Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is an ancient Chinese healing, meditation, and exercise technique designed to bring the body’s systems into balance through the flow of qi, or energy, through the body’s pathways. While the benefits of this ancient Oriental art are still being studied, many in the western world swear by it – myself included.
I was excited, therefore, when I received a free review copy of Meridian Qigong: 14 Qigong Exercises to Energize, Heal and Restore by Tevia Feng. Feng, who began his study of qigong as a child, takes the reader through the history and background of the art, and then gives step-by-step instructions for 14 exercises designed to get an individual started in opening the pathways to allow proper energy (qi) flow.
While some of the many pages of introduction is arcane, it is worthwhile plowing through it before beginning the exercises. As with any exercise program, it helps to know one’s limits to avoid injury. Feng cautions the neophyte to go slow, and not expect too much. The discussion of the 14 meridians, in particular the Ren (governing) and Du (conception) vessels, will no doubt be viewed as a bit esoteric to newcomers, as will some of the other philosophical explanations in Feng’s book. If exotic history is not your thing, feel free to skip these parts – not the parts that explain how to go about doing the exercises, though – these are important.
If you’re interested in improving your mental and physical health, but don’t want to go to the trouble of getting a gym membership, this isn’t a bad place to start. Feng doesn’t promise miracles – and despite the heavy prose, does a fairly credible job of introducing the art of qigong in my humble opinion. For those who don’t believe in the efficacy of traditional healing arts, this book won’t convert – but, it will reinforce the view of those who have already encountered Asian arts (martial and healing). Believer or nonbeliever, this is an interesting book.
I give this book four stars.