The 18 Movements for Health

Late summer often marks the time when we prepare to get back into a more structured routine undotted by swims in the sea, vacations and visits, growing gardens and gathering their fruits. We had a big event this summer when my son got married. It was a 3-day affair as we got to know my daughter-in-law’s family, who came up from Texas.

I took two weeks off from work for the wedding, but I am back in the office treating patients again. In addition, I look forward to teaching my 6-week qigong exercise series: The 18 Movements. This easy-to-learn, powerful sequence is fun to teach because students feel the effects immediately. They gain a sense of both calm and exhilaration, due to increased circulation, in this practice that is informed by the foundations of Chinese Medicine. I notice everyone smiling after the hour-long class. That, in itself, is worth it for me to teach.

This set is much easier to teach than the form I learned and taught in the late 1980s. It took weeks to learn the many complex nuances. I learned from the originator, Zhao Jin Xiang, in the US and China. He created it after a long bout with illness that he believed qigong, along with Western Medicine, helped heal.

I had suffered from allergies my whole life, but they improved as a result of qigong practice. Rather stunned and intrigued that the wheezing in my lungs no longer woke me up in the middle of the night, I asked my teacher how the gentle movements, breath awareness, and mental focus could possibly have helped.

“It is not necessary to know how it works for the exercise to help you, but if you really want to understand, you will have to study Chinese Medicine,” was his answer in Chinese, not verbatim, through a translator.

And so I did. First it was only informal learning, but then I went to school for three years to learn more and become an acupuncturist. I am eager to begin teaching my 6-week Fall Exercise Series at the Madison Senior Center on Thursday mornings from 10 to 11.

For more info on acupuncture treatments, contact me at (203) 499-8175.
For more info on the 18 Movements exercise class, contact the Madison Senior Center at (203) 245-5627.

In the meantime, enjoy these last weeks of summer!

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