by Karen Steinbrecher
I recently returned from a 10-day vacation to Norway and Sweden. Yes, all was beautiful and fantastic, and the Scandinavian people were delightful. However, as with all things, there were challenges. We were constantly on the "go" on this cruise, walking, traveling, and mingling with many people in various activities. I did also experience pain, chronic neck and leg pain, while interacting with mean passengers from France. I used the "inner smile" practice suggested by Thich Nhat Hanh, a well-known Tibetan monk, and was able to shift my feelings and state of being.
Qigong is my tool to weave through these situations. Using my knowledge of the "tool" of QiGong, I was able to reduce and perhaps heal the pain I experienced. Emotional pain can lead to physical pain, and physical pain can lead to emotional pain. Research studies show evidence of the links between emotional, physical, and spiritual pain.
Listening to my body and my feelings during my trip, I knew I needed some alone time. Qi Gong provides an opportunity to go inward and create a sacred space within, even in the company of others. Whether it was in my hotel/stateroom or outside touring the gorgeous landscapes, I flowed through QiGong movements. It is said that QiGong is even more powerful when practiced outside in Nature and with others. I felt the healing energy and the relief it brought. When others asked about my movements, I was so happy to share the gift of QiGong. When we practice, we move the energy, Qi, that animates all life. Gong means the moving, the work of cultivating that energy. The movements flow to harmonize Heaven and Earth/Sea: Yang [Heaven] and Yin [ Earth]. The Norwegian words are Hima La Harv [Himmel OgHav] for Sky and Sea.
When we flow with QiGong movements in my classes at the Resiliency Center, we begin with the Joy Practice and say..." I am the Universe, You are the Universe, and We connect for Peace and Love with Healing". I remembered that Universe was presenting a challenge for me to do just that. It was a challenge, and I hope that perhaps as I worked [Gong] to heal myself, somehow I did connect with others, kind and unkind alike, to promote Peace, Love and Healing. As we heal ourselves, we heal one another.
QiGong is easy to do and easy to practice; in a group, the energy is even more empowering. Moving and flowing through QiGong helps to balance the autonomic nervous system which is a key to healing. Rather than sitting still, with QiGong movements your pain, emotional or physical, will be less. Join me, Karen Steinbrecher on Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. at The Resiliency Center. Learn more and RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-836-7184.