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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What is Qi Gong?

At the check-in desk at Thriv Fitness Center a new member studied a list of the many classes on the center's calendar. Her head slowly tilted. She used her shoulder to raise her arm, and then her finger tapped on one class as she wondered out loud, "What is Qi Gong?" 

Bobby said from behind the desk, "I really don’t know, but a lot of people really like it. Larry teaches Qi Gong twice a week. And all classes are free with your membership."

Bobby was referring to Larry Maccherone. Each Monday and Friday morning Larry instructs a beginner's class in Qi Gong. Larry often says, "I am here solely to teach people to take better care of themselves. Qi Gong promotes better health and creates a better quality of life; and fewer doctor visits."

Okay... but what is Qi Gong?

Qi Gong is a subtle exercise. It has 18 postures or movements. However, the beginner course includes only the first 8 postures. If you watch someone practice Qi Gong the movements look very easy. But when you practice it yourself, you realize that the mind and the body must work in harmony to move properly.

"Qi Gong exercises the internal organs of the body", Larry says. "It uses good internal breathing to strengthen the organs and assist with proper body posture. It also gives a person good control over the movement of individual body parts".

Larry explains that many people move awkwardly. "When doing something as simple as reaching for a glass, or bending to pick-up something from the floor they tend to put stress on body parts that are not needed to complete the task. If you only need your arm to reach for a glass why tense your shoulder and neck too?"

I thought of the woman at the check-in desk. She didn't need so much shoulder action to lift one index finger.

Qi Gong is not a martial art, even though it does have moves that could be helpful in a physical struggle. Qi Gong is a health exercise that can be practiced by people of any age. No matter your physical condition the practice of Qi Gong will help it improve.

Students who have been in the Thriv Qi Gong class for the past 8 weeks say they have more energy, feel more agile, and balanced in their everyday movements than they did two months ago. Larry says they are just beginning, “Within a month or so, those who practice regularly, will feel even better, eightfold.

Larry teaches the entire 18 posture Qi Gong exercise, along with Chen style Taiji, at his own school in Palm Coast. His school operates under the certification of Grand Master Zhu Tiancai who is a 19th generation Grand master of the ancient arts.
Flagler Taiji
Atlantis Business Park
Rt. 1 Bunnell, Palm Coast, FL
Phone: (386)868-6490

Thriv Fitness Center:
3 Commerce Blvd.
Palm Coast, FL, 32164

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