Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures (moving or stationary), breathing techniques and focused intention.
Qi (pronounced chee) is the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things. Gong (pronounced gung) means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong means cultivating energy; it is a system practiced to maintain health, promote healing and increase vitality.
Qigong practices can be classified as martial, medical or spiritual. Some practices increase the Qi, others circulate it, use it to cleanse and heal the body, store it, or emit Qi to help heal others. Practices vary from the soft internal styles such as Dao Yin or Taiji, to the external, vigorous styles such as Gong Fu (Kung Fu). However, the slow gentle movements of most Qigong forms can be adapted for all abilities and can be practiced by all age groups.
How can Qigong help?
By involving the meridian system used in Acupuncture with mind intent and combining breathing techniques with physical movement, Qigong creates an awareness beyond the limits of western exercise programs.
With regular, focused practice, the gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong can:
- reduce stress & hypertension
- build stamina
- increase vitality
- enhance the immune system
- improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions
- enhance youthful vitality
- maintain health and reduce the incidence of falling in older people
- help speed recovery from illness
- encourage a positive outlook through body/mind/spirit connection.
What Qigong forms can I learn?
An almost infinite number of qigong exercises have been developed over 3000 years. In a Qigong class you will start with a warm-up and stretch and then you will learn some of the following exercises:
- Zhanzhuang - the essential foundation of every practice, standing qigong to develop centre (dantian) and balance the body
- Yin-yang qigong -Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang’s version of the Yi Jin Jing (muscle and tendon changing qigong)
- Six healing sounds - Chen Xiaowang’s healing sounds internalise the sounds relating to the five yin organs and the san jiao (triple energiser)
- Dao yin yangsheng gong - based on the Mawangdui cave drawings dating back to 168BC, Prof Zhang Guangde has devised sets of exercises to work the different yin organs (Lungs, Heart, Liver, Kidneys, Spleen). Today Prof Hu Xiaofei continues the tradition with warm-up, foundation and lower limb exercises
- Da gong - Hunyuan (primordial chaos) qigong for health from Feng Zhi Qiang
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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.
Laura’s calm and thoughtful manner and her commitment to my health and wellbeing is an inspiration. I always look forward to my next treatment session with her and come away knowing my body and soul has been nurtured.
I am, in my seventies, suffering from post polio syndrome. Osteopathy, physiotherapy and chiropractice have been of very limited help. However, acupuncture has given me a new lease of life.
A transformation from a state of feeling lethargic, no energy into positive relaxation. I’ve only felt that after acupuncture.
After completing the London to Brighton bike ride my body needed some help to recover. I saw Laura for acupuncture and cupping and I am so pleased I did. The acupuncture needles applied across the tops of my shoulders and back gave great relief but the best results came from the cupping she did on my legs. The muscles in my thighs were so tight and painful following cycling for so long the day before. After a session with laura the pain in my legs significantly reduced & by the following day were almost back to normal. Laura was great and explained everything she did, so glad I booked in with her and will definitely be doing so again.
I have seen Laura twice for acupuncture which has really helped me. The first was for shin splints ahead of a marathon, which I went on to do without any pain in my shins. The second was to back pain before a long bike race – again with positive results. Laura knows her stuff and I would definitely recommend her. I’ll be going back should any issues re-emerge!
Absolutely wonderful experience both in Waterloo and in Covent Garden. Initially I came just for a shoulder injury but the depth of the experience also helped me in psychological and emotional ways. Laura is very knowledgeable and dedicated to her craft and not only did my shoulder heal but my mental health improved dramatically. Very highly recommended.
I went to see Laura for very bad, persistent back and left shoulder pain caused by an old problem and a more recent mastectomy operation. She gave me Japanese acupuncture and moxa treatment, all very delicate. The result was fabulous: I got up from the couch pain-free for the first time in 3 months! I am very grateful.