Dayan Qigong: A Path Toward Living a Healthier Life

I was born in China, educated in Hong Kong and came to America in 1985. I studied accounting at San Francisco State University, and work as an accountant for a nonprofit.

As a Chinese immigrant, I had heard about and seen qigong demonstrations, but I had a very negative view of it. I believed that the teachers were only interested in power, fame and money, and I could not accept that what I was seeing could have any real benefits. However, my health was deteriorating, and I had pain in my hip, lower back, ankles and feet that limited my ability to walk. I was given steroid shots, exercises and a cane. I certainly began to feel more compassion for people with disabilities.

In 2012, my friend told me about qigong classes at Wen Wu School. I was at my wit’s end, wondering if I would end up using a wheelchair, so I felt I had nothing to lose by trying a class. After all, I’d be exercising sitting down—right? When I got there, I found out it was a two-hour movement class. But I got through it because sometimes we were standing, and then there was a tea break so I could sit down. The next morning I still had some leg pain, but my whole body felt full of energy and I felt calm and relaxed. I promised myself that I’d go back.

I started getting up earlier to practice the warm ups, and would do the part of the Form I knew in the evening. I was told it was okay to practice the same movements over and over, since I didn’t know the whole Form. The thought of ending up in a wheelchair made me practice religiously, and after three months the pain in my back and leg diminished.

When I went to see the doctor again, he was surprised that my toes were no longer numb and tingling. He gave me free arch supports and a night splint, but Dear Sir I no longer need them!

Everyone in the office was coughing and sneezing that winter, but I had only mild symptoms that were gone the next day. I used to get cold sores regularly, and used all kinds of special remedies, but they went away too and haven’t come back. After about nine months, people were telling me I looked different. I assured them I hadn’t had cosmetic surgery!

The cane has now been in my closet for 12 months.  Apart from all the physical benefits, qigong has inspired me to live a more simple spiritual life, to take responsibility for myself and to be a better person. I’ve also met lots of great people and I’ve learned a lot from them about making peace with myself and with others.

I’ll keep up my practice and when people ask me about qigong, I’ll tell them that it’s not just about better health, but about changing your habits and living a healthier life.

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