First, a word about me.
I am Eric Grey, co-founder of Watershed Wellness and Director of the Classical Chinese Medicine program here at the clinic, among other duties. Ever since we started Watershed back in 2009, I have hoped to bring Qigong to our patients and the broader community, but it just hasn’t made sense to do until now. I’m really excited to share not just Qigong movements and the benefits those bring, but also a deeper understanding of your body and the world through a Chinese medicine influenced lens.
If you want to learn more about me, you can read my practitioner bio.
Qigong is, at the simplest level, a slow and gentle, but powerful, form of movement practice that bears some resemblance to Taiji (Tai Chi). It involves simple poses linked together in a flowing sequence. Each sequence tends to have a certain energetic signature that one can feel and otherwise experience, and in the lineage of qigong I practice, most have explicit health improvement intentions.
Style / lineage
The type of Qigong I practice is called Jin Jing Gong, or “Tendon and Channel Qigong.”
I learned the Jin Jing Gong style of Qigong from multiple teachers, including Heiner Fruehauf, during his medical school training at National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. At that time, the curriculum included weekly classes for the first 3 years of the program, as well as one retreat per academic quarter during those 3 years. During this time I was practicing regularly, and have done so since then.
I was also fortunate to learn a little from another teacher, Master Wu, including the Fire Dragon form I incorporate into my morning routine (part of what I teach), as well as taking Taiji classes with several instructors in the Portland area. While I am no longer living in Portland, I have continued to pursue my education with Laurie Regan and Master Wu with their generous online offerings.
I weave together all that I’ve learned from teachers and my own practice to create the unique form of movement practice I will be offering at Watershed Wellness.
Benefits of Qigong
- Qi and blood movement which may relieve pain, improve body temperature regulation, increase energy and improve restlessness, even insomnia.
- While this is not a particularly fitness focused form of movement, if you engage with the movements vigorously and regularly, you will undoubtedly notice an increase in your strength and flexibility.
- Most people will also experience increased coordination and balance as they learn to move their bodies in new ways.
- Like yoga, taiji & other similar movement practices, engaging with it wholeheartedly and with a focused mind acts like meditation on the mind, leaving you feeling calm and centered.
- Learn a new way of understanding your body and its interactions with the rest of the world.
- And through this learning, not just with the intellect, but with the whole body, you will develop a greater sense of integration between mind and body, which can have diverse benefits.
- Finally, because of the material we will cover during the sessions, and also by virtue of your regular attendance to the living moment necessary to engage in this practice, you will come into greater resonance with the world around you, particularly the natural world.
Cautions and limitations
Like any movement practice, it is important that you make sure it’s right for your body. I will give plenty of encouragement to adapt the movements to your body condition, but you may want to talk with your primary medical practitioner about the suitability of a new movement program for your body.
About the WW Qigong program
This is more than a simple movement class – it is a comprehensive system of engagement and understanding that can form a major part of your approach to overall health and wellness. To learn more about the program you can read here.