Bill Cartmell, Instructor
Phone: (480) 518-3055
Health Benefits of Qigong:
The Twelve Benefits of Qigong
An excellent list from Qigong Master Ken Cohen:
1. Well-being and improved health. Qigong emphasizes whole body, whole system health. While it is true that qigong
will often cure specific ills, this is not the primary reason for practice. Even if a disease cannot be cured, qigong improves
quality of life and helps you find greater happiness. It is not only a matter of adding years to your life, but life to your
2. Clear and tranquil mind. When the mind is at peace, the whole universe seems at peace. World peace begins with
you; it is your responsibility to find a peaceful heart and mind. Then you can heal and transform others just through your
presence. I am not suggesting that you use meditation as a substitute for political action (such as voting), but rather, if
you have tranquil mind, you will make better decisions and have the skill to know when to act and when to be still.
3. Deeper, more restorative sleep. Sleep is becoming more and more a challenge in our hectic, quick-paced, wired
world. Qigong will help you find the deep relaxation and mental quiet necessary for sleep. However, qigong is not enough!
You must also get sufficient aerobic and resistance exercise, eat well, not overwork, and be willing to enjoy leisure. Be a
human being, not a human doing. As philosopher Lin Yutang once put it, "Since culture is a product of leisure, the sage is
the one who loafs gracefully."
4. Increased energy, including sexual vitality and fertility. Qigong people have more energy. In Chinese terms,
qigong can, "reverse aging and restore youthfulness." Part of this youthful quality is a feeling of sexual potency and both
male and female fertility. Let me share an anecdote with you. I was taking a lunch break during a science conference and
enjoying a conversation with some of the attendees and with my daughter (then age 17), who was sitting next to me. An
attractive young woman walked over to my table and extended her hand, I presumed to shake hands. When I grasped her
hand, she sandwiched it between her two and, looking warmly in my eyes, said, "Thank you so much for getting me
pregnant." My daughter exclaimed quizzically "Dad?!" She knows her dad is "weird", but not immoral. The woman
explained, "Oh, you may not remember me, but I was at this conference last year and complained about my inability to
become pregnant. Both my husband and I had been tested, but the doctors could find nothing wrong. You recommended
some qigong exercises, and now I have a healthy boy!" If anything makes me want to continue teaching qigong for the
rest of my life, it is testimonials like this.
5. Comfortable warmth. Qigong is great for cold hands and feet. Circulation improves, and the body generates more
internal warmth when it is cold. I heard of a famous qigong master who used to teach his classes outdoors in Tokyo, even
in the winter. If a student got too cold, he or she had only to grasp the master's hand, a natural hand warmer! Until you
reach this stage, if cold weather makes you uncomfortable, you may wish to take advantage of a Japanese secret. During
cold winter days, keep a scarf wrapped around your lower abdomen, under your jacket. You have probably heard that it
is good to wear a warm hat because heat escapes from the head. True. However, you can also increase internal heat by
keeping the body's energy furnace (the abdominal dan tian) warm.
6. Clear skin. The skin, like the intestines, is an organ of elimination. According to Chinese medicine, as your qigong
improves, your body eliminates toxins, and the skin becomes clear, smooth, and youthful. Qigong is excellent for the
7. Happy attitude. There is an old Tibetan saying, "You can tell a Yogi by his or her laugh." I believe the same is true of
a qigong master. Although there are certainly serious, obsessive, and even morose qigong teachers, correct and
moderate qigong practice usually creates an optimistic and joyous disposition. Deep learning brings humility before the
great unknown (the Tao) and the vast amount still to be known. The more you know, the more you know that you don't
know, and the less seriously you take yourself.
8. More efficient metabolism. Digestion improves, and hair and nails grow more quickly. Students commonly remark
that after a few months of qigong, they need to use their nail clippers twice as often. The traditional explanation is that the
body is throwing off dead cells more quickly. Would you like to hear some Taoist mystical trivia? When a Taoist master
dies, his or her body disappears in a flash of light, and all that is left is hair, nails, and clothes. Or so the story goes.
9. Greater physiological control. This means that aspects of the body that were imbalanced or out of control begin to
normalize, for example, breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, hormone levels, and states of chronic inflammation or
depletion. "Control" means greater control over the body's functions, generally not by conscious effort but naturally from
within, as a side effect of qigong practice. As biological functions normalize, you become more flexible and resilient. One
of my colleagues put it this way, "If I want to fast for a few days, no problem! If I want to enjoy a feast, no problem! I can
sleep peacefully for eight hours or, when necessary, I can miss sleep for a night without ill effects."
10. Bright eyes. The qigong master's eyes are said to glow in the dark, like a cat's. The eyes also appear "bright"
because the spirit and soul are luminous and the heart is open.
11. Intuition and creativity. I believe that intuition and creativity generate each other and come from the same source,
an awakened brain and being, an ability to think with the gut, to feel with the mind. Our society stresses
compartmentalization, a specialized education, family life separate from work, church separate from state. We spend
much of our lives living in compartments— home, school, workplace, and car. Qigong teaches us to reclaim the
wholeness of who we are. Instead of fitting into a neat box, we are willing to exercise our intuition and creativity, to "boldly
go where no person has gone before."
12. Spiritual effects. Advancement in qigong is often accompanied by a variety of spiritual experiences. For example,
synchronicity, meaningful coincidences, become more common. When the qi is abundant, clear, and flowing, the senses
perceive and are permeated by a sweetness, as though a divine nectar perfumes the skin and is generated in the mouth.
Some students see a radiance or aura around people. Be thankful for such experiences but do not become egotistical
about them; neither awe nor excitement are necessary. You are indeed special, but no more special than every person.
Each individual, like each flower in a field, has a unique beauty.
Visit Ken Cohen at http://www.qigonghealing.com/