I remember reading about Qigong for the first time in a health magazine in 1989. At the time this did not make much of an impression on me, but I must have been subconsciously interested as it struck a chord when I became re-acquainted with Qigong a few years later.
This happened when I started attending Wing Chun classes at Simon Lau Centre in 1991. For the first year I heard much about the Qigong classes from fellow students – mainly how Qigong helped them with various health problem, and generally to relax. At first I did not consider taking classes my self as I didn’t think I was a stressed person. However, a mildly curious interest soon developed into a much stronger one and I had to admit that I did need some tranquillity and relaxation in my life!
During the first few weeks I was amazed to find that the hardest thing was to relax physically, and how tense my body must have been all the time. Consequently I found it very difficult to achieve the correct mental state and focus on Dan Tien. I also particularly noticed how bad my posture had become-after years of bad habits standing in the correct posture were murder! However, I had determination and after several weeks of regular practice I began to see some results: I had become relaxed and happier in myself, and generally had more energy to perform daily tasks.
As I became more and more used to the exercises I began to notice curious things. I became very hot during practice and could feel energy wanting to move my hands which did indeed happened quite shortly afterwards.
Although I was perhaps a bit sceptical initially, by the end of that month I had begun to experience Ji Fa Gong, and my practice took a new direction. I was lucky enough not to have to take up Qigong for health reasons and so was very surprised to find that two weeks after first experiencing Ji Fa Gong some niggling health problems which I hadn’t suffered from in years began to re-occur. I started getting pains in my right leg where I had previously suffered from sciatica. Master Lau explained that this was part of the healing process of Qigong, and showed that an old blockage was being treated. I also had a few bouts of indigestion lasting several days at this time! After a few more weeks of practice all these symptoms disappeared.
The next ‘landmark’ in my training came when we learnt the sitting posture for Qigong – this was also very difficult at first but eventually I began to realise that I was actually feeling something for the first time: I could literally feel Qi moving the meridians, especially when focussing on the middle finger tips or bottom of the feet.
This progress was reflected in the other exercises as my patterns of movement changed.
A few months later, it seemed that all the benefits I had gained were gone! Due to an increased workload and of course extra pressure I had begun to feel awful most of the time- I had no energy even though I was regularly practicing Qigong. Having been recently told by Master Lau that Qigong and Chinese Herbal medicine were a powerful healing combination, I had a consultation and book some herbs. Not only did this make feel a lot better but in the first week I noticed an energy difference while practicing Qigong. Within a few more weeks I felt even better than before. At that time I reviewed and wrote down my thoughts on the differences I was feeling.
I firstly noticed that my appetite had changed. My body seemed to be telling me which foods to eat. I lost lots of cravings for ‘junk’ food. In conjunction with this I found that my senses of taste and smell had become much sharper-overly sweet or salty foods tasted very unpleasant.
From that time to the present (about 4 or 5 months) I have been improving slowly but surely, and recently we have learnt more advanced methods which have changed the energy of the whole classes. Since this I have noticed myself becoming much more sensitive to energy levels of surroundings (especially under different weather conditions!) and other people. While I would not consider myself a ‘psychic’ person I have also had lots of experiences of knowing when things were going to happen.
Even at work I have noticed benefits. Although I am usually busy, I have better mental capacity and concentration. Compared to a year ago I find it hard to believe that I would have coped with it all without Qigong.
I look forward to new progress all the time, not just to heal myself, but in the hope that one day I can heal others and perhaps even teach Qigong myself.