MSc Chinese Medicine, Dip Tuina, BA (Hons), PGCE, MBAcC, MBCCMA
I grew up in Asia where one morning at dawn I saw a little old lady moving in a slow, calculated and meditative way in the observatory park in Bangkok. My father explained that she was practicing to walk on the moon. This was my first experience of Taijiquan, a captivating part of yangsheng or the “nourishing life” toolkit of East Asian Medicine.
Twenty years later whilst working as an editor in London I came across a book on Taiji (Tai Chi) and decided to join a class. I was mentored by my first teacher James Drewe and began teaching. In 2006 I visited Beijing with the Longfei Taijiquan Association of Great Britian to train with Longfei (“Flying Dragon”) Professor Li Deyin, a leading teacher of Yang-style taijiquan in China. We also travelled to Wudang Mountain, where the legendary monk Zhang Sanfeng, watching a crane and snake fighting, was inspired to create the Taiji form.
My taiji took a new path when I met Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang at a seminar in London. I pursued the serious discipline of developing the internal energetic reeling of Chen style, training regularly with Kinthissa in the UK and Italy and Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang and later his son Chen Yingjun in the UK. In 2012 I travelled across China to train with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang in Chenjiagou (Chen village), the accepted birthplace of Taiji where around 300 years ago Chen Wangting created this internal martial art to maintain his health.
Through Longfei I was introduced to Dao Yin Yangsheng Gong, a system of medical Qigong created by Professor Zhang Guangde and his lead disciple Professor Hu Xiaofei who is my current teacher. Practicing these exercises awakened my interest in the medical aspect of these exercises and lead to my Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at London South Bank University.
My aunt, aged 85, practicing an exercise to strengthen the legs and return the energy to the kidney
As part of the course I returned to China to spend five months as a student in the neurology, gynaecology, oncology and tuina clinics of the Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Harbin. It was incredible to see these great doctors (trained in both Western and Chinese medicine) treating up to 200 patients a day with around 12 students assisting and learning first hand and how conditions such as Bell’s Palsy, infertility, frozen shoulder could all be treated through acupuncture.
I also seized the opportunity to make my first visit to my father’s birthplace in Shantou, Guangdong Province in the south where I met my uncle, the youngest of the three brothers and his wife my aunt for the first and last time. My uncle had Lung cancer in the 70s and through Western treatment and Chinese medicine lived into his 90s. His wife often caught colds. Aged 60 she went to Hong Kong for a few months and she learned a type of boxing called Liutongquan, and kept practicing every day. Her health improved and until the day she died in 2019 she rarely got sick.
So in 2013, drawing on my history and experience in Chinese Medical and Martial arts, I set up Moving Qi to help people engage in their health through yangsheng (“nourishing life”).
Moving Qi provides the following therapies:
- Toyohari acupuncture (“East Asian needling technique” – a subtle style of Japanese meridian therapy to rebalance qi in the body and restore health)
- Tuina (Chinese medical massage)
- Taiji (Tai Chi – soft, internal martial art – mediation in movement)
- Qigong (gentle exercises based on Traditional Chinese medicine)
WHAT CLIENTS SAY?
KIND WORDS FROM MY LOVELY CLIENTS
I have been seeing Laura for acupuncture for several years now, originally in relation to a stomach problem but then more recently through my first pregnancy. Not only have our sessions resolved the various issues that I’ve raised, but they’ve also helped me to relax and de-stress. I love that Laura takes the time to recommend food and books and to demonstrate breathing techniques that complement her treatments. Highly recommended!
Laura’s calm and warm manner make me feel relaxed and welcome as soon as I walk through the door. I have complete trust in the choices she makes for my treatment and really feel in safe and skilled hands. I also feel her kindness and commitment to a holistic way of treating the body shine through. For me, the sign of a good acupuncture session is when I leave feeling brighter, rested and restored. I feel this after every treatment with Laura. I recommend her and her acupuncture skills unreservedly.
I would definitely recommend Laura. I’ve had migraines and eczema for years, which used to get unbearable during very busy and stressed periods. The combination of tuina massage and acupuncture has helped me to control both. The difference has been considerable since I started treatment, I haven’t had a bad migraine event for months and my eczema issue has noticeably improved. Laura has also helped me with a shoulder problem that started recently.
As someone who has seen acupuncturists beforehand for a host of medical conditions, it is truly wonderful to have been able to meet Laura. I am outstanded by her knowledge and professionalism in acupuncture which is truly great. In previous experiences I could feel every needle being used, but with her it’s as if she is able to connect with every problematic nerve in my body. Since attending I am calmer both physically and mentally, more positive, and feel much more at home in my own body. Since recovering from my breast cancer a few years ago, she has done wonders. She has also helped me with my chronic back and joint pain. I can also comfortably call her a great source of advice in all aspects of life. I highly recommend her.
I have a scoliosis (twisted spine)… during these last two years I have trained with Laura first with… qigong exercise and taiji which has not only strengthened and improved my posture and provided me with a new skill and interest, but almost without noticing it I can sit upright by preference without support and with my spine erect. My shoulders, arms, legs and back have also become more muscular, not like a body builder, but nevertheless with noticeable muscular definition and I am much fitter and healthier. Laura has taught me how to use my energy more effectively, how to focus and concentrate to perform the movements better, and how to sense my body’s centre, root and balance. This naturally leads to the additional advantages of having a sense of well being, and of being both more relaxed and yet more alert. I continue to attend Laura’s classes and to benefit from her excellent teaching.
I gave it a try because I enjoyed the Chinese massage in spite of my negative prejudice to taiji and it has changed my life. I feel at the end as if I have had a massage – relaxed and smoothed out. I like being outside for two hours unable to do anything else and often I am not thinking of all those thoughts that usually crowd my head. I also enjoy seeing the other people who go to the class.
I’m experiencing a steady, ongoing increase in my energy levels, and I’m getting much more rest from my sleep. After my morning Qigong session I feel a surge in umph and optimism and tend to crack on, get a lot more done each day than in the past.
I like the simplicity and grace of Qigong. Laura personifies these qualities as a teacher
Qigong is my way forward. When I started about 3 years ago at Morley College I struggled with almost everything but I saw it as a sign of how much I needed it so I persevered to come to the harmony I saw in it. Now it has become part of my life. I like to feel the Qi flowing, my hands warm, my mind peaceful.