By Dr. Khoo Cheng Choo
It was with great anticipation & trepidation as the Health Qigong Forum approached. The excitement was about the three Qigong Masters – the representatives of the International Health Qigong Federation based in China who would be teaching at the Forum.
They would be instructing us on the current Health Qigong standardised routines and techniques. Thus, this would be a good opportunity for us to confirm, learn and query on any aspect of Qigong that we had an interest in.
The Forum & Workshop hosted by Tai Chi Australia in Melbourne, comprised three hectic days of intensive but very rewarding talks and workshops. Topics ranged from “What is Qigong?” to the practice of Dao Yin, Yi Jin Jing & Ba Duan Jin. The third optional day catered to those seeking to learn the Qigong Stick routine.
While Qigong practice is ancient, and practitioners have harnessed its energy for health purposes for centuries, Western medicine has only recently taken a keen interest in the use of Qigong for disease treatment. Hence the report on the integration of Qigong in Parkinson Disease treatment research by Dr Liu Xiaolei was both timely and informative.
Despite the fact the instructors spoke mainly in Mandarin (with Master Han Jin Song acting as the main interpreter) it was comprehensible and little was lost in translation. This can be attributed to the enthusiasm and professionalism of the teaching team and the keenness of the participants to absorb and learn.
In the workshops, I was transfixed by the elegant, precise and intricate moves of Master Zhu Jingyuan as she systematically and passionately spoke about the intricacies of different moves and demonstrated how they were to be performed correctly. With her movements during the workshop, I felt less clunky and was able to flow more naturally and comfortably. As Helen R put it, “The Professors were very good in respect to training a large group. I have been practicing the Dao Yin and Stick for some time and I picked up a lot of movements I could improve on. I enjoyed the atmosphere, and everyone was very motivated to learn.”
The Professor Zhang Wenchun spoke on the theoretical aspects of Qi and got us to practise building a Qi ball with interplay with our hands. The session on Qigong practice by Parkinson Disease Patients Research by Dr Liu Xiaolei was interesting but a tad short. Chris S, another Wushu & Tai Chi NSW member who went to Qigong Forum & Workshop said that “Having read “Effects of Health Qigong Exercises on Relieving Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease” by Xiao Lei Liu et. al. I was keen to attend the Health Qigong Seminar in Melbourne. On Day One, although a novice (just two lessons in Tai Chi), I was made most welcome to participate in the exercises and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. On Day Two, under the tutelage of Master Liu, we concentrated on Qigong exercises that were of most benefit to PD sufferers. I found this session both informative and challenging but will continue to incorporate these exercises into my daily routine.”
The Question & Answer sessions were very informative as Mr Chang Jianping, the Executive Vice-President and Secretary General of the International Health Qigong Federation, spoke about the development of his organisation in China, the new programs they are working on and upcoming events.
The Workshops were followed by (optional) Qigong Duan Wei examination (Level 1, 2 and 3). Four people from NSW were brave enough to undertake it. It was a long and anxious wait for the exam because of an unbelievably slow online Qigong Duan Wei registration system and the exam in front of five highly experienced judges was nerve-wrecking and exhilarating at the same time. Tunde T said, “The Duan exam was a good way to show what we had learned, and I was happy we all passed.” Now, all we need to do is wait for our certificates!
Then it was home to Sydney, tired but satisfied that we’d had a great learning experience and looking forward to similar events in future, particularly, in August next year when we can all attend the International Health Qigong Competition Event in Melbourne.
Many thanks to the Professors and Masters from the International Qigong Federation, to Tai Chi Australia for hosting this wonderful event and Wushu & Tai Chi NSW for organising the NSW delegation and providing the participants with some financial assistance for attending the seminars and taking the Qigong Duan Wei Exam!