I have a proposal for you, a chance for you to be involved in my, and your own, human experiment. It’s kinda like the “30 day abs challenge” or “a better butt in 30 days” but I’m proposing better internal strength, ability to deal with stress, diminishing headaches, sleep better in 30 days kind of challenge. Of course, this is not all for you. Yep, I have selfish motives in this proposal.
This is what my dad brought home, a whole box of boxes of the most delicious chewy goodness (even better than marshmallow circus peanuts!). Too bad I never got any, except for the few I snuck, in secret, from their “hiding” place in the back of the pantry.
You see, ever since I was a child I have enjoyed the external motivation of a challenge to help me to achieve new goals. I would probably have to thank my dad for this gift I possess. He once bet me an entire box of boxes of Botan Rice Candy that I couldn’t have my room cleaned by the time he returned from his business trip to California.
Botan Rice Candy is just about the tastiest Japanese chewy candy I’d ever had the privilege to dig my teeth into, not to mention the super cool rice paper they were wrapped in that led to extended periods of enjoyment watching friends, ignorant of the edible quality of rice paper, try to peel the impossibly fine, fragile paper from the sticky candy. Now here’s the catch–while I did love engaging in a challenge, I rarely saw the challenge through. So, unfortunately, my dad came home with a big box of boxes of my favorite candy and I was never able to enjoy it (due to never cleaning my room) and it sat in the top of our pantry till the candies hardened with age and became inedible.
Here’s a close-up of the edible rice paper around the candies that made them such a novelty!
I bet you’re wondering what’s the point to your challenge now? Well the stakes are higher and I need some external motivation to reach my goal, and my goal is even more desirable than a box full of boxes of Botan Rice Candy (I know, hard to believe such a thing exists!). My goal is to strengthen myself enough internally that I can successfully ween off my Western medications in the next 30 days (or at least begin to ween off). I need your help though and I thought it would also be cool if I helped you in the meanwhile by teaching you techniques to overcome stress, headaches, etc. My proposition is that I will post periodic instructional videos on qigong movements while explaining the intention behind them and what they target. I, myself, will be practicing qigong more often for longer periods of time (I currently do 7-20 minutes before going to bed each night; it has greatly affected the quality of my sleep). Together, we will be working on our internal strengthening and hopefully this can be somewhat interactive. You can post questions about effects that you have felt after doing the qigong as well as questions about qigong that can help certain ailments that you suffer from. I will post about my progress and answer your questions to the best of my ability.
Oh, did I mention they candy came with a sticker? Once upon a time, I believe they came with temporary tattoos which is way cooler.
Here comes the disclaimer: I have been studying qigong once a week from a qigong master and have been doing this for 5 months. I am not a qigong master and do not have a certification to teach qigong (not sure if you need one?). I am obviously not doing this for profit. I am just a girl with colitis who wants to kick this illness in the ass and needs some help with it. Believe it or not, I do not wake up chipper to follow my diet, prepare my every meal, get acupuncture appointments, cook my herbs and take handfuls of supplements every day. Some days, such as yesterday, my energy is low, my mood is crappy and I just wish I was normal. Not normal like someone who eats MacDonald’s (because that would kill me and probably anyone if taken in large enough doses), but normal like someone who does not have to think about how everything they do or eat will affect their health and illness. But I’m not normal and I never will be, I must just resign to being an anomaly. So what do you say? Are you in? If I get at least 5 responses, I will start posting instructional videos…
Don’t worry, you do not need to be able to do what this qigong master is doing in order to see the benefits of qigong. It can even be done sitting or laying down.
Hmm, just realized I should tell you a bit about qigong before you agreed to embark on this journey. While it is an ancient Chinese martial art, it is not physically strenuous and can even be done sitting or laying down. All qigong routines include three main elements: breath, movement and intent. For example, there is a movement that I use when I feel a headache coming on which involves bringing your hands over your head, around your ears and pushing your arms out in front of you. While doing this, you envision a green color entering your liver and gallbladder (space just below your right ribs) on your inhale and the color exiting your liver and gallbladder on your exhale. This may sound confusing, but with practice, it becomes easier and you will see results. There is also a movement called “food qi stagnation” which can help with weight loss and improved digestion–great for those large meals that often leave a soul comatose.