Articles/Blogs

  • Becoming a Full-time Employee of the Practice of Yi Ren Qigong.

    Blog entry by Brian Kane, May 30, 2012

    Initially, when my contract ran out with my former employee, I was immensely stressed. However, I was also very relieved to have left that position, since it was not a job that addressed my true passions. Although I am not sure if it is possible to find a job that you are truly passionate about. Well, I suppose it is possible, but definitely not easy. Unfortunately, it seems that many employers are either only hiring part-time or are using employment agencies to fill jobs, oftentimes with contract workers. This makes it very hard to have a pleasant or optimistic outlook about one’s future at a prospective or current employer.

    Not having a job gives you time to think more about yourself and your interests. For instance, since being unemployed, I have been working a lot more on guitars and playing guitar. I have been writing more and studying web developing. Most importantly, I have more time to practice Yi Ren Qigong.

    You might ask: Why is that the most important thing? Well, in order to think with a clear mind and relieve the stress induced by being jobless, I have practiced Yi Ren Qigong and it has helped tremendously. I have to remember that I am an individual and do not have to follow any predestined path, laid out by what society or corporate America deems important. In order to find what I believe to be important, I look within, aided by Qigong and meditation.

    It’s hard for me to believe that it has been eight years since I wrote an article about a career counselor named Larry Gaffin, who has since passed away. Gaffin was the owner and founder of Seattle’s Center for Life Decisions, which was a support group to help people get ideas for finding enjoyable careers.

    Some of the most interesting things Gaffin stated were that: “If people don’t have balance, then they tend not to make decisions well. When people are looking for a job, they tend to get very stressed. They tend to neglect two things: their health and their relationships. Guys in particular, we tend to isolate ourselves. We tend not to ask people for help.” (Kidd, Brian. “Finding Work That Matters”. Madison Park Times [Seattle, WA] June 2004: A11. Print.)

    I have to think to myself, all in all, what is the most important thing, just finding a job or finding a job that is enjoyable? Let’s say it takes me awhile to find work that I enjoy or find a job at all. What is the worse thing that could happen? I suppose I could become homeless. However that is very unlikely. Here is what might actually have to happen: I might have to move out of my apartment. I could stay with friends until I get back on my feet. I might have to sell my car. I could use the money I get for the car to pay it off. Then when I get a job, I could buy a different car. I can take the bus to job interviews and such. I will have to adapt.

    Those are the biggest concerns I have and when I type them out, I realize that in the greater scheme of things, they are miniscule. I will be fine.

    There is no question that the job market is tough right now–really tough. But by taking a step back from my job search and practicing Yi Ren Qigong, which includes any exercise from Level One to Level Three (including the Yi Ren Qigong Wisdom Gate meditation), I have been able to keep a much calmer mind and focus on being happy and healthy. Most importantly, despite having had many of my job applications rejected, Yi Ren Qigong has helped me realize and maintain a high love of self. It has helped me realize my self worth. Not being employed can be very disheartening. Yi Ren Qigong has helped me keep my heart and faith. Ever onward.

  • FREE Community Yi Ren Qigong Event of Health, Healing and Well-Being

    The Institute of Qigong & Integrative Medicine

    Invites You to a FREE Community Event of
    Health, Healing and Well-Being

    (two great talks, a group Yi Ren Qigong practice and community nourishment)


    Celebrate Fire!

    Fire may be the most celebrated and popular of the 5 elements! In its fullest form, fire is the expression of our love, joy, heart and mind, true self, and…summertime in Seattle! Learn more about the fire element and how it relates to Acupuncture and Yi Ren® Qigong, including 5-Element and Yin-Yang theories. Susie will also share insight on how to nurture, kindle and express our internal fire and prevent being burned by it.

    Susie Hayes, LAc, is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in Kirkland Washington. She graduated from Bastyr University in 1998 with a Masters in Acupuncture, is the founder of Energetic Medicine, and has lectured locally and nationally. Susie has been practicing Yi Ren Qigong with Dr. Sun for 2 ½ years and enjoys integrating her understanding of acupuncture and Energetic Medicine with her Qigong practice.

    Reversing the Aging Process with Yi Ren® Qigong
    Join Brendan for an introduction to Yi Ren Qigong as he shares his transformational healing journey with Yi Ren Qigong. With a focus on the chakras, organs and endocrine glands, Brendan will lead a group Qigong practice of simple and powerful Taoist “Qi” exercises to help reverse the aging process. Yi Ren Qigong is a self-healing modality involving slow movement, meditation, intention and breathing. It is also profoundly beneficial for healers (Reiki) and students of Shamanism.

    Brendan Thorson, LMP, is a TaiChi and certified Yi Ren Qigong Instructor at The Noble School of TaiChi & Qigong Training, Wu Hsing Tao School of Acupuncture and East West Bookshop. He has been practicing Qigong and TaiChi for over 15 years.

    Yi Ren Qigong Group Practice led by Brendan Thorson
    Community Nourishment prepared by Amy Putiri, MS CN

    Friday, June 15th 2012
    7:30 – 9:30 PM
    University Heights, room 209
    5031 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

    www.iqim.org/i-heal-events/                    206.290.6072                          info@iqim.org

  • The Dark Night of the Soul: Effectively Dissolving Blockages and Dealing with the Doldrums

    An Article by Brian Kane 4/29/2012

    It is a popular spiritual metaphor of hope to believe that it is darkest before the dawn. About one year ago, I wrote a piece about how to become the Dark Knight of Your Soul (in order to be at peace during the Dark Night of the Soul). Today, as I write this, I am excited to tell the reader that Twilight is imminent, and this very trying part of my spiritual journey is close to an end. I am ready to start my new life. For about the past four years, I have made some major changes as a person—changes that could not have been accomplished without the aid of Yi Ren Qigong, which I learned primarily from Brendan Thorson at the Noble School of Qigong and Tai Chi Training. Yi Ren Qigong helped me exist healthily during the Dark Night of the Soul and also taught me how to constructively cope with the inner turmoil that is inevitable during this time. From my own personal experiences and observations, I have devised a basic, yet imperative and effective, survival plan for anyone who feels emotionally and spiritually stuck.

    The Resistance on the Soul: Strengthening the Spirit

    During the Dark Night of the Soul you will experience both negative and positive inner forces. The negative forces, although often intrusive and very uncomfortable, are analogous to weights used by weight trainers seeking to improve and/or refine muscle size. I have mentioned before that Yi Ren Qigong has helped me improve my physical strength tremendously as evidenced by my huge weightlifting increases. Just as importantly, Qigong has given me the strength to deal with the negative forces of the Universe.

    However, this is not to say that one should deal with the trying times of the Dark Night of the Soul solely with brute-force. Also, a person should not indulge in negative habits such as drug abuse or self-mutilation during this time. Just as there are positive and negative inner-forces that will be experienced within, there are also positive and negative ways to cope with what feels like the spiritual doldrums, where nothing is really happening in a person’s life. (In the Ocean, there are places known as the Doldrums where there is little wind, and sailing boats often get stranded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doldrums,). During the Doldrums of the Dark Night of the Soul, it might even feel like it is time to leave this existence, which is a fallacy that could lead to tragic results. So if this is not the end of the story, but the end of Part One, how does one move on?

    The Positive:

    Medical Yi Ren Qigong

    First off, try not to panic. This is not the time to feel despair, but to feel delight: You are about to emerge out of this time a much stronger, smarter and wiser person. When you are plagued by inner turmoil, counteract the negative, self-destructive thoughts with varying resistance—there is a time to advance and a time to retreat—but never give up. To me, the most symbolic Tai Chi exercise on how to deal with life’s stressors is the Pushing Hands Exercise, where you work with and not against both your friends and adversaries. Instead of trying to outright destroy your demons, learn to, as I wrote about in an earlier entry, dance with your demons. Often times your demons (which can be viewed as loosened blockages causing issues to surface) will be much too strong for you to handle by simple mind-over-matter. The most positive and powerful way to function when you are being attacked by dark forces is to take time to calm down, sit down, relax and meditate.

    Why meditate? It is common for people to think that they can merely think their way out of depression or just snap out of it. Unfortunately, this is often not effective. The underlying problem could actually be thinking way too much with the frontal lobe of the brain, what the Taoists refer to as the Intellectual Mind. This part of the mind is great at reasoning and logic, however oftentimes when answers to personal questions are not readily available, thinking too much with the frontal lobe can cause what Yi Ren Qigong instructor Brendan Thorson has referred to as the “broken record effect.” Trying to process too much information at once with the frontal lobe can lead to obsessive and intrusive thoughts that repeat over and over and over and over and over and over…

    This is not good. In fact, I have heard people who have been clinically diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, describe symptoms of intrusive and repetitive thoughts that can lead to deep depression and even manic episodes.

    When you meditate, as I have many times at home and in class, you start to bring more attention to the back of the mind, the Parietal Lobe. This is what the Taoists refer to as the Self-awareness and Intuitive Mind. When you use this part of the mind, you become more conscious of your body and your emotions. From what I have experienced, when you begin to focus more on your body and inner feelings, you start to calm down and feel at ease. By turning down the Frontal Lobe chatter, you can collect your thoughts in a more organized and less chaotic manner. I often compare meditation to rebooting your brain. Like a computer, your brain can slow down, get stuck, freeze and become infected with spyware and pesky viruses. Meditation can be a way of defragging your mind (organizing it and getting rid of clutter) and purging detrimental programs.

    All in all, the goal is to integrate the Intellectual Mind with the Intuitive Mind. Too much use of either one is maladaptive. One of my personal experiences with this was after a six-hour day of Yi Ren Qigong meditation and exercising. After Brendan Thorson’s seminar, I went to get a haircut. I was definitely still in a meditative state when I arrived at the hair salon and I am sure much of my brain activity was in the Parietal Lobe. I went to sign in for my haircut, and asked for a pen. There was a jar full of pens close-by to my right, however it did not register in my brain: I was still too far within myself and not very aware of my surroundings. I am usually very astute and alert, and although I was very calm (the receptionist probably thought I had been prescribed Medicinal Marijuana) I was not very cerebral or calculating. In a sense I was a ship without a skipper. Recently, through Qigong, including deep meditation, my Intellectual and Intuitive Mind have begun to integrate, and when the two come together, it is the best feeling I have ever had. In this state I am best able to be rooted firmly to the earth, aware of the inner and outer forces of the Universe that affect me, and I am able to work with them, in a sense performing Pushing Hands with my mind.

    Your thoughts do not only affect your emotional state, but also your physical body. A very obvious example of this is when men and women have sexual thoughts; they can change the state and condition of their sex organs.  I do not mean to be crude, but this is something we can all relate to. This is the same as having what Thorson has coined junk or toxic thoughts. Sexual feelings are usually positive (as long as they are not obsessive or controlling) but what about negative thoughts such as feelings of inadequacy or blind anger? These too can change the condition of the body as well. You will notice that a person with low self-esteem will often walk around like he has a weight on his shoulders. He might appear slumped over as he stares at the ground while lazily dragging his feet. His face might look droopy and he might have dark circles under his eyes. When you are in the Dark Night of the Soul, it is not uncommon to feel useless and isolated. However, you will only exacerbate this condition by feeding yourself junk thoughts: “I’m a failure; I’m stupid and ugly; my life is over…” This can have very bad effects on your internal organs, especially your kidneys, which in the view of Yi Ren Qigong, are the body’s internal power house. The kidneys generate electricity for supporting the work of the internal body. You might also feel extremely angry during this time. An angry person might appear half-cocked all the time and sport a snide sneer on her face. When you are angry, it can have very ill effects on your liver, which in the view of Chinese Medicine and Yi Ren Qigong is the house of the soul. Your liver also affects the strength of your muscles and tendons.

    These junk thoughts can eventually lead to high levels of stress. Eventually, when you are over-stressed, the Adrenal Glands, which are located on top of the kidneys, become overactive. This can lead to Adrenal Fatigue that makes a person feel completely drained of energy. Moreover, your body will begin to produce too much of the stress hormone, Cortisol, which can be very damaging to the body and mind. High levels of Cortisol have been linked to obesity, increasing the overall process of aging and can disrupt productive thought patterns, which can lead to anxiety and depression.

    When an individual is in a state of high-stress and his or her mind is chaotic, racing to go nowhere, he or she will naturally seek relief. In American society, many people are not aware of the option of Qigong to bring the body and mind back into balance. Some believe you have two options to deal with stress-induced depression and other psychological disorders: Counseling (in particular psychiatric drugs) and street drugs such as heroin, cocaine and most popularly, marijuana and alcohol—which do not fix the problem at its root, but rather, merely numb the symptoms of the issue.

    To me, the options of legal psychiatric drugs and street drugs are negative ways to deal with the Dark Night of the Soul.

     

    The Negative:

    Harmful Drugs

    It is definitely true that some people’s minds are so disturbed that they need psychiatric drugs to prevent them from harming themselves or others.  However, in many cases, as I can attests to personally, Qigong, in particularly medical Qigong such as Yi Ren Qigong, can be very effective at curing psychological disorders. It is widely known that psychiatric drugs can have severe side-effects: One fellow Qigong practitioner recently wrote that being on psychiatric drugs felt like she had a chemical lobotomy. This might seem like an exaggeration, but, although I do believe that mood stabilizers such as Prozac, Xanax and Lithium can be effective in balancing and controlling moods, let us examine these drugs, including their side effects, by clicking on the following public health links:

    Prozac: http://goo.gl/e6jwx

    Xanax: http://goo.gl/VsxID

    Lithium: http://goo.gl/wqVC6

    This is not to say that practicing Yi Ren Qigong will, be like a walk in the park.  The healing and development process at times can be physically and emotionally challenging.  But these challenges are part of the healing process and are not harmful to one’s body. For instance, Prozac has been reported by some users to cause kidney discomfort, which I believe (and some experts concur) is due to Prozac’s negative effect on the kidneys. However, any kidney discomfort a Yi Ren Qigong practitioner might experience is not indicative of his or her kidneys being destroyed but healing and getting stronger. You can liken this to the muscle pain you might feel after a hard physical workout. The pain might not even be experienced right after the workout, but maybe the next day or even two days later. I personally have experienced dull or sharp pains in my kidneys after practicing Medical Yi Ren Qigong, but instead of feeling fatigued afterwards, I feel energized and stronger.

    In a sense, although some patients might believe that psychiatric drugs are helping their minds, they could actually be destroying their bodies. The mind is being tended to but the body is being neglected.

    When you are in the Dark Night of the Soul you might be especially prone to depression and other mental maladies. My suggestion is to exhaust all spiritual-work options, including Yi Ren Qigong, before resorting to taking psychiatric drugs. Remember, you might not have a chemical imbalance where levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine are either too high or low, but actually an imbalance of the use of the Frontal and Parietal Lobes of your brain. Ideally, these two parts of your brain will work in conjunction with each other, creating balance in a person’s overall being.

    Street Drugs:

    In all my years of going to the doctor, when complaining about a mood disturbance, I was never told about the option of meditation or Medical Qigong. In fact, in my first entry, I wrote about one General Physician handing me a bag of the anti-depressant Zoloft and saying to me “It’s nothing to be ashamed about.” By that doctor, who is actually a very good and smart MD, saying that, he acknowledged that there is a social stigma against people who are on psychiatric drugs.

    Therefore, since Medical Qigong is not widely endorsed or touted by the majority of the medical community in the United States, and there is a social stigma against people on anti-psychotic drugs, to some, the only viable option might seem to be street drugs such as heroin and marijuana.

    Now I have nothing personally against the use of marijuana. In fact, I think that marijuana, used in moderation, can lead to some profound spiritual insights. Unfortunately, marijuana has also been shown to have negative impacts on short-term memory and linear cognitive functions such as mathematics. I have enjoyed marijuana before, and like I stated earlier, the feeling of being under the influence of marijuana is similar to being in a meditative state. However, whereas meditation is actually creating more connections in your mind, marijuana is merely shutting off parts of your brain and turning up others. One very clever Yi Ren Qigong student told me in class that he compares being high on marijuana to walking around with a telescope. You might be able to see deeper into the vastness of your mind and subsequently the universe while on it, but while walking around, you will surely bump into things unnoticed in your immediate surroundings.

    Heroin is a much different story: It is much more detrimental and even deadly. In the United States, including Washington State, heroin use is growing at an alarming rate, especially among young adults 18-35. There could be many reasons for this, including the over prescribing of pain medications such as Oxycontin and Percocet, which are Opioids or essentially synthetic heroin. An increasing trend is for abusers of Opioids to progress onto heroin, which has the same effect but is much cheaper.

    About seven years ago, I had a severe case of Strep Throat. Along with the Penicillin I was prescribed, I was also given a prescription for Percocet. I found this curious because I felt relief the next day after taking my first dose of Penicillin. I did not use the Percocet to treat the pain caused by my Strep Throat, since that had greatly subsided. However, I did take the Percocet recreationally since I was curious.

    Now I am sure that Opioids (and Opiates such as heroin) are very effective at treating physical pain, but additionally, they can help alleviate the pain caused by psychological issues. While high on Percocet, I noticed that every worry or anxiety I could muster to in my mind would not cause me to feel unbalanced or stressed. I felt like I was in a peaceful place of bliss. However, I only used Percocet a few times and thankfully did not get addicted. One of the things that prevented me from using it more was from what I had witnessed Opioids and heroin do to people physically, even leading to death. Again, this is a case of treating the symptom and not the underlying cause (which is often unresolved issues that the Taoists call blockages, popularly thought of in the West as unresolved psychological issues from childhood trauma or even further on into adulthood.) This is also a case of treating the mind, but neglecting the body, in turn, slowly destroying it.

    The ironic thing about the abuse of street drugs is that often times, addicts who seek help, end up on the path that they should have initially taken. They often end up on a spiritual path that can include studying Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, et-cetera. Also, they often learn about spiritual exercises, including Yoga and Qigong. Sure these practices are much harder than popping a pill, taking a toke, or injecting yourself with heroin, but in the long run, they will lead you to a happy life. From my own experience, the more I practice Qigong, in particular Yi Ren Qigong, the easier it becomes. I do not view it as a chore (as a “have to do”) but as a delight (as a “get to do”).  Any pain that I experience from practicing Yi Ren Qigong is a good pain that is bettering my life, not bad pain that is slowly killing me.

    During the Dark Night of the Soul, you have the option of getting through this time by positive means, such as practicing Yi Ren Qigong, and negative means such as using harmful drugs. The choice is yours, but it is my view that opting for the second option will either lead to a lower quality of life, even death, or that you will eventually be guided to the option you should have opted for in the beginning: the first option, the positive one.

    Dealing with the Doldrums

    Picture yourself standing on the back porch of a vacant beach house, staring at a crystal lake on a warm, summer night. It is right after sunset and both the light of the vanished sun and a newly appeared moon illuminate the dusky sky. The few clouds that are left overhead actually appear to be red, as the sun’s light refracts off the atmosphere. Behind you all the lights of the large, two-story wooden beach house are off and the only sound you hear in the house is the faint hum of the refrigerator in the nearby kitchen. About 40 yards in the distance you see a large, 100-foot party, yacht skipping freely across the lake. You begin to feel isolated and desperately lonely as you hear the merry laughs of both familiar and unfamiliar people. It feels like you will forever inhabit the beach house, alone, and the yacht full of partiers, living happy and fulfilling lives, will float farther and farther away—never to return.

    This can be how the doldrums feel. This feeling of loneliness and inactivity can lead to either self-destruction or self-improvement. Contrary to what you might believe, the yacht will return to you, when the time is right. In the meantime, remember that this is not a time in your life to feel morose, but to celebrate. It might sound inane, but you are in a spiritual cocoon, preparing to emerge as a butterfly. How brilliant your colors shine depends on how well you nourish yourself during the Doldrums of the Dark Night of the Soul.

    One of the most common thoughts experienced during the Doldrums is suicide. They say that suicide is more-often-than-not a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Often times a surviving jumper will attests that during that despondent descent, he or she had a moment of clarity and regretted jumping. To me, the act of suicide is an example of the result of trying to fight inner turmoil with just the Frontal Lobe of the brain, the Intellectual Mind, and not bringing your thought energy to the back of your mind, the Parietal Lobe or Self-awareness, Intuitive Mind.

    The Doldrums are a time to think about improving yourself, and they are not at time to compare yourself to others. Success means something different to everyone and every person is on a different journey. There is no such thing as a universal time-line for when things are supposed to happen in your life. People who believe this end up in unhealthy marriages; working at jobs they detest and often feel that they are living their lives on someone else’s terms or on society’s terms. Self-approval is much more important than garnering approval in the eyes of your peers, elders and/or society-at-large.

    From my experience, your mind will seem to play tricks on you during the Doldrums of the Dark Night of the Soul. You will at times not act like your usual self and begin to worry about things you never used to worry about. With time, I guarantee you, as long as you continue to practice Medical Qigong, these worries will subside.  You might even feel that you need to learn new things, things you were never even interested in before. To me, this is the brain getting stronger and more curious. I remember that once in high school, during Trigonometry class, a kid shouted to the teacher, who was giving a lecture, “Who cares!” The kid could not figure out how Trigonometry applied to his life. It is true that he might not ever use it after high school, but Trigonometry was teaching the kid to use and exercise parts of his brain that he could apply to other activities such as Architecture or even music. Studies have shown that mathematics, including Trigonometry, can help people better understand music and vice-versa.

    During the last four years I have taken up many hobbies and learned to do many new things, exercising my mind in a positive way. Some of these new activities include, learning about Web Developing, working on electric guitars and vacuum tube amplifiers, learning to work on my car, and of course, practicing “Medical” Yi Ren Qigong. I have found that if I keep my mind occupied and stay active, often times the worries in my mind will lessen. Interestingly enough, in many cases, the things I used to obsess over and many of my bad habits (including feeding myself junk thoughts) have gradually disappeared, seemingly very abruptly. However, although I was not aware of it, my practice of Yi Ren Qigong, has helped my brain and body get healthier, even when I was not aware that any changes were taking place inside me.

    So here you are, in the Dark Night of the Soul, on your sailboat, floating freely in the Doldrums, just waiting for the wind to pick up. Again, do not panic, positive changes may be closer than you think. As long as you take this time to do positive things for yourself, you will emerge out of this phase a much more evolved and well-rounded person, both in the eyes of others but more importantly, yourself. Now that you have read through my advice about how to healthily survive during the Dark Night of the Soul, I think you deserve to take a deep breath, turn on some relaxing music, dim the lights (maybe even light some candles and incense), sit down, softly close your eyes and peacefully meditate. If you listen hard enough, you might even hear those on the party Yacht calling your name.

  • “Bone Marrow Washing” Student update #3: Kidneys-like Hot Coals & Energy Flame Body (original article 12/20/2011)

    By Brendan Thorson 4/15/2012,

    Two weeks ago (3/31 and 4/1) at the Yi Ren Qigong Sound Energy Correspondence Seminar the “Bone Marrow Washing Student” began to experience new stages in the development of her energy body and deep healing happening at the organ level.

    Over the past two months prior to this Sound Energy Center Correspondence Seminar she has continued to take 2 weekly classes (is currently taking the Jing and Rou class and the Level-3 class) and all the weekend seminars I have had recently (Levels 1 and 2).  She is continuing to build up her energy levels, as a result her energy and inner strength has gotten significantly deeper and more solid!  She is just continuing to get biologically younger and fresher feeling as every week and month pass!!

    She had a few profound experiences during the Sound Energy Center Correspondence seminar:

    womenshealthzone.net

    1. She felt the energy directly working on healing her old Urinary Tract Infections.  Based on what I recall her sharing with me and the class, about 5-years ago she struggled with Urinary Tract infections for a couple of years and also took antibiotics during most of that time too to try and cure her Urinary Tract issue.  However, the Antibiotics were not very helpful for her, in fact she took one type of antibiotic for so long that her her body actually became resistant to it.  During the seminar she was feeling the energy working directly on the area of her Urinary Tract where she used to regularly feel the Urinary Tract infection.  In fact, she said she could feel the energy going through a two cycle phase repeating itself over and over again one after the other.

    A) Phase-1: Energy nourishing and laying down layers of fresh qi (like spreading a layer of lotion) over the area of the old injury

    B) Phase-2: Energy that felt to her like a scrapping/ cleaning right over the area of the old injury to release the old unhealthy energies there.

    “Urinary Tract infections are just one of a thousand or more diseases humans can get related to Weak/ Deficient Kidneys”

    To summarize she felt the qi working directly to restore her old injury with a combination of nourishing energy and clearing/cleaning energy–the bodies healing potential is really amazing once it has extra vital energy available for healing!

    2. She also had another great experience related to her reaching higher stages of energetic development.  During our Kidney sound exercise and meditation she began to feel her whole body was like one Big-Hot-Flame (Imagine a Candle Flame surrounding your whole body) and the origin of her flame she felt what she described as two Hot-little-Coals one on each side of her body that she realized were her Kidneys.

    I continue to be impressed with this ladies determination to prioritize her healing and make the Qigong the most important thing in her life at this time.  I hate to say it but she is rare.  I meet many people deeply struggling with their health, but they are not willing to make it a priority.  In fact, I have had many students who begin to take my classes because they want to improve their health and low energies, then as soon as they start feeling a little better they stop the training because they are no longer exhausted and have already forgotten why they decided to take the classes in the first place.

    Link to series of articles about this ladies, “Bone Marrow Washing Student” healing and development process since November 2011:

    1. Article #1
    2. Article #2
    3. Article #3

    Qigong and Taichi classes and seminars taught in Seattle, WA and throughout the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest.

  • Introductory Yi Ren® Qigong & Taichi Class

    Transforming PMS & Neg Attitudes/ Emotions w/ Yi Ren Qigong

    Thursday, April 5 at East West Seattle 6500 Roosevelt Way NE Seattle, WA 98115
    Secrets to Transforming PMS and Negative Emotions
    7-8:30 pm $10 Register Now!

    Register Now!

    Would you like to find your fountain of youth? Over the past 5,000+ years the Ancient Taoist discovered many secrets to health, happiness, vitality and longevity. Now many of these secrets are available to you from Yi Ren® Qigong! Yi Ren Qigong instructor BRENDAN THORSON, LMP, of the Wu Hsing Tao School of Acupuncture and The Noble School of Taichi & Qigong Training has personally transformed his health and life from Yi Ren Qigong. Join Brendan for an introduction to Yi Ren Qigong and learn simple and powerful transformative Taoist “Qi” exercises for the Chakras, Organs and Endocrine Glands to reverse the aging process.

  • Transforming Negative Attitudes & Emotions with Yi Ren Qigong & Taichi

    Overcoming negative emotions and bad attitudes with Yi Ren Qigong

    By Brendan Thorson 4/3/2012,

    Many people struggle with negative attitudes and emotions that dramatically affect the quality of their life and the people they attract to their life.  Most people who are very negative may not even realize they are such a downer for others to be around and how their attitude and negative emotional pattern is depleting and polluting their life and energy system.  Men and women do not just wake up one day with a bad attitude and or emotionally full of negative emotions like Fear, Anger, Panic, Frustration, Grief, Sadness, Closed-Heart….  From my understanding this is something that originates from the following:

    1. Negative experiences one personally experiences that hurt us and begin to take us away from our natural self–resulting in low self confidence, lack of integrity, dignity, self pity, closed heart….
    2. The environment one lives in (family, religion, school, friends…) can alter a persons reality and cause one to have many limiting unhealthy views about them-self and the world
    3. Family issues like fears and depression passed from one generation to the next that could have originated from a grandparent many generations back

    In most cases this is something that gradually happens to people over a period of time from negative experiences or programs installed into us–like a virus gradually wreaking havoc on a computer.  However, there are times that a major experience can cause a person to change really fast–like how some computer viruses can quickly destroy or mess up a computer system (I have seen these types of issues arise from a parent and the loss of their child).

    The list of things that hurt and alter people are far and wide including being hurt be a parent, significant other or loved one, a stressful job or loss of job, comparing your financial situation, job, significant other and family to another persons life…..

    Today in our society there is so much fear from parents that their child will be abused or abducted that some children are fearful to talk with strangers, even if their parent/s are a few feet away, and these excess fears could haunt the children throughout their lifetime.  Children are very sensitive and are easily influenced or programmed from what they emotionally feel from their parents and hear their parents talk about–like a divorced mother’s negative comments about a child’s father, could lead to unwarranted bad feelings from a child toward his father affecting a lifetime bond.

    Everyone deals with negative experiences in different ways and how we process the negative experiences we experience has a dramatic impact on how something will affect us in the future.  Some people are better at accepting things and letting them come and go while others are unable to accept and detach from things that it affects them for the rest of their life.

    Regardless how one ends up stuck with a bad attitude or full of negative emotions they can use Yi Ren Qigong to transform their negative emotions and attitudes to dramatically enhance their life.

    1. With Yi Ren Qigong we can begin to improve our energy levels that will naturally help one to feel better.
    2. Continued practice leads to the release of many old negative feelings stuck in our system.
    3. At one point our awareness levels grow and we can begin to better see how our thoughts and ways of dealing with situations affect us positively or negatively.
    4. Our increased awareness levels guide us to better internal management allowing one to adjust and modify (upgrade) the way we deal with situations to minimize how something can negatively affect us.
    5. With further deepening of our awareness levels our consciousness integrates with our subconscious and then we are able to hear/see more depth and details of our insides including the origin of our negativity leading to even greater internal awareness and then we use the internal martial arts to fight and kill the our deep negativity at the source.
    6. Bringing us greater peace, joy as we detoxify ourselves from our internal poisons.

    Qigong and Taichi classes and seminars taught in Seattle, WA and throughout the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest.

  • Possessing Me– Overcoming Bipolar Disorder/ Manic Depression/ PTSD

    Possessing Me (A Story that Needed to be Told and Should Be Read by All)

    A blog by Brian Kane 3/31/2012

    It has been about two weeks since I finished reading Jane Alexander’s, “Possessing Me.” I waited this long to write a review because I wanted to see what aspects of this book left a lasting impression on me. First off, Jane Alexander wrote this book with passionate prose. You can feel the intensity in her writing style and earnest hysteria in her recollections of her tumultuous past: Her childhood was full of parental abuse and the frustration of dealing what with doctors told her she had—Bipolar Disorder.

    But the frustration started long before her initial diagnosis. I do not want to give too much of the story away, but when Jane seeks help from a social worker as young kid, you are certain she will get the help she needs to not only incriminate her parents for child abuse, but also find a way out of what can only non-hyperbolically be called a living hell. However, not only did the social worker deem her living situation healthy, she even described her parents’ domicile (which, being rather cluttered beforehand, had been thoroughly cleaned and organized in preparation for the social worker’s visit) as a good Christian home. Nothing could be further from the truth. That is  unless you believe spare the rod and spoil the child means it is okay to drag your sleeping kid out of her bed and across the floor by her hair and then box her senseless, merely for missing a few spots while cleaning the dishes. That is only one of many abusive incidents that left me both angry and heartbroken for the young protagonist.

    However, Jane’s story is not one of melancholic despair that will leave the reader feeling morose from learning of a tragic existence. Even as Jane is enduring living in mental hospitals, foster homes and alternative high schools for troubled teens, you know that there are two prophetic events that that will aide her in her recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which most likely lead to her diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder: a combination of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. These events are when she visited her biological father in China at age 13 and saw people practicing Tai Chi (a type of Chi Gung exercise) for the first time, and when she purchased a book about Chi Gung, also referred to as Qigong, as a kid as well.

    Even as you read about her being administered a plethora of psychiatric drugs that are meant to cure of her of her illness, but only harm her both physically and mentally—Jane refers to the feeling of being on psychiatric drugs as having a chemical lobotomy—or when you learn about her near tragic suicide attempt, you know that Alexander will cure herself.

    However, the road to her recovery is not an easy one and reading Jane’s recollections about her past is often not easy either. In fact, some of her actions might make the reader pass harsh judgment upon her, but perhaps one of Alexander’s intentions in writing this book was to show that even people that society has given up on and thrown away, can become stable, successful and productive human beings.

    As Jane begins to heal herself, the harshness of the story turns into an exhilarating tale of recovery. An analogy that Jane Alexander herself might use is that the pre-recovery segment of the story feels like you are reading a book underneath the harsh fluorescent lights of a sterile, stuffy, high school classroom in a poor town. During her recovery, you are transferred to a Buddhist monastery, and reading by bright and calming candlelight.

    Alexander’s book is certainly not the first about a young woman’s trials with mental illness. I was reminded of two other books while reading Jane’s memoir:  Elizabeth Wurtzel’s “Prozac Nation” and Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar.” However, although both Wurtzel’s and Plath’s stories are excellent, it is hard to really take anything away from them except that mental illness is an arcane condition that no one really knows how to genuinely cure. One has to wonder: If Plath had learned about and practiced meditation and Chi Gung, would she have lived a full life and maybe even still be with us today (she would be nearly 80 years old) and conversely, if Jane Alexander had not become a practitioner of Chi Gung, would she have followed the same tragic path that Plath did? I think in both cases, the answer might surely be, yes.

    In summation, I highly recommend this book to anyone. Even if you yourself are not living with mental illness, chances are, someone that you care about is. This very candid and empowering book may help a person with psychological issues find the freedom that Jane Alexander found by curing herself of a supposedly incurable disease.

  • Taoist Secrets to PMS

    Transforming PMS w/ Yi Ren® Qigong & Taichi

    By Brendan Thorson 3/27/2012,

    healthylife-healthyplanet.com

    Throughout my years of practicing and teaching Yi Ren Qigong and Taichi I have seen many students transform Mild to Severe PMS with this Ancient Energy Medicine.  “Scientists don’t know exactly why women get PMS or why some women experience it more severely than others.”1  Many people believe PMS can not be improved and many women have been programmed to think they have to accept it as a women.  The Ancient Taoist Masters who created Chinese Medicine unlike today’s Modern Medicine knew PMS was the result of blood and qi imbalances and stagnation in specific organs and organs systems.

    As noted earlier Chinese Medicine created by the Ancient Taoist Masters use herbs and acupuncture to help women improve their PMS by improving the internal balance of their Blood and Qi.  In fact, they see the Liver as the primary organ responsible for PMS because of its role in the distribution of blood, energy and evenness of emotions.  As a result, in most cases the physical discomfort and excessive emotional feelings women get who suffer from PMS is connected to the liver and it’s associated organs.2

    Yi Ren Qigong can transform PMS.  With Yi Ren Qigong one can greatly improve their internal energies and their internal energy flow which can quickly bring better internal harmony and strongly reduce ones PMS.  To be more specific Yi Ren Qigong practitioners begin to not only improve their internal energies, but also bring harmony to all the internal energies like their Yin/ Yang, 5-elements (organs), and the endocrine glands (hormones).  Also, one with PMS (or anyone else with any kind of energy imbalance or weakness) will be able to create their own personalized exercise program to focus on bringing greater harmony to any internal energy system that is out of balance like the Liver and or Reproductive glands if that is the bodies highest priority.

    All of the organs and organ systems are intertwined and dependent on the health of the other organ systems.  Therefore, ultimately the health of the Liver is dependent on the health of all the other organs in the 5-element system and appropriate levels of qi, yin, yang, and blood.  The 5-elements consist of the Wood (Liver/ Gall Bladder), Fire (Heart/ Small Intestines), Earth (Pancreas/ Stomach), Metal (Lungs/ Large Intestines), and Water (Kidneys/ Urinary Bladder).  In addition, there is the Reproductive system and Spleen/ Lymphatic System which are special organs related to maintaining the vitality, safety and protection of all the 5-elements (organs systems).

    As a result, if one were to have an imbalanced Liver then the other organs health and balance will also be negatively affected.  While at the same time if the health of an organ other than the Liver becomes imbalanced it will begin to cause imbalances to the other organs too.

    For instance, based on my understanding, during the time of the month a women’s body is preparing for the new moon cycle the Liver’s work load is increased.   Then, as soon as the Liver work load is pushed past its work capacity then PMS symptoms begin to show up.  Thus, the PMS signals are an indicator the Liver is being pushed past its capacity.  As noted above the Liver is responsible for uneven emotions and a few of the emotions related to the Liver are Anger, Frustration and Disappointment.

    The Liver being pushed past its capacity is similar to a big cities and automobile traffic:

    1. A city where traffic congestion is not overwhelmed during Rush-Hour.  Like the Liver of a women who does not have PMS
    2. During Rush-hour/s the traffic on the major roads are overwhelmed with traffic and the commute is very slow.  Like the Liver of a women with Mild-PMS
    3. Add road construction and accidents to the mix of example #2 and traffic is a nightmare!   Like the Liver of a women with Severe-PMS

    I had one student that suffered from severe PMS her whole adult life that would more or less cripple her from regular life for about 10-days each month.  Prior to her studying Yi Ren Qigong she used Chinese Herbal Therapy to help her with her PMS and it minimized her pain, but it did not come close to helping her achieve a normal life.  Then, once she began the qigong she made significant progress with her health and greatly reduced her PMS so she could live a normal life each month.  She learned to increase the time she spent with her qigong practice every month when she began to feel the PMS rising up and then it would keep it from getting bad. Unfortunately she only completed the level-1 course before she moved out of Washington state.  I believe if she would have continued with the training to level-2 (where we focus on cultivating and developing the internal organs and organ pathways) she would have completely overcome her PMS.  Before learning Yi Ren Qigong she had extreme energy blockages in her uterus and guts that were revealed to her and opened up from the qigong that initiated the major health shift she experienced.

    I had another female student who shared with me that she had been seeing an acupuncturist regularly for a couple of years prior to learning Yi Ren Qigong and the acupuncturist always told her that her Liver Qi was stagnant.  Then, after begining Yi Ren and her learning the Liver/ Gall Bladder exercise her Acupuncturist reported that her Liver Qi was no longer stagnant.  Stagnant Liver Qi can cause a host of emotional and health imbalances including PMS symptoms.

    From my experience I have seen many friends and students use both Chinese Medicine, food therapy and Yi Ren Qigong to help them with PMS.  The feedback I have gotten from these ladies has been very consistent.  Most have found Yi Ren Qigong to be the most effective at reducing PMS.  While a combination of Yi Ren Qigong, Chinese herbs and food therapy combined to be the best overall cure to completely overcome their internal energy imbalances and stagnation.

    In conclusion, Yi Ren Qigong can be the key to help you overcome PMS and improve your internal energy imbalances to help you achieve a higher quality life.  PMS symptoms like all other pain in the body is a signal telling the individual there are internal energy imbalances that need to be addressed so they can obtain higher levels of internal peace, harmony, health and vitality.  If someone re-balances their internal energies and dramatically reduces or eliminates PMS then they will have transformed their life and be able to obtain greater joy and internal freedom.  Ideally ladies should not need to take pain medicine related to their menstrual cycle.

     

    1. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/women/menstrual/pms2.htm

    2. Harriet Beinfeld, L.Ac. and Efrem Korngold, L.Ac. Between Heaven and Earth. Ballatine Books. New York:1991

     

    Qigong and Taichi classes and seminars taught in Seattle, WA and throughout the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest.

  • Secrets to Thyroid and Adrenal Fatigue

    Transforming Thyroid and Adrenal Fatigue with Yi Ren® Qigong

    By Brendan Thorson 3/25/2012,

    Thyroid and Adrenal Fatigue is a serious health problem significantly compromising the life quality of millions of Americans and people throughout the world.  It is estimated that 59 million Americans suffer from Thyroid issues and many of them are not aware of it.1   Adrenal Fatigue is a stress syndrome caused in large part by the modern man’s faced paced stressful lifestyle.2  As a result, It is estimated that Adrenal Fatigue will affect 80% of Americans at one point in their life.2

    Scientists’ have found a clear connection between excess Stress compromising both the Adrenal and Thyroid Glands and compromised Adrenal glands further compromising the Thyroid function.3  The Ancient Taoist Masters who created Chinese Medicine understood the true internal medicine (natural internal energy flows/ patterns), the root of these diseases and the appropriate steps necessary to regain health and vitality.  Yi Ren Qigong can connect one to the Ancient Taoists Masters Energy Medicine for true internal healing and upgrades of the vital energies, organs and glands to assist one to regain a higher quality of life.

    Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

    1. Energy crashes at different points of day

      CRH = corticotrophin-releasing hormone; TRH = thyrotropin-releasing hormone; ACTH = adrenocorticotropic hormone; TSH = thyroid-stimulating hormone; T4 = thyroxine; T3 = triiodothyronine. http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalhealth/thyroid-stress-hormones.aspx

    2. Anxiety
    3. Sugar/salt cravings
    4. Poor appetite in the mornings
    5. Sensitivity to loud noises
    6. Trembling
    7. Disturbed sleep
    8. Hypoglycemic episodes
    9. Frequent colds/infections
    10. Palpitations/chest pains
    11. Thin, brittle nails

    Hypothyroidism Symptoms

    1. Hair loss
    2. Dry skin
    3. Eyebrow hair thinning
    4. Persistent fatigue
    5. Depression
    6. Under-reactive to stimuli
    7. Intolerant of heat

    Both

    1. Low energy
    2. Cold hands
    3. Low body temperature
    4. Weight gain
    5. Sluggish digestion.4

     

    Adrenal Glands:

    The Adrenal glands are famous for their role in helping us deal with stress.  “The main hormones of the stress response are adrenalin (epinephrine) and cortisol.  When a person responds to any long-term stressful situation, they first ramp up production of epinephrine, then cortisol to deal with that life challenge, whether illness, family issues, job stress, or physical or emotional trauma.  If the stress continues these hormonal changes are hard to undo”.5  “Elevated cortisol levels have been linked to all major chronic illnesses of our society: heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, and premature aging.”5

    In acute cases of stress, like an accident or when the body believes it is a life or death situation the body will release adrenalin to ensure survival.  “If stress continues, the adrenal glands produce cortisol within ten minutes to raise blood sugar and insulin levels, move blood to muscles and away from digestion, lower levels of sex hormones and break down protein stores for energy.”  Continued stress eventually leads to the Maladapted stage, in which the body starts to break down from the effects of elevated cortisol.”  “Cortisol imbalance can lead to fatigue, weight gain, immune suppression, and susceptibility to colds and flu, joint pains, mood swings, anxiety, depression, insomnia and digestive symptoms”.  Prior to learning Yi Ren Qigong I suffered for years from fatigue, joint pains, anxieties, mild depressions, terrible sleep and I would catch a cold or a flu almost every week, as soon as I would get over one cold flu or sinus issue I would catch another one.  It was a very frustrating part of my life; however, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise since it led me to find Yi Ren Qigong, the greatest blessing of my life.5

    In today’s faced-paced world, many people deal with stress on a daily basis. This fast-paced lifestyle can include stress from driving, work, family and relationships.  This type of hectic lifestyle has the potential to trigger the Adrenals, which release the hormones of Adrenalin and Cortisol to deal with the stress. However, although these hormones may be beneficial in dealing with a stressful situation, after a person reaches a certain point based on his or her body’s capacity, the body is unable to reset itself to an unstressed state, even after the stressful situation has long since passed.5