Weekly qi gong classes are held every Wednesday from 6 pm until 7:15 at 93 Merrick Street in Smiths Falls. The studio can accommodate 9 students. Classes are drop in, but registration is required by e-mailing Marina to reserve your spot

Qigong (pronounced “chee-GUNG”)  is an ancient Chinese practice of learning how to flow, balance, and cultivate energy in your body so that you can feel improvements physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In qigong classes we move our bodies in a slow meditative fashion, with focused intention, and gentle breathing. Qigong is meditation in motion.

Qi = energy, vitality, life force   Gong = work, to cultivate

The gentle flowing movements of Qigong amplify our internal energy helping us become healthier, calmer and emotionally balanced. Qi or energy is intended to flow smoothly and harmoniously throughout the universe, nature, and in our bodies. Every day we can take advantage of energy from the earth, trees, and plants, and energy from the air or heavens. This is why spending time outside in nature is so important for optimal health. When qi flows smoothly in your body, you are physically and mentally healthy. When the flow of qi is interrupted, energy blockages occur, leading to physical or mental health problems. Energy blockages in our body are often compared to a coiled garden hose preventing the water from flowing smoothly.

The image of water is an important metaphor in Taoism, the underlying spiritual philosophy of qigong. Taoism encourages us to mindfully cultivate the qualities of water: it flows around obstacles, it is gentle and does not resist, but has the power to provide hydro-electric energy. Qigong is often called Chinese Yoga, and similar to the practice of yoga, qigong helps the practitioner to not only heal physically, but also to develop the emotional/spiritual qualities of peace, compassion, patience, respect and happiness.

Qigong plays an active role in protecting and strengthening health, preventing and treating disease, helping resist premature senility, and prolonging life. Although the documented history of Qigong goes back over 4,000 years, archeologists and historians have found references to qigong techniques that are 5,000 years old. Qigong predates the development of acupuncture and martial arts and is believed to be the early form of what became Traditional Chinese Medicine.

When practising qigong if you can learn to slow your breathing down over time, until you can inhale for a count of five, and exhale to a count of five, you begin working at your resonant energy level. Once you achieve this relaxed resonant state, your body begins to heal. Healing cannot take place when our mind and body are restless, stressed, agitated or fearful.

Many people ask what the differences are in Tai Chi and qigong since they are very similar. Qigong is more medicinal and meant to destress and heal the body. Tai Chi is a soft martial art slightly more forceful  kicking, punching and blocking. Lee Holden explains the differences between tai chi and qigong in this video and suggests people begin with qigong before they transition to tai chi Tai Chi vs Qi Gong: What’s the Difference Between Tai Chi and Qi Gong? . Here is more information that explains the differences. Qigong versus Tai Chi Which one is Right for Me.

The Sibashi set and warm up exercises I’ve been teaching was created in China in 1979 by Lin HouSheng.  He combined elements of Tai Chi and Qigong to create the first set of 18 exercises that make up Taichi Qigong-Shibashi. In Chinese Sibashi simply means a series of 18 exercises. Although his materials are in Chinese, there is great reading on his website

The teacher who certified me is Master Wing Cheung, who took Lin HouSheng’s work, and translated it to English. For years he has been conducting teacher trainings around the world. His website is excellent and will take you through the moves of Shibashi 1. My teacher’s page on this website is

In classes I’m incorporating the work of an American teacher Lee Holden. His DVD’s are excellent, but can’t be purchased commercially. To purchase his DVD’s the website is  For general information on qigong and Lee Holden He also has several free videos on YouTube.

There is an abundance of free qigong videos on YouTube where you will find detailed instruction on a single movement, and many full qigong classes. You can also find videos that will assist with any type of injury or illness by typing the name of the problem and qigong. For example, you might type qigong exercises for wrists, or qigong for heart. If you enter easy qigong or beginner qigong you’ll find videos you can begin doing daily at home. An excellent self-massage video to get you started is, One of my favourites is YOQI yoga and qigong by Marisa Cranfill. Marisa’s videos are beautifully filmed, easy to follow and informative. Highly recommend her website: Another YouTube favourite is Mimi Kuo-Deemer who has several short sets you can practise including the Eight Brocades.   An outstanding qigong master on YouTube channel is Robert Peng. His videos are unique because they show how the qi or energy moves around us and through our bodies as we practice the movements. Here’s a great example.

A qigong teacher from France, Kseng Gray has many excellent free YouTube videos for healing and helping many physical problems. This is a huge wealth of information with over 85 videos. Her videos which are all free range from 3 to 5 minutes, but also include entire classes between 20 to 25 minutes long. She has specific videos on healing hips, knees, lower back, neck, shoulders, and spine, boosting your immune system, breathing exercises, alleviating stress and tension, boosting your energy, morning, midday and evening routines, and even seated routines.

To understand more about the physiology of tai chi and qigong Roger Jahnke’s YouTube video is excellent. You can watch it here.

A comprehensive website on qigong is The Qigong Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting qigong through education and research. There are also several videos on this website.

I frequently do complimentary demos to promote the healing benefits of qigong. If your workplace, school or community is interested in a qigong demo feel free to contact me. For information on future classes or demos e-mail

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