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Publisher: YMAA Publication Center
Release Date: November 1997
ISBN: 1-886969-52-3
Format Reviewed: Trade Paperback
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Genre: Nonfiction - Alternative Health/Qigong
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Kristin Johnson
Reviewer Notes: Reviewer Kristin Johnson is the author of CHRISTMAS COOKIES ARE FOR GIVING, co-written with Mimi Cummins and ORDINARY MIRACLES: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey, co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D.

Eight Simple Qigong Exercises for Health
The Eight Pieces of Brocade
By Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming

    With HMOs, insurance headaches, premiums driven up by the 65 percent of Americans who are overweight, increasing daily stress, we all could use a magic elixir for energy and increased quality of life. Who better to provide it than the Chinese, inventors of tai chi chuan, green tea as a curative, and acupuncture?

   Qigong, as alternative health expert Dr. Wang Jwing-Ming explains, is not what you see in Jackie Chan movies. Like tai chi chuan or yoga, it functions as a way of maintaining longevity, youth, energy and health. While qigong is ib martial arts realm, Dr. Yang explains that most practitioners of qigong seek enlightenment, awareness and health through wai dan (physical tai chi type qigong) or nei dan, which reminds one of sitting on a mountaintop like the great sage in the comic strip "B.C."

   It's advisable, unlike most exercise books, not to skip Dr. Yang's lengthy treatise on what qigong is and what it means to us. Interestingly, it started out as a war technique and has evolved into a Western alternative health practice that Chinese have been perfecting for centuries. It's worth reading through Dr. Yang's dissertation just to gain insight into Chinese culture.

   Once you have read the half of the book devoted to the nature of qigong, like most Westerners, you're itching to get started bending spoons with your mind. In fact, you may even skip ahead to the exercises, only to wonder what the poetry and mumbo-jumbo is all about. Dr. Yang stresses that qigong is not about fancy moves, but about careful attention. The exercises, like weight or strength training, require several repetitions, from nine to twenty-four to thirty-six. The qigong exercises may seem slow, especially having to swallow saliva nine times and project the breath through the lower Dan Tian, or abdominal region. However, for those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, patience will pay off when you choose to set aside 10-20 minutes a day. The accompanying videotape purports to be another great investment in your health. Dr. Yang skillfully shows us the path to wellness.