The following article was written for a book to be compiled by Qigong Master Sunny Lu.
Like it has in many other countries, Qigong has started to move in the right direction in New Zealand, so yes, we are in the world game of promoting the practicing of Qigong!
In October 1989 the New Zealand Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine Association (NZQ & TCMA) was established with the purpose of offering practitioners of different modalities of Chinese therapies and therapy exercises, a nationwide ground for sharing information.
Qigong was known firstly as part of the Chinese Martial Arts. This has been the same understanding in NZ with many Kung Fu, Taichi and Wushu clubs teaching Qigong as part of their training methods for decades. For the future of Qigong, however, it needs to be seen as an ancient practice for health, well-being and inner peace in its own right, as well as a practice to improve inner power.
In the 1980s the Chinese government opened its view regarding the practice and promotion of Qigong methods. This helped Qigong to openly develop into different areas including the research of the effectiveness of Qigong and its relationship to traditional Chinese medicine. From this time the number of practitioners increased from thousands to millions worldwide, and Qigong as a complementary therapy is now offered in hospitals. From the academic point of view, universities have set up degrees, masters and PhD courses both inside and outside of China.
For the Chinese government it was important to demystify this ancient practice of Qigong. By doing this, the followers of Qigong were divided into two main groups. The first group are more focused on the proven medical science and modern concepts, as well as the Traditional Chinese medicine theories. These people took Qigong as therapeutic exercises and methods of moving the Qi (life force) in the body, stressing the aspects of health and relaxation.
The second group are those who still see it as a spiritual practice and still believe in the interconnection of the human Qi with the celestial and terrestrial energies.
Regardless of health reasons or spiritual reasons, the practice of Qigong places great importance on the mind, which is to say the different methods of taking the mind to states of calmness and tranquility.
In modern science it is now well proven that the regular practice of Qigong stimulates the function of the nervous system, more specifically the autonomic nervous system, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal systems and even the digestive system. The other aspect both groups share clear views on is the importance of the cultivation of morals, ethics and virtues that really make sense to any human being regarding of ethnicity, religious believes etc.
In conclusion these aspects could perhaps be best summarised in these simple and clear sentences…
“Think well, breathe well, stretch well, eat well and sleep well, relate to others well”.
In our organisation NZQ & TCMA we have practitioners with regular and well established classes of Qigong, Qigong Clinic practices of diverse Qigong methods, such as Tian Quan Gong, Zhineng Qigong, Jiansheng Qigong, Daoyin Yang Sheng Gong, Tao Motion to mention just a few that we have represented in the association all working together for the benefit of all communities in the country.
As an organisation we are members of the Natural Health Practitioners NZ and representatives to the World Academic Society of Medical Qigong. We run events and activities such a free Qigong Open Day, there is a regular newsletter, and we have set up an accreditation process for both Medical Qigong Therapists, and Qigong Exercise Instructors. This will benefit the instructors and therapist to run their classes and practices.
With the increased awareness of complementary health therapies, social media and internet promotion, each year there are more and more people who are inquiring about Qigong classes, therapy, events and activities. We are living in a world these days where you don’t need to walk the hard yards because information is available at the click of a mouse.
In the next 5 years the plan is to have regular classes, events and Qigong clinics in all corners of the country. In order to achieve these we will set up a strategic plan of development that includes increased membership in general, as well as bringing in more instructors and therapists to work along with other Chinese Medicine organisations nationally and internationally.
At the time of my arrival in NZ 17 years ago, the number of Chinese people living in the country was not one quarter of what it is now. With the increase of the Chinese population the interest in the different aspects of Qigong from New Zealanders, has given Qigong a bright future here.
In December 1996 I arrived in NZ after 4 years postgraduate full time studies at the prestigious Beijing Sports University, where I took papers in Wushu, Taiji Quan as well as Qigong and TCM theory, Tuina (Therapeutic Massage) and a short course in acupuncture. I worked for the New Zealand Kung Fu Wushu Federation as national Wushu and Taiji Quan coach for 4 years.
I established my own organisation in the year 2000, looking for a new independent life running Wushu, Taiji Quan and Qigong classes and in 2008 I opened my Qigong Clinic private practice.
For more than 20 years I have been studying, practicing and researching different Qigong methods and schools of Qigong along with other body therapies. Based on my personal experience I always recommend the solo practice of Qigong as part of the therapy and health programme. I teach specific Qigong exercises to help prolong the benefits of the therapies.
The outcome when Qigong therapy is combined with the solo Qigong exercises is better, especially the satisfaction of patients who incorporate Qigong into their daily lives.
As a Qigong instructor I teach several Qigong methods to suits the needs and interest of my students.
I am currently practicing and studying Tian Quan Gong under the guidance of Master Sunny Lu. This is a method that has consolidated many of my theories about Qigong and I have been using this strong internal energy that I accumulate in my Qigong clinic with patients.
It has been interesting to hear the feedback from the patients about how they feel the difference since I started applying the medical Tian Quan Gong methods!
Qigong can be practiced at any stage of life, regardless of a person’s medical condition. Let’s work together for health, well-being and inner peace for all of us.