“Chi Kung brought me physical and psychological rest that I desperately needed.”
Life is short; I realized this very early in life.. to counter this I always need to live my life as fully as possible. I maximized it and everything I did needed to give me a kick and a sense of being alive. Although it’s nice to live a life that is full of excitement, pulling it to the extreme, which I did, was very unhealthy and in the long run I couldn’t enjoy the things I did. There was no rest, no peace, no time to reflect, no time for integration and no time to recover. Before my burnout in 2015 I was very busy with 3 jobs and 2 courses, I went to all the parties I could go to, had to see friends, had to do anything and everything my agenda was my life, had no time for spontaneous actions and my agenda was at least full for 3 months in the future.
For many, I lived the life that was the highest attainable in the eyes of our society, doing it all, you must have made it. I lived at my max, but I didn't sympathize with or listened to my body. I pushed myself aside to conform to an image I needed to achieve in order to be accepted and loved by others, at least that’s what I thought. I did everything with enthusiasm, but was running on adrenaline and this fire was slowly burning up.
Result … I ended up in a very intense burnout. Couldn’t talk much before , had panic attacks, was afraid of cars, could barely get groceries and was on bed most of the time. You get the point, it was time to listen to my body and heal myself. Luckily I already did Chi Kung for several years, which speeded up my recovery process enormously. Chi Kung supported me physically as mentally to balance and health.
Chi Kung came to me trough my Aikido trainer (Marc Jongsten), Marc is a certified Chi Kung & Tai Chi teacher and introduced me to this ancient Chinese tradition of standing postures of the ‘Zhan Zhuang’ Chi Kung / Qi Gong.
Within the Chi Kung there are body postures, subtle movements, breathing and meditation techniques to keep the body healthy and in balance and going with nature, the flow of life, the TAO.
TAO or DAO, is the natural order of the universe and thus nature; And so within the practice you go with your own nature, the universe, you are re-training yourself to get back into alignment with your true self.
Many people know Tai Chi and Kung Fu, even more subtle movements, you get Chi Kung. It can be seen as a mediation. Chi Kung can be seen as the root of Tai Chi and Kung Fu, within Chi Kung you are standing like a tree. Chi Kung has several forms in which meridian stretches for self-healing is invoked. Chi Kung works like the TCM with the chinese 5 Elements like illustrated below.
While standing you can feel the blood is flowing more freely and you are ‘confronted’ with blockages within your body, which helps you to consciously attend to these blockages and help you heal these aspects for a more whole you.
“I was confronted with all the ailments and complaints affecting my body”
The healing effect of Chi Kung was clearly noticeable to me, this resulted in a lot of frustration and annoyance in the beginning of my years of practice. I had become so used to being ‘on fire’ continuously, that standing or resting position was new to me and very frustrating, this meant not distracting yourself but facing your own demons within yourself and staying in touch with these instead of running away from them. I was confronted with all the ailments and complaints in my body. And given the fact that I constantly was rejecting and abandoning my body, by not listening to it at all… when I finally listened my body had a lot to say!
Because of a lot of computer work I always had cold hands, but because of Chi Kung glowing like never before! My blood flow was very bad; my sugar level and hormone management was due to the burnout completely whacked. I could no longer exercise; this would exhaust my body way too much, but I could still do Chi Kung.
After many years I still benefit greatly from this art of living. Chi kung is part of my life now and I try to totally integrate it in every aspect of my life. For example whenever I wait for something, if it’s a train or in the supermarket I pass the time with healing my body with the power of Chi Kung.
Liking Chi Kung so much I occasionally give a workshop myself and find it fascinating how such simple-looking actions can have such great effect on your health and body.
Wanting to deepen my knowledge of Chi Kung and the health benefits connected, while I was standing I was mapping out all the meridians effected. How various subtle movements and standing postures connected to the meridians and energy channels that ultimately also affect organs and thus the entire body, became increasingly clear during my studies to become a Shiatsu Therapist. To be clear, Meridians come from Traditional Chinese Medicine, a meridian is a channel through which chi/qi or ki and the other fundamental substances flow. This helped me understand my studies and become more aware also as a holistic healer.
Besides an increased energy flow and undoing blockages and peace of mind, Chi Kung is also very grounding. Especially if you are highly sensitive person or take too much energy from your environment, Chi Kung can help you ground and discharge energies that do not serve you any longer towards mother earth. These grounding exercises can help you profoundly in your daily lives. Grounding and thus Chi kung can help you redirect energies to your core, the Ki Kai or lower Dantian, this is the core of your body and this will help you to get make decisions from a place of piece, harmony, trust and confidence.
The energy in the body of the people in in the west, are due to stress, up growing and fear more accumulated in the head, which gives a lot of power to the head, but depleting ones energy and resulting in a heavy head and malnourished ‘Hara’ (belly area) which will result in an out of alignment with yourself. This out of alignment can result in not knowing what to do with your life and not feeling at home within yourself. Which could result in more stress and low self-esteem.
It’s time for us westerners to come back home again, back home in our bodies, home in our core, in our Hara, trust ourselves again, not overthink but trust our gut and live from our true nature.
Chi Kung helped me and I hope that my story can provide inspiration for those who are also searching for good support in the recovery process or want to keep a healthy and balanced life.
I can recommend Chi Kung to anyone, nice to recharge your batteries and to be powerful in life. Have
Have fun and stand like a tree!
Nick van ‘t End
Website of Marc Jongsten: https://taichileiden.nl/
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