by Sheila Julson
Sometimes what’s old is new again. As esteemed medical facilities such as the Mayo Clinic are starting to recognize how ancient Eastern healing practices such as qigong (pronounced chee-gung) can alleviate chronic pain, people are becoming interested in learning how to apply these wellness philosophies to their daily lives.
Qigong Master Chunyi Lin, founder of Spring Forest Qigong, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has gained an international following through his approachable qigong methods. Austin residents will have the opportunity to learn Level I and II Spring Forest Qigong techniques, April 20 to 22, at the Hyatt Place Austin Airport. Lin recently shared with Natural Awakenings his wellness journey, how qigong can empower people to create their own wellness destinies and how the healing energy of love can radiate to all.
What is qigong?
Qigong is an ancient Chinese scientific study of the power of the body, called the qi, and how to combine that with the power of the universe to benefit all aspects of life.
How did you develop Spring Forest Qigong?
I studied qigong and martial arts when I was 15 years old, but I was not very serious about it until I badly injured my knees playing basketball. I also had lower back and neck problems. By the time I was in my late 20s and early 30s, I was in very bad shape. Then I was introduced to a Qigong Master, and I started attending group meditation sessions. The soreness and pain in my knees very quickly disappeared, and I realized that I could heal myself without any medicine.
I really got into studying qigong. I did research and went to different masters to learn techniques, but I found that their methods were very complicated and would require a lot of effort to learn. During my studies, I decided to create a new form of qigong called Spring Forest Qigong, which I started in 1994.
How has Spring Forest grown into a global community?
When I taught my very first class at a community center in the Twin Cities, only five people showed up; two of them had signed up by mistake. One of those was a woman with a rare lung disease, and she was on oxygen for many years. I encouraged her to stay, and within eight weeks, her doctors
at the Mayo Clinic told her she no longer needed oxygen, and the lung scar tissues disappeared. The St. Paul Pioneer Press ran a story about her, and suddenly my class went from five students to 65.
I realized this was my life’s calling. During my meditation, I was given the message that I was meant to share qigong so there would be a healer in every home, and a world without pain and suffering.
Now we have teachers and trainers all over the world. We developed a teacher training school and a nonprofit organization that supports our vision. People in the Spring Forest community feel more energy, their pain gradually goes away and chronic problems start to heal through these simple
meditation techniques and exercises that bring people hope and happiness.
How do your Spring Forest Qigong techniques make the practice so approachable?
It’s very simple. Anybody can do it, regardless of age or medical conditions. Are we all born as healers? Yes, absolutely. What we teach in qigong is that everybody is born a healer. Everybody
was born with the gift to help heal the self and help others to heal. You just need to recognize and unlock this healing power within and make use of it.
How can people transform their own energy to heal?
It’s very simple. You just need to slow down, take a deep breath and put a smile on your face every day. Qigong tells people to smile, stand up and activate unconditional love in their hearts. Love is the most powerful healing energy in the universe. There are some simple meditation techniques
and movements to utilize the power of the mind and the heart, and all of these parts together get the body back into balance. What we do is teach people to balance energy so the body heals.
Breathing slowly and deeply can transform that energy. Everything in the body is in a constant process of transforming. The question is, are we transforming it for better or for worse? By clearing your mind, heart and spirit, and activating the unconditional love in your heart, you can heal yourself nicely and transform inside. Once you learn qigong, you have this skill for life.
What can attendees expect to learn at the Level I and II training classes in Austin?
They will feel so happy, because during training they will learn something very simple, eye opening and powerful to cultivate their own energy and open wisdom channels within the body. They will learn to use and recognize these gifts within to heal and balance. They’ll understand why qigong works and how to apply it to their daily lives.
When people walk in with aches and pains, but walk out feeling better, that’s our biggest reward and what I want to devote the rest of my life to. Qigong returns healing power back to the self.
Spring Forest Qigong Level I and II Qigong training classes take place April 20 through 22
at the Hyatt Place Austin Airport, 9532 Spirit of Austin Ln., Austin. For more information or
to register, visit SpringForestQigong.com.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings
magazines throughout the country.