Healing Hamilton

Assisting you on your path to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

Showing posts with label qigong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label qigong. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 17, 2019


 Beginners Qi Gong Classes

Move your Body.  Deepen your Breath.  Clear your Mind.

Join us for an amazing journey of body awareness and self-discovery. Qi Gong is a method of gentle, mindful movement that makes the body strong and supple. It improves balance, stamina and flexibility. It has positive effects on the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, immune and central nervous systems. Much like doing Yoga or going to the gym, Qi Gong is a long term practice, not a quick fix. It takes time and discipline to learn the moves. You will know within a few classes whether Qi Gong is right for you. If it is, get ready to enjoy a happier and healthier future!

Fee:  $50 per session, payable at the first class
Each session has 4 classes
Next class dates: January 16, 23, 30 and Feb 6  6:45 pm to 7:45 pm
Note: classes have moved to Thursday evenings
Location:  Beyond Healing Pathways,  2 – 307 East 27th St., Hamilton ON

To register: Please email us at earthdragonhealing@gmail.com

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Learn Qi Gong


What is Qi Gong?

Qi Gong is part of an ancient Chinese exercise and healing system.   "Qi" roughly translates to vital energy, information, breath or spirit.  "Gong" means work, cultivation or mastery.   Qi Gong is therefore sometimes translated as "energy work", "vital energy cultivation" or "mastery of your energy." 

When you practice the slow, mindful physical movements of Qi Gong you're training to have more resiliency, balance, flexibility, focus and awareness by bringing qi into the muscles, bones and tendons through specifically designed routines.   Qi Gong is also a highly effective way to lessen the effects of aging and manage your stress.  

Benefits of Qi Gong


Research reported through the National Institute of Health has concluded Qi Gong provides consistent and significant health benefits related to:

  • bone density
  • cardiopulmonary effects
  • physical function
  • falls and related risk factors
  • psychological symptoms
  • immune function

Learn Qi Gong

Earth Dragon Healing is happy to announce we are now offering Qi Gong classes in Hamilton, ON 
Location:  Beyond Healing Pathways, 662 Fennell Ave E Unit #1, Hamilton
When:       You can find our class schedule on Earth Dragon Healing Facebook Events
                                                                          Earth Dragon Healing Website

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Taking your monkey mind for a walk

"Monkey mind" is a Buddhist term meaning an unsettled or restless mind.   When we are busy doing things, our monkey mind usually isn't noticeable.  But when we try to relax that monkey comes bouncing out, and our thoughts follow it's crazy trajectory.  Instead of resting we're thinking about our jobs, our family responsibilities, financial commitments and any other thing the monkey finds interesting.   That darn monkey will even wake you up in the middle of the night if it thinks you haven't worried enough during the day.

So we look for ways to quiet the monkey.  Meditation, we're told, is the answer.  Still the monkey, find the quiet within.  Yes, meditation is the answer.  But don't think for one minute that monkey is going to cooperate!  You can light a candle, turn off your phone and sit on a meditation pillow but quieting the body and quieting the mind are two very different things.  And while meditation does require a stilling of the mind, it is not necessary to sit like a statue.

Moving meditation is a great option.  Tai chi and qi gong are two excellent examples of moving meditation.  The benefits are myriad, but learning these forms can be complicated and lengthy (it's worth it though!)   Here's an easy moving meditation you can do anywhere, anytime.  I learned this technique from Dr. Parmjit Singh  who is associated with McMaster University here in Hamilton, Ontario.

Go for a walk.  As you walk, you're going to touch each finger tip with your thumb (left thumb touches finger tips on left hand, right thumb touches finger tips on right hand).  Starting with the baby finger, touch each finger tip once until you get to the index finger, then reverse by touching the index finger again and work your way back to the baby finger.  Eight touches in all. 

As you do this you are going to control your breathing.  (Remember to breath with your diaphragm, the air going into your belly - don't raise your shoulders when you inhale.) You inhale for 4 touches and exhale for 4 touches.  Each inhale and exhale will be separated into 4 short breaths, timed to match your finger tip touching:

Touch thumbs to baby fingers - short inhale
Touch thumbs to ring fingers - short inhale
Touch thumbs to middle fingers - short inhale
Touch thumbs to index fingers - short inhale
Touch thumbs to index fingers - short exhale
Touch thumbs to middle fingers - short exhale
Touch thumbs to ring fingers - short exhale
Touch thumbs to baby fingers - short exhale

This technique gives you the benefits of mild exercise and meditation at the same time.   So quiet that monkey by taking it out for a walk!

If you do this walking meditation barefoot on the grass or at the beach you'll also be getting all the benefits of earthing!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Qi Gong Day in Toronto

I recently attended the World Qi Gong Congress held in Toronto Ontario.  I attended only one day of the four day event.  That one day was so jam-packed with information, demonstrations and lectures I can't imagine my brain absorbing three more days worth!

"The Magic of Qi Gong" with Lee Holden

 I was lucky enough to participate in demonstrations in two of the workshops I attended.   The first workshop was "Energetics of Push Hands" with Lama Tantrapa.     Though it was aimed at beginners (which I am not) I was very impressed by his down-to-earth style, depth of knowledge, and skill.  He had been teaching us how to be rooted so when pushed we wouldn't lose our balance.  When he asked me to participate in a demo by pushing him, I applied all my Tai Chi principles and complied.  And pushed him off balance!  He'd under estimated my abilities, so he re-took his stance and told me to push him again.  I pushed him off balance again, though less so this time.  At this point he turned to the crowded room and announced "She is very powerful".  Yes - Lama Tantrapa said I was powerful!  I was thrilled.  And totally impressed by his lack of ego.  He took his stance again and told me to push.  It was like pushing on jello.  I couldn't find his centre and just rolled off one side or the other, no matter how many times I tried.  It was obvious I was no match for him once he stepped up his game.  But he'd had to step up his game -  proof my years of studying Tai Chi haven't been wasted!

The second workshop was with Dr. Effie Chow.  This tiny lady (I don't think she's five feet tall) is at least sixty-five years old and was sporting a cane.  She asked four large people to come to the front.   I was sitting in the second row - she pointed to me and told me to come up.  I'm overweight, and being selected for my size was hard on my ego, but I went up there anyway.  Once at the front we were told to announce our weight into the microphone so everyone could hear.   Gulp.  Well, I figured everyone could see I was overweight, so what was the big deal about putting a number on it?  So I proudly stated my true weight.  (I guess the glow from the "She is very powerful" comment hadn't worn off yet. )  Someone in the audience added it all up - together the four of us weighed over 800 lbs.   Dr. Chow told us to stand in a line, congo-style and plant ourselves firmly, but not to push back if we felt pushed.  She leaned on the first guy in line, but  couldn't budge him.  Then she used her chi to push instead of her muscles.  She pushed all four of us backward!  I was the furthest away from her yet still felt a smooth, solid and relentless energy push me back.  It was amazing.

Dr. George Love's workshop on Qi Gong to prevent/heal cancer was awesome.  Dr. Love is charismatic and inspiring and emanates a passionate and fun-loving energy.  I was so impressed with him I bought his DVD and plan to learn his Meridian Qi Gong exercises.  The DVD came with a bonus disk of his Qi Gong music video which is also on Youtube.  Watch it here and see his incredible energy for yourself.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Earth Healing - No Dragon Required

Healing with "Earthing"

Earthing is an easy way to help your body overcome illness and injury and improve your overall health.  Sound too good to be true?  "Earthing" is not a new diet or exercise program, in fact it's old.  Very, very old.  What is new is our ability to scientifically support the benefits of "earthing".

What is "earthing"?   It's walking barefoot on the earth.  Yup, that's it.  That's the whole enchilada - exercising on the earth in your bare feet.  Here's a four minute video that gives you a quick overview of the oldest, easiest and free way to improve your health.

There's an excellent video here that explains in detail the research done to support the claim that earthing can help us avoid our body's inflammatory response and why this leads to better health.  The video is just over an hour long but well worth the time investment.  If you don't have an hour to spare you can read the highlights on the page below the video.

I realize all that glitters is not gold, but this seemed to make sense to me so I gave it a try.  I had injured my back 6 days prior and was frustrated by my lack of recovery.  Despite continuing to practice Tai Chi and Qi Gong through the injury, laying down was my only pain free activity.   So I moved my Qi Gong practice outside, removed my socks and did a round of "Eight Brocades" - eight short exercises rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It took about twenty minutes.

For the next two hours I had tingling in the bottom of my feet as well as tingling and warmth up my legs, half way to my knees.  I have been practicing Qi Gong for years and had never experienced this.  I had never done Qi Gong barefoot in the grass before either.  

My back felt better, but I wanted it to be right, not just better.  So I did it again the next day, only this time after completing the exercises I laid on my back on the ground.  After about 10 minutes I was interrupted, my attention called indoors.  Because I was focused on other things, I didn't realize until later that day my back was normal.   Full range of motion - pain free!

If you decide to give earthing a try, please share your experiences here.  I'd love to hear if others have similiar experiences.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Phew! I did it.

I did it!

The April A-Z challenge was an awesome opportunity to connect with other bloggers, find great new blogs to follow and hone up on my posting skills.    I have to admit though, I'm glad it's over.  Thirty posts in thirty days is tough for me to sustain.  In non-April months I'm not usually online on a daily basis, so I'm happy to revert back to my pre-challenge posting schedule of once per week (sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on life).

The main focus of my future posts will continue to be the healing energy arts, though I plan to cast my idea-net a little wider.  Later this month I will be attending the 14th World Congress on Qigong and hope to learn some great stuff I can share with you.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about Reiki, Tai Chi, Qigong, Shamballa or Sound Therapy, please leave a comment on this post.  I'll do my best to answer it for you.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Qi Gong for Everyone

Q is for Qi Gong

Six things you wanted to know about Qi Gong but didn't know who to ask:
  1. How do I pronounce "Qi Gong"?

    Qi is pronounced "chee"
    Gong is pronounced" gung" (rhythms with lung)

  2. What is Qi Gong?

    A powerful system of healing and energy medicine from China.   It's the art and science of using breathing and gentle movement to cleanse, strengthen and circulate life energy (qi).  Read more from Qi Gong master Ken Cohen here
  3. What are the basic principles of Qi Gong

    Breathing and being relaxed are two of the fundamental basics.  Watch Qi Gong master Ken Cohen demonstrate them here  http://youtu.be/I3GuK1OVbCc

  4. What do you do with Qi Gong?

    Qi Gong is used as a healing modality  Watch a qi gong treatment

    It is applied in sports and martial arts to improve strength and stamina

    It is used as a spiritual discipline

  5. Who can do Qi Gong?

    Everyone!  Qi Gong can be done standing, seated or even laying down.  Its gentle techniques are appropriate for all ages and levels of fitness.  It can even be tailored to suit the ill, injured or palliative student.

  6. How do I find a Qi Gong instructor?

    Your local martial arts club may offer Qi Gong, or at least,  may point you in the direction of a local Qi Gong group.

    Check your local recreation centres.  Even if they don't offer Qi Gong, many rec. centres offer Tai Chi and Tai Chi instructors are often well versed in Qi Gong.

    If these options don't work for you, try the Qi Gong Institutes International Directory of Qi Gong Teachers and Therapists

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Eyes

"N" is for New

The word "New" has several definitions, including:
  • being other than the former or old
  • made or become fresh
  • has not been known before or not experienced before
Perhaps Marcel Proust had all of these in mind when he said "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes."

Below is a list of books that have moved my heart, challenged my brain, changed my perspective or made me question my assumptions - all prerequisites to seeing things through new eyes.

Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert
Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore
Sounds of Healing by Mitchell Gaynor
The Heart's Code by Paul Pearsall
The Way of Qigong by Ken Cohen
Discover your Psychic Type by Sherrie Dillard
Travels in a Stone Canoe by Harvey Arden & Steve Wall
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Trust Your Vibes by Sonia Choquette

Check one or two of them out.  Let me know if you find them as eye-opening as I did!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tai Chi: Bringing the principles into daily life

Our busy modern lives can make it difficult for us to get out to formal classes or even to find practice time at home.  So why not incorporate some of the Tai Chi principles into your everyday routine?  By thinking about the principles daily, and applying them whenever possible, they will quickly become second nature.  And if the principles are second nature, your Tai Chi will improve at a faster rate.    Ideas on how to do this will be shared over 3 or 4 separate posts so each principle can be fully explored.

Part 1 - RELAX

Relaxation is the key principle to a successful Tai Chi/Qigong practice.  Without it, aligning your body into the required postures is nothing short of impossible.  In his book "The Way of Qigong" Ken Cohen tells us that "relaxation is a matter of effortlessness with intent" and that "trying to relax is counterproductive".  According to Mr. Cohen  "to relax you must be tranquil".   Roger Janke tells us in his book "The healing promise of Qi"   "Relax.  There is nothing to do.  Qi will naturally gather into your system and circulate if you relax."    This however, is deceptively difficult to do! 

In the video below, Ian Sinclair of Taichicentral.com explains why "Relaxation is not for wimps."

Ian tells us that relaxation is so difficult to achieve because  "thought, emotion and posture merge when working with subtle levels of aligning the body".   Tai Chi, by it's very nature, brings this challenge front and centre.  As we practice and improve our postures, thoughts and emotions bubble to the surface.  

How to include relaxation in your daily life:

Pause for a minute and note your state of mind.  Are you frustrated? Bored? Happy?  Now do a mental body scan.  Start at your head and scan right down to your toes, noting any tension you feel in your body.   As you find each area of tension allow it to relax, letting it go fully before scanning for the next area.  You may want to scan from head to toe more than once to be sure you've found all of your tension.  Once you're fully relaxed note your state of mind.  Has it changed in any way? 

If you're not yet convinced that your thoughts and emotions affect your body, try this:   Once you're fully relaxed, think about something that requires action on your part.  Don't move your body in any way - just think about the pending task for a minute or two.  Again, without moving, do a mental body scan noting the areas of tension.  Trust me - they'll be back!  Are they in the same places?  Has the intensity changed?

Obviously you'll be most relaxed if you can do this exercise lying down, but it works just about anywhere.  Try it when your standing in a line or sitting in a waiting room.