior to the beginning of the seminar and she was surprised that her leg was strong enough to lean on without her constantly shifting weight. Dr. Chow explained Qigong helps to balance the body both physically as well as bio-chemically.As a Qigong grandmaster, Dr. Chow performed a few Qigong demonstrations, which seemed magical to the participants. She used her power to ease pain for a few. But to elucidate that Qigong is actually accessible to everyone, she gave instructions to audience to activate their own senses so they could feel the power of Qi themselves. She also asked audience to volunteer for simple game-like experiments. In one instances, Dr. Chow worked with four volunteers to lift Dr. Handy Williamson Jr.,who is the Vice Provost of University of Missouri- Columbia and a talk person. They did the lifting twice. First time was hard for four of them to do the lifting. After following Dr. Chow’s instruction to lift Dr. Williamson’s Qi first, it became much easier for them to lift him up on the second time.
The weekend workshops were all sold out. In Saturday morning, Dr. Chow first taught a simple standing posture with feet together and spine upright so the tailbone lines up with the Baihui Point at the top of the head. Next she asked people to move their body in a free form or free flow so they could get into a meditative state (see the slide show for a photo). Then attendees practiced Standing Post and a closing movement.
Once everyone was relaxed and comfortable. Dr. Chow taught warm-up exercises: Side Stretch, Propeller Turn, Hip Rotation (or Hip Around the World), Knee Rotation, Kick and Half Split. Dr. Chow worked with attendees and showed them how to do these exercises slowly so they can reach the maximum stretch.
The next session was sitting meditation. Dr. Chow encouraged attendees to sit in a double lotus position for better circulation. With warm-up and relaxation, many were surprised by their newfound flexibility to sit in a double lotus position. Contrary to other instructors, Dr. Chow asked everyone keep eyes open while meditating. The reason is for better concentration training. After a long guided meditation, many attested that they felt enormous energy. One lady, who stopped driving for a year due to the inability to move ankles, reported that her ankles wanted to move. According to Dr. Chow, the best healing comes from within.
After lunch, Dr. Chow demonstrated the techniques of body scanning. Normally this is considered higher-level work for people who have sufficient Qigong training. Following her instruction, students were able to sense each other’s Qi. Dr. Chow further taught the techniques of removing bad Qi and packing good Qi. She advised participants to practice the techniques often so they will be better able to scan others’ Qi and providing treatments.
- Seminar attendees felt Qi at the instruction of Dr. Chow. Credit: Violet Li
The Sunday workshops were divided into two parts. Dr. Chow taught the Precious Chow Qigong Eight Movements for health and longevity. She also trained the participants the self-healing techniques for ears and eyes. Incredibly, there were many success stories after the self-treatment session. Of course, the key to maintain the health without medication is practicing Qigong on a regular base.
Many medical professionals and doctors attended the workshops. A registered physical therapist said ever since the workshops, she had a 60 % increase in alertness and mental clarity. She has since incorporated energy work more in clinical treatments. Dr. James Marzolf, MD of Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital of Columbia, Missouri did an opening speech to praise Dr. Chow for her accomplishment. He hopes with Qigong practice more people can be disease free.