Qigong (Ch'i Kung) pronounced Chee Gung

This is a group event that takes place monthly with an experienced tutor. Members can see our newsletter and activity leaflet for details.

The venue is the home of one of our members, very inviting and comfortable. After practice there is time for socialising over refreshments.

Qigong is a holistic method of self-healing exercise and meditation that includes healing posture, movement, self-massage, breathing techniques and meditation. Qi means life energy and Gong the benefits acquired with practice. The aim of including it as part of a routine practice is to increase Qi and cleanse the system, leading to better health and energy. You may not feel the Qi but it is a gentle and pleasurable way to do some activity.

Ideally, Qigong should be a daily practice although with ME you need to be cautious, as with any exercise. Please do not overexert yourself, and please leave yourself with sufficient reserves of energy.

Our group is fortunate to have sessions with tutor Dario Gerchi (http://qigongdario.com/), who was trained in Hua Gong by Qigong master Zhixing Wang. Please see the video below for Dario in action at one of the classes.

Hua Gong is one of many styles of Qigong and is practised mainly through meditation and simple body movements with an emphasis on relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques.

Qigong as a specialised "complementary medicine" term is relatively new (20th century) but has its roots in Buddhist and Daoist philosophy going back centuries.

Members who are new to Qigong are welcome to join our class for an introduction to this simple, ME-friendly version of the practice. The practice can be carried out in various positions, standing, sitting, lying down or a combination of these. Dario is accommodating and very aware that overtaxing strength is counterproductive for people with ME.

One of our members writes about her experience of Qigong:

"I've attended around ten of the Qigong sessions with Dario and I'm so glad I've made the effort when I've felt up to it. Unfortunately, he is only able to come once a month, as he is very busy teaching in the UK and Europe.

"The sessions are quite gentle, mainly slow movements, which Dario can tailor to your particular energy level at the time. They are really like slow meditations, with your mind very much at one with the movement of your hands. They are even possible to do without any movement, just letting your mind trace the path your hands would be taking. They are great exercises in mindfulness, or being completely in the moment.

"You can take a break and lie down whenever you need to. Some people who are too fatigued to do any of the movements will just come to lie down and absorb the healing Qi or energy.

"The idea behind Qigong is that there is a universal energy available to us from the Earth beneath our feet and the sky above us. Our bodies are the channel between the two. When the Qi flows freely we feel healthy and zestful, whereas 'stuck' energy is responsible for a lot of illness and dis-ease.

"Dario is an excellent teacher and transmits spaciousness, calm and energy from himself to the group. So the Qi really does flow! And I find the effect lasts several days for me, and a lot longer if I practise daily."

Attached is a video of one of Dario's classes. This video is slightly longer than a normal class and runs for just under an hour and a quarter. This was to include as much as possible within one filming session. Please do not be put off by the length; below is a guide to following shorter sections:

1. Viewing from "Start" to 3:10 minutes, and 1hr 4:27 to 1hr 5:40 minutes, will give you an introduction to and idea about Qi
2. For the less able: start at 27:30 minutes, as before that Dario is doing the activity standing.
3. The sitting meditation (50:00 to 57:40 minutes) could be done lying down
4. The digestive meditation/activity (57:40 to 61 minutes) could again be done lying down. You will need to modify the moves if they are too difficult to carry out when lying in bed.

Qigong - Class: