Author Archive for: ‘admin’

  • Qigong is Good for Fibromyalgia

    Thursday, July 25, 2013

    Here is one of many links showing how Qigong helps with Fibromyalgia. People who practiced daily for 45 minutes to an hour had really good results in pain relief and better sleep.

    Even though I have not wanted to believe I have fibromyalgia, as well as scoliosis, I probably do.  About 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with it here in Seattle. Maybe I was in denial, but I rarely mention it to Western MD’s, massage practitioners, naturopaths, physical therapists, etc.  Having scoliosis is enough of a burden.
    I realized that I am not doing enough Yi Ren Qigong. Monday I did about 30 minutes in the morning and then 15 minutes later in the day. On Tuesday I practiced with a friend for about an hour. Wednesday I practiced 15 minutes and today I did not practice at all. I will never get well, if I don’t apply myself and do this work. But, I am working too hard. Today I work 3 hours at the computer and then drove up north and worked 3 more hours on my feet making art, playing fiddle and singing to two separate groups of elders. I was in so much pain then, that I had to drive all the way home and get pain medication. It was my 60th birthday and I wanted to go to my birthday gathering with my family. But, I was in pretty bad shape even with the medication. I can only hope that I sleep tonight. I am so very tired. Then, I will get up while it is cool and do my qigong in the back yard. So, off to bed for me! Namaste!
  • Pain Cycles are Teachers

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    Pain cycles are teachers! No kidding!

    Reading this article by Brendan Thorson really helped me think about my fears, attitudes and depression around pain in a different way.

    Transcending Fears and Stress with Yi Ren® Qigong.

     
     
     
    I know the signs by now and not still sure exactly how to stop this pain cycle that I am beginning. I have slept very little for two nights. I did the thing I hate to do the most–I took some medication for pain. I have two big work days ahead of me. They push me to my limit under the best circumstances. No time to do Qigong until later today. At least now I have new tools to reduce or eliminate the pain. But, this is a s l o w road to recovery!
  • Choices

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Making choices that really work for us is easy, when we are in the flow. But, it’s not always easy to be in the flow in life. For me, there are more times when I feel I am clumsily clanking along–rather than everything happening with ease and for a reason. Today I reflected on when I feel that flow best and had a couple of  insights for myself.

    I don’t know about you, but for me, everything seems easier when there is enough time to accomplish my “Things To Do” list and reflect immediately–or even make changes right away by being flexible. Actually, everything flows better for me in my day if I don’t really have a big list. But, sometimes my list contains more than I can do in a week or a month! I know I am just setting myself up for disappointment.

    Lately, I have tried to make a list of everything that needs to be done and then prioritize it and spread it out over the next couple of weeks in my calendar. Many times I don’t do everything on my list. But, sometimes I surprise myself and have a really productive day. These days most often happen when I choose to take medications for my back pain from scoliosis/fibromyalgia. Without pain meds, I am usually unable to pull myself out of the funk and I end up just doing enough to get by. And, honestly, this is how it is most days, since I don’t like taking pain medications.

    Another day with only 20 minutes of qigong accomplished! But, on Saturday and Sunday I will participate in the Moving Qi seminar at The Noble School of Tai Chi & Qigong Training in the university district here in Seattle. I hope for some rest on Friday so that I can have the energy to do the practice and find my flow again!

  • Listening to My Body?

    Saturday, August 3, 2013

    Today I learned that listening to my body is very important to the healing process. It is not easy for me, nor is it what I typically think about when I hear, “Listen to your body.”

    When I am standing and activating my energy or breathing in with my Life Gate/Kidneys and out with my feet, my lower back and left hip and legs feel really hot and tense. As the day goes by, of course, it becomes more intense. And, I keep asking myself, “Am I crazy to keep going when I feel so much pain?” And, I won’t even tell you how it hurts to shift my weight onto my left foot and hold it.

    But, like any kind of new exercise, I hope that the pain gets to be less intense with time. After a year or two of practicing Yi Ren Qigong, I may find myself more wise and understand better what my body needs and is telling me. My teacher, Brendan, tells how he became more aware and sensitive to his different energy centers and organs. He tells us how our energy will develop in our bodies so that we can use it, move it and cleanse it to maintain our health. I know it works. I will never forget when I came to my second Level 1 class with a terrible back and headache. After an hour of energy activation exercises, I felt tremendously better and continued practicing all day.

    Already just weeks into this and barely able to practice independently, I see changes. My scoliosis typically puts much more stress on the left side of my body. And, my lower extremities are much weaker than on the right side. So, if I am listening to my brain talking, I feel like quitting. It’s exhausting to try to empty my mind–find Wu– and also feel this intense pain for ten minutes or more over and over again through out the day. Maybe it’s less. I feel rather timeless, when practicing Qigong. I know that it will stop hurting if I lay on the floor. But, I think it’s important to listen to the pain in my body too. I need to feel it and not avoid it so that I can understand it.

    I know that my pain is connected to my fears. I have been that way since I was a child–afraid of becoming crippled. Afraid of causing myself to be in more pain. Afraid of being dependent and different. Consequently, I am fairly stoic and not very kind to myself usually. I push hard, when I could stop and resign myself to poverty and disability. I am sure I am not alone in my feelings about when to give up or whether to just keep going until I can go no longer.

    What is quality of life anyway? I am not sure. I, like others who suffer from chronic pain with scoliosis, likely measure quality of life with how much pain we are in at that moment in time. The pain is never gone. So, less pain equals more fun today and more pain tomorrow. I make decisions about what I can do for fun by considering if I have the time to suffer more and possibly have to stay in bed most of the next day. Pain medication helps me be a happier, more active woman. But, it also has a trade off. I can take it for a few weeks, but then my stomach hurts so much that I have to quit.

    But, hey….who am I to complain! i almost feel guilty writing this. But, I know that other women my age have similar types of scoliosis. And, likely they have the same challenges and the pain cycles are probably similar. Anyway, I have so much to be thankful for in life. I will keep going with my Yi Ren Qigong practice. I have nothing to lose by doing this and everything to gain! Yes, I am grateful!

  • With Gratitude, I Practice Yi Ren Qigong

    Monday, August 5, 2013

     

    Today I feel so much gratitude! Grateful for my teacher, Brendan Thorson, who gave us so much of his wisdom and knowledge over the past two days in the Moving with Qi seminars here in Seattle. Grateful for my fellow qigong students moving along together through this process of building energy and learning to move it. Each of them brings a fresh perspective in their generous sharing each day of the seminars. For each of them, I am grateful.I feel so blessed! I learned how to make my body stronger and healthier by building and moving my qi energy to restore, heal and protect myself–physically, emotionally, energetically and spiritually.

    This morning I did my joint strengthening exercises, used my self massage techniques, activated my Life Gate/Kidneys, my feet, my heart center, my Third Eye, my shoulder center and my Dantian. I practiced breathing my qi energy into and out of each of them as well as I could remember.  I tried to do the Small Universe practice. Then, I practiced my Qi Ball exercises that are so much fun! I worked on the flow of my hand movements and weight shifting first. Then, I coordinated the different hand movements to my feet patterns taught in class. Here is a photo from the class:

    Brendan and Alan in class.

    And, the sweet thing is that I did all of it correctly. I always do! My teacher assures us that our bodies know/we know what we need to do and will always do our practices in ways that help us become more healthy and wise.  For this I am particularly grateful!

  • Sleep and Dream…

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    Today I am exhausted again. I am learning so much about myself and my health. I went out last night to see dear friends and it was a much needed social time for me. But, I didn’t sleep last night. Today I have practice my Qigong twice–once alone and once with a friend. I did the Small Universe and the Peaceful Meditation. Now all I want to do is sleep and I can’t.

    The odd thing is that Sunday night after a full day of Yi Ren Qigong practice, I was able to sleep like a baby and woke up yesterday refreshed. I had a great day. I was full of energy and felt happy.

    So what does this tell me? Well, first of all, I know that I need to follow my intuition and what my body tells me. Still, even though I want to sleep in my cave for hours now, I think I will get up and go to the beach and enjoy being in nature. Then, I can come home and work more. I know that my work life is way out of balance and not good for my health. But, opportunities for work that I can do with my health limitations are few and far between. They cannot be passed up or ignored. Another thing I am seeing is that life is full of opportunities–some are unexpected and risky. But, they all are necessary for learning and personal growth.

    Time will tell where this journey takes me. So far, I have no idea of what will happen. I can only have faith that energy work, meditation practices and building strength in my core will help me live a longer, healthier life in the big picture.

  • Yin & Yang

    Sunday, July 21, 2013

    Yin and Yang!  I am learning so much about how we are affected by Yin and Yang energies. Today was the second and last day of the Level 1 Seminar Weekend at The Noble School of Tai Chi and & Qigong Training in Seattle. My teacher, Brendan Thorson, carried us through a long day of learning, sharing and building our skills and knowledge of Yi Ren Qigong. It was wonderful and I am glowingly exhausted! I feel good essentially, though my body aches and is tired. But, I just can’t shake my smile.

    You see, I slept very little last night–maybe two hours–due to a headache and back pain. I really wanted to stay home and rest today. But, I promised I would be there and needed to keep my word and have some faith in my ability to heal. I took pain pills with me and a heating pad. I had a blanket and some food and a pillow. I was sure I would need them! But, surprisingly I found that after about an hour of Qigong energy work and practice, I felt almost well. A wonderful new friend there also shared these exceptional certified pure and organic essential oils.
    So, I stayed all day and benefited by learning more than I can begin to remember tonight. Now, I am ready for an early night. My hip aches and I am sure that I will have my share of pain until my body adjusts. But, I am so happy and also more confident by the day that I will be able to be healed by this work. Someday, I will hike again and play music for hours without paying the price of pain. Yes!!! Thanks, Brandon, once again! And, gratitude to Dr. Sun, who was the beginning of this work!

     

  • Level 1 Seminar Today

    Saturday, July 20, 2013

    Wow. I learned plenty. I am so very tired, yet excited. I ache pretty much all over. But, I did really well. This practice is no or very low impact and perfect for people with scoliosis. I am amazed that I made it through the whole day. I really would never have thought I could and I am so grateful that the teacher, Brendan, encouraged me.

    At one point today, I could really feel the energy in my hands and arms. It felt thick and tangible. Of course, there were many exceptional moments during the day where I felt in awe and humbled by the strength of the energy all around me. I feel pretty overwhelmed and very sleepy. I think this is something that will take some reflection on my part after resting.

    I learned today that the Yi Ren Qigong practice is very complex in it’s development. It will take years to feel competent, if I want to really study and develop my energy and health. Yet, I feel so different already. It’s hard to explain. I feel so grounded and yet energetic. It’s also all encompassing–holistic in approach. I will become more wise, intuitive and in touch with my wild woman self. This is something I have been striving for during these past years. I need real transformation!

     

  • Three things I thought of today…

    Friday, July 19, 2013

    I woke up early  this morning with a pretty bad headache. I did all kinds of massage and heat treatments hoping I could beat it without much luck. I had tons of computer work to do because of teaching classes and such. So, I had a quick breakfast and got to work. Tougher than pig iron, I am! Meaner than a rattlesnake. 🙂

    Anyway, late afternoon I became tired of suffering and went outside to the back yard. I did some stretching, some reiki for myself and a bit of Qigong…what I could remember. Then I made myself a nice big plate of watermelon and blueberries. I felt so much better and went tonight to my second Yi Ren Qigong introductory session. I had a great time. I always have some pain, but so far nothing I can’t handle. In fact, I feel more grounded, present and relaxed after the class.
    But during the day I had a realization of three things that I have carried from childhood and still hold onto in my life. These are things I think I am preparing to transform. When I was young, I was told to take my medicine, lay down and that I can’t do the things other people can do. So, I realized that I never take medicine, I do everything and I am always pushing myself to go, go, go! It’s only been in the last two years that I have consciously been learning to care for myself instead of everyone else. I learned from my teachers that one has to care for and tend her own fire, before she can care for those in her family and the greater community.
    Now I need to go rest and rejuvenate myself with sleep so that I can practice all day tomorrow in my first level Yi Ren Qigong seminar. Namaste!
  • First Days Learning

    Thursday, July 18, 2013

    7/18/13****This is my healing journey. I hope to feel less pain, increased joy and more energy from learning Yi Ren Qigong.

    By Dreama Blankenbeckler

    Today I feel like celebrating and I really hope it stays with me. It’s such a new feeling for me. My journey with scoliosis has been difficult through the years. It started when I was ten years old and has continued to be a huge burden for me. Here I am at nearly sixty years old and most days I suffer from chronic pain in my back, neck, hips and legs. I have a double curve that is over 67 degrees at the L4/L5, and about 43 degrees in the thoracic region. Those of you who know anything about scoliosis will know what I have been going through most of my life. Braces and shoe lifts. Hundreds of sessions of physical therapy. Fear of surgeries needed. X rays galore. But, getting back to celebrating……

    I woke up this morning late for me and realized that I had slept straight through the night for the first time in years. And, though I am not pain free today, my pain is tolerable and my mood is light. Both of my feet feel like they are on the ground! Like I am balanced. It’s amazing and I am so very grateful! I had a sweet day with my favorite  ten year old singing and making art with elders in Adult Family Homes. Then, I flavored and stored a new batch of ginger kombucha I brewed.
    I believe this new feeling of wellbeing comes from my first Yi Ren Qigong introductory class last night from a wonderful teacher in Seattle, Brendan Thorson, at The Noble School of Tai Chi & Qigong Training. It’s a pretty complex practice and I am going to have to work hard to learn. Because of my scoliosis, standing causes me pain. Laying down relieves it.  I admit I had a difficult time standing for a little over an hour last night.
    Well, time will tell! I am going to another one and half hour class tomorrow night. And, then on Saturday and Sunday, I will train all day! I just hope I can make it. Whenever I have my doubts, I push those thoughts away and act “as if” Qigong has already begun the healing process. Of course, my scoliosis will not go away. We rattlesnakes will always be curvy! But, I really expect to have much less pain, more hope for living a full life and plenty of more growth and learning!
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