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Fibromyalgia and Qigong

January 23, 2009

Several weeks ago I wrote about research results which claimed that Qigong can decrease pain levels and improve the quality of life in patients with Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. It took me this long to finally take a class, and after just one session I am convinced Qigong is a compatible and beneficial exercise for me.


The Wellness Center I recently joined offers Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) in addition to many other mind and body disciplines. Fay McGrew is the instructor and this is how she describes Qigong:


The practice of Qigong is used for stress reduction, to enhance the body’s natural healing abilities and to increase vitality and awareness of internal energy that furthers the mind and body. We do breathing techniques and very gentle movements to relieve the energetic and physical stress on the body. You don’t need full mobility to benefit from Qigong. You need the mind’s intention.


The movements are all very gentle, and she constantly reminded the class not to push ourselves, and that at the first sign of discomfort we should release the position. I was able to follow her every move although I was not nearly as smooth and could not hold some poses as long. I did not feel graceful, but I felt good. I could actually feel the tension leaving my upper back, shoulders and neck.


The breathing we did was controlled and meditative. I was so incredibly relaxed at certain points in the hour that I found myself doing the movements with my eyes closed. A few times, for very brief moments I felt weightless.


At the end of the session the top of my head and the bottoms of my feet were tingling. I did not know if this was good or bad, but when Fay came up and check with me to see how I feel_the_qiliked Qigong and I told her about the tingling, she clapped her hands and jumped up and down like a school girl. I guess I had really tapped into my Qi! We were both pleased.


I will certainly be taking her class again. I mentioned how relaxing it was, and that I felt a discernible release of tension in my upper body, but I also felt energized and clearheaded after the hour. It was a great experience and I highly recommend it.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2009 9:06 pm

    I wish I had more Fibro stuff around my house … only one pool in my county has Arthritis swim. i was doing it for awhile, but I hate the teacher. She starts class 15 minutes late, doens’t get in the water 1/2 the time, and stops our work out when she is having a personal conversation with one of the other ladies in the pool. Drives me nuts!

    A good instructor is really important. I feel fortunate that the Wellness Center was built in my neighborhood. I had someone else from MI leave a similar comment about lack of good resources in your area. Very frustrating. I do know that there are some good Qigong videos that you could do at home. A friend of mine recommended “8 pieces of silk.” I do not have first hand knowledge of it, but he is a massage therapist with a pain and trauma recovery background. Wishing you well! FH

  2. April 8, 2009 12:42 pm

    I learnt shibashi qi gong at a local further ed college. It’s worth trying, the most important principle was the ‘soft limit’, just as you describe ie not pushing yourself, but just accepting what is with your body.

    I forget to practice, but when I do it like a breath of fresh air.


    Jon leaf

  3. June 9, 2009 11:14 am

    I had a Qi Gong book years ago, and I used to follow it faithfully. It really helped with everything, stress, pain, emotions. I lent it to someone and never got it back LOL. Since Qi Gong exercises are often very simple, it is possible do to them without going to a class. There also maybe instructional videos out there that show the Qi Gong moves. These practices are really good for fibro, I must say!


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