It's been over a month since I posted here, because in February, after posting something about veterans, I got really focused on meeting a book editing deadline, and in March--well, you know...
But I had planned to write up a blog post about how great Sheng Zhen is for mental health in general, and then I also wanted to write blog posts that speak specifically to how Sheng Zhen could help nurses, firefighters and other first responders, people in recovery, etcetera.... And I planned to start doing outreach to find funding. I also wanted to get back to writing a grant proposal i started a long time ago. Lots of ideas! Lots of plans. Over time, I can get to them.
For now I just want to share that I'm offering online group classes Mondays through Fridays. And you can find more info at www.rebeccacliogould.com/onlineclasses. They are open to the general public. And unless otherwise noted, I'm offering them on a sliding scale, and nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. So, you can show up and participate for free.
As for the free classes I want to offer through Qi4All, I'm available for specialized online group classes or workshops. Just need some funding for them... If you'd like to discuss sponsoring/funding/contributing, let's talk. Otherwise, you could come to those classes I'm currently offering to check out what I do, and then maybe later we can set up something else.
That's all for now!
Mind body practices, such as meditation and qigong, are especially helpful for veterans whether or not they are experiencing PTSD. These practices can help with pain management, insomnia, easing big life transitions, and reducing anxiety and depression. And although optimal wellbeing takes dedication and "hard work," these classes are often experienced as an enjoyable, even fun and playful, part of the healing journey.
Benefits specific to helping veterans include:
Because tai chi is more popular in the U.S. than qigong, there are not many scientific studies specifically regarding qigong. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of qigong being beneficial not only for physical health but for mental health as well. And because qigong is the foundation of tai chi, the benefits of tai chi that have been studied apply to qigong as well.
Qigong students who have also studied tai chi have reported more ease and joy, and less difficulty and frustration, in learning qigong compared to tai chi. And while seated, non-moving meditation, can actually amplify physical and/or emotional pain, especially for beginners and/or when self-guided, meditation in motion (ie qigong) helps the practitioner alleviate discomfort by getting grounded in their body and getting their qi (energy) flowing.
For more on classes or private instruction, get in touch.
Additional Resources and Articles:
How Common is PTSD in Veterans?
Review study points to most effective mind-body therapies for PTSD
Qigong at the VA
Introduction to Tai Chi and Qigong for Whole Health
Mind-body Practices for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Treating Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma: A Preliminary Case Series Using Qigong and T'ai Chi
This was written years ago. Perhaps at some point I'll write a new one. But for now, here you go! :)
I wasn't always this happy (a.k.a. My Sheng Zhen Story)People often see me as a bubble of joy, and often times I am! But I wasn't always like this. As a child, before kindergarten, yes. But after that? No. So below is a letter I wrote a few years ago, my partial Sheng Zhen story; it's just the beginning....
I must tell you that this qigong and meditation, these Sheng Zhen practices, changed my life.
I know that is a strong statement to make, but it’s true. Before attending my first workshop with Master Li Junfeng in 2006, I had sort of a dark cloud hanging over me. Maybe because of my car accident as a teenager. Maybe because of a divorce. Or being picked on in grade school for being overweight and having speech impediments and frizzy hair. Most likely a combination of those and other factors contributed to those dark clouds, leaving me feeling down and low energy a lot of the time. I was also self-conscious. A bit shy. Not one of those bubbly, glowing, happy people.
And I didn’t know much about qigong, certainly nothing about Sheng Zhen. In fact, I thought I probably wouldn’t like it, that it would be too serious and uncomfortable. But at that first workshop, I was pleasantly surprised.
The movements were graceful and fluid, and accompanied by inspirational, poetic contemplations. It felt like a meditation in motion. And I loved that we were not only being encouraged to smile and even laugh, but also encouraged to play and have fun with the movements! I felt something shift in me, a letting go, and an opening. A Heart-opening.
I knew from that day on that I wanted to continue this practice and also share it with others. I started practicing regularly along with a DVD, and within just a few weeks, I was one of those happy, glowing, bubbly people. I couldn’t believe it! But it was true. I also noticed that I was more grounded and calm AND that I wanted to dance, be more social, really LIVE and share with others more. My relationships improved. I worried less, and I enjoyed life more. I had more confidence and felt better in my body than I had in years. All of this thanks to cultivating a compassionate and open Heart through Sheng Zhen.
So I got on the fast track to becoming teacher, and it’s been such a pleasure to share these practices with others and to hear their stories, whether of just simply enjoying it or having some big transformational experience with it. Sheng Zhen certainly has touched the lives of many. And through my own personal practice, teaching others, and working so closely with Master Li, Sheng Zhen continues to be a blessing and a joy in my life, as well as a touchstone.
That’s all for now.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.