KEYS TO FITNESS: Qigong for Health and Longevity

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YONEMOTO, SHEILA-colorBy SHEILA YONEMOTO, PT

I started learning qigong, pronounced “chee gong,” 17 years ago. My daily practice began with five minutes a day and has become a 30-minute-a-day ritual.

Looking back at photographs, I don’t think I have changed much. My hair is still mostly black, my joints function well and don’t hurt, and I still have plenty of energy. Perhaps the biggest change is my lower stress level, increased happiness and the ability to get more things done. I rarely get sick and, if I do, the recovery time is quite fast.

Someone told me that Dr. Oz promotes qigong on his program, so the general public is becoming aware of the benefits. I describe qigong as exercise for the internal organs and moving the vital life force, qi, throughout the body with simple movements and by using your mind. It is easier to do than tai chi and benefits are obtained quickly.

Over the years, I have even seen kidney function return, including a person who actually got off of dialysis. Frozen joints have had mobility restored. People sleep better, are happier, have reduced blood pressure, and their cholesterol has returned to normal ranges. Qigong students have experienced reduced viral infections, resolution of chronic bronchitis, and numerous other amazing changes.

There are many schools and styles of qigong. Some are administered by masters who treat specific ailments, improve intelligence or health, and increase talent. Other schools focus on teaching people to do a daily self-improvement practice.

Qigong harnesses the natural forces in nature to improve blood flow, lymphatic flow, immunity, organ and brain function, and also helps in achieving life goals. There are even ways to improve your fortune and life with the key focus on health enhancement.

I have been fortunate to learn qigong from a master from Shanghai and have even had the opportunity to study in China at wonderful places with good energy and beautiful scenery. My life has been enriched by qigong and I cannot imagine my daily routine without it.

Apparently, there is a lot of information today in books and on the Internet about qigong, but it is still advisable to study with a teacher who can guide your practice. Similar to other disciplines, you can be guided safely and efficiently through the thousands of schools and exercises that have developed over the past 3,000 or more years that qigong has been in existence.

Qigong can be a wonderful adjunct to improving your health along with a solid nutritional foundation, good sleep habits, exercise, social support and a wider view of improving the world around us.

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Get more energy, lessen stress and rid yourself of aches and pains. Try a no-impact “Chinese energy” exercise class. Your first class, a $30 value, is free! Call or visit our website for more information.

Sheila Yonemoto, P.T., has been a physical therapist for over 30 years, specializing in Integrative Manual Therapy utilizing a holistic approach. She can be reached at Yonemoto Physical Therapy, 55 S. Raymond Ave., Suite 100, Alhambra, CA  91801. Call (626) 576-0591 for a free consultation and free insurance verification, or visit www.yonemoto.com for more information.

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