I took up Qigong because I want a gentle form of exercise that would help me fit and healthy. The first few lessons made me realise just how physically tense and mentally agitated I was. When practising the stationary position I felt continual tension in my back and legs and could not relax this part of my body. I could not focus my mind for more than a second and having to remain in the same position for 15 minutes seemed like a terrible ordeal. I was dismayed by my reaction and lack of control over myself and felt very weak and undisciplined.

During the first two three months of training I did not notice any immediate effects while practising but became aware of general differences in my everyday life. I felt much calmer, I did not feel tired or mentally exhausted after work, and I often felt as though I was on holiday – relaxed and more interested in my immediate surroundings.

A month or so later I started to do Ji Fa Gong and could sense the energy for the first time. I became more supple and relaxed and very little physical things like walking became a pleasure. My digestion seemed more efficient – everything went through my body faster and I craved specific kinds of food.

After six – seven months my suppleness continued to improve – so I could touch my toes without being having bent my knees! I fell asleep very quickly and slept deeply. Not only did I feel well but also much happier and contented. I have never been a naturally calm or contented person and this was a big change. Now I feel contented even doing nothing and have less desire to do things – before doing Qigong I did a lot of things through feelings of restlessness and boredom.

Nine months – one year from the start although I am not ill I often feel that my insides are not right and that I need to practise every day to be well. Time I started to get symptoms of flu but when practising Ji Fa Gong I did various breathing exercises and afterwards all the symptoms completely disappear.

The energy seems to be working more on my internal organs doing Ji Fa Gong and I can often sense internal movement, whereas before most of the movements involved my limbs and stretching Qigong is still having a very positive effect on my emotions. I am freer of negative feelings such as irritation, worry and discontentments and less wrapped up in my own thoughts and so I am more open to what is happening at each moment. The immediate external environment often appears to be stronger and more real than before. I am also more confident in myself and less concerned about other people opinion of me.

Doing Qigong has improved the quality of my life and I am amazed that such simple exercise can have such a powerful effect.