Believe it or not, there are people who practise Qigong and Taiji for many years, but still they are not healthy.
There are on the other hand those who practise everyday and are very healthy, even though they do not practise for hours and hours. How can this be?
Qigong is a powerful thing. Many times I have seen people rid themselves of serious health problems. Some of them have even been told by their doctor that there is nothing more to be done and they should ‘learn to live with it‘.
On being told this, some people accept the situation as hopeless, whereas others refuse to give up and find a way.
When they start Qigong, they are often quite skeptical, but feeling they have nothing to lose, they give it a go.
Over the weeks, they continue to practise, and as they keep coming to class, you get to know them a little more, and occasionally stop for a little chat. Eventually you forget they were really ill or in severe discomfort until they say how much better they feel. Then you notice how happy they are.
Perhaps their fight is not over, but now they can see things are not hopeless and that there is a way for them to recover. You can imagine how they feel. Cases like this always amaze me.
On the other hand, there are people who say “I wasn’t feeling very well, so I didn’t practise.” I am sure many of you will see the irony in this. Do you think the same people say, ‘Oh I was too ill to take my medicine ?’
Joking aside, you can understand why people feel like this. Usually they are quite new to Qigong.
To them Qigong is something they are learning, and it is hard.
Learning new movements is hard and perfecting already learnt ones is even harder.
When they go to class they look around at all those senior students who seem to go through countless exercises effortlessly, whereas they sweat and struggle. Comparing their own movements, they feel everything is wrong, and perhaps it is better not to practise when it is wrong in case you do more harm than good.
If you do feel like this, then the first thing you need to do is relax, and do not worry so much. If you are studying with a good teacher then he or she will not let you practise so incorrectly that it is going to hurt you.
If there is any risk then the teacher will tell you and keep a careful eye on you. That is why you go to them.
Secondly, when you are feeling weak, you don’t have to go through an entire form.
It is not the case of if you do not take all the pills in the bottle, then you will not get better. The main purpose of Qigong is to open your meridians and acupuncture points and allow the Qi to flow cleanly.
You do not have to go through an entire exercise to do this.
It is true that different movements stimulate you body in different ways, and that these different types of movement will help you to develop further. But when you are so weak that you cannot face doing any exercise, you should not think of developing yourself to the highest level, you should think of making yourself better.
As you learn different movements, you will notice how they make you feel. Everyone has their favourite movement. Usually it is a movement that makes you feel good. If it makes you feel good, then it is doing you good.
Then you will notice moving in one way makes your back feel better, or moving another way makes your chest feel clearer and so on.
So now when you are ill, you can just do certain movements that make you feel better or help the part which hurts. In fact, you do not even have to do movements you were taught, as long as you relax and move in a similar way you will feel better.
You may even just have to jump up and down and wave your arms around. What you are now doing is moving in a more spontaneous manner (there is actually a type of Qigong exercise which is wholly based on being spontaneous). You are now actually using what you have learned, and while it may not cure you instantly, it will help you recover more quickly.
All you need to do is move, and do not think about the hours you have to spend going over your exercises. Of course, you can practise to develop yourself, but first think about being healthy, because without this first step you will not get very far.
by Darryl Moy