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Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
#54696 06/10/06 10:59 PM
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I purchased the Spring Forest Qigong package. I recently have done some reserach on the internet and am finding information that Qigong is dangerous. That the breathing can be dangerous, and you can at times cause blockages or damaging outcomes that you definately do not want. The oppposite of what you are expeccting to happen. Also, that you should not try to learn on your own via, books, tapes, etc but only with an expert. I know you can always find the good and bad in anything and I don't believe everything I read on the internet, but wanted to hear people on the forums' feed back on this matter.

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
QBaby #54697 06/11/06 12:19 AM
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Hi QBaby,
Spring Forest Qigong is a gentle, simple form of Qigong - it is tailored for use by anyone who needs it and was specifically developed so that it could be most effective for healing.
The key is to build up your practice very gradually and only do what you are feeling comfortable with at the time. Also keep reading Chunyi Lin's chapter on loving kindness - as he repeatedly says throughout the course - it is an open and positive state of mind that will help the most in reconnecting you with the healing energy.
When you encounter any form of scaremongering about the negative effects of this or that healing practice (and there are many healing practices which get bad press for completely unsusbstantiated or overblown reasons and usually due to ignorance), try reminding yourself how many negative effects are caused my mindsets that are weighted down by negativity or fear in the first place. (Why do we all need healing?!)
I have been practicing Level 1 SFQ for almost three months now and I can only cite benefits to my physical and mental wellbeing (for example, I had excruciating chronic back pains before I discovered SFQ and they are now almost completely gone).
Remember that there is a network of support here at the forum, so as you build your practice and you want to ask questions or share experiences, you can do that whenever you most need to.
Best of luck...
Ingrid

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
Ingrid #54698 06/11/06 12:33 AM
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Thanks Ingrid,

I just don't want to think I am doing something good and end up hurting myself.

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
QBaby #54699 06/11/06 12:51 PM
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I would also like to say that I have dong GiGong for several years off and on. I do Spring Forest on some days and on the other days I use Lee Holden's CD. When I do Spring Forest, I do each exercise for five minutes which is not the recommendation. I still reap many benefits. It has helped me to find balance and peace in my life. It is a form of meditation for me and I think of it often as a way to unconditionally love oneself. It is very centering and I see no way that it could be harmful -- Just take it easy and follow your own inner guide.

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
Claire #54700 06/11/06 03:20 PM
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Hello again QBaby,
Don't worry - you can't do anything beyond what you're ready for. Same goes for things as mundane as for example jogging, swimming lengths or learning a new language! You capacity will develop and accumulate at its own pace. I think what Claire says is very true - go easy - start with short practices of 5 or 10 minutes maximum and see how it goes. I initially tried to do the full physical exercises along with the video every night, but it was simply too much for my arms and legs - so I decreased the duration and have been building it back up ever since - I find that my strength has been building gradually ever since.

Regarding reverse breathing - if you find you are straining or it feels uncomfortable - stop, seek more advice on ways to change your technique and in the meantime stick with what feels most relaxing. (there are some good tips on reverse breathing on this site if you look up the archive, but remember - using the technique at this introductory stage is less important than moving towards a state of deep relaxation). Simply let go and keep it simple - it's all about being gentle. I, in fact, find the meditation practice most relaxing and effective when I begin to achieve a state where it feels like the breathing is almost "doing itself" - almost as if the energy movement and the breathing happen as one. I usually find that I reach this state easiest, when I am not preoccupied with technique, but focus more on the energy sensations/visualisations. It's almost like a feeling of surrendering to what is already going on, rather than trying to force anything.

If there are any ways in which you could help yourself physically (though again this is not at all necessary and wouldn't be possible anyway for people with severely debilitating physical conditions), you could attend some introductory Tai Chi or Yoga sessions in your local area to improve your posture. I recently began a very basic Tai Chi class and found that it greatly improved my back strength, which in turn, helped with the physical SFQ exercises. I would still hold, however, that the most powerful practice is the training of the mind (in itself a specific form of Yoga and Qigong), so I'm only suggesting these possibilities if you feel you would like to do more to develop yourself in support of SFQ practice. Sometimes this can actually help with the development of your mind anyway as you feel you are actually doing something practical, with the tangible support of people you can meet in person - plus it can only benefit the SFQ practice. (Make sure you get a good Yoga or Tai Chi teacher though, who isn't into the western "aerobicising" of what are much more complex disciplines, with deeper objectives than trying to lose weight and being able to impressively wrap your legs around your head!)

Again, good luck with it all and keep in touch!

best wishes
Ingrid

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
Ingrid #54701 06/12/06 03:31 AM
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The good thing with Internet is you can always find all types of information.
The bad think is anyone and everyone can write them. It is about finding out the credibility of that source.

A very successful & wealthy entrapreneur once told me - opinion is like an armpit, everyone has one but sometimes it stinks.

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
DesertSphinx #54702 06/12/06 08:08 AM
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Good words of advice from DesertSphinx. You may hear lots of bad things said about QiGong on the web, but on this particular opinion forum you know that most people are talking from the experience of having done it themselves and can at the very least share that with you.
Have you considered phoning Chunyi Lin and speaking with him directly by the way?
lots of love
Ingrid

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
Ingrid #54703 06/12/06 03:54 PM
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Dear QBaby,

Anything can be used for good or bad. To a murderer, a knife is an
instrument of death. To a surgeon, a knife is an instrument of life.
Ying and Yang.

I agree with the other respondents that QiGong & Tai Chi have only
benefited me, perhaps because I intended to use them for good. At the
same time, other Qi-based systems have been developed for less honorable
goals, and these are well-documented. Any system of thought can be
warped, if that is the user's intention.

Even in the proper practice of Qi, there may develop what I regard as less
ideal outcomes, for instance, a religious devotion to or dependence upon a
certain system. If someone gets to the point of fanatic instance that
this or that way is the only way, and you have to do it this way or that
way, and you have to do this for so many hours a day, facing a certain
direction, etc., etc ... well, I say, thank you, I'm glad you found a way
that works for you, but yours is only one of many ways.

Above all, love and peace.

HF

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
hartreefoch #54704 06/13/06 05:19 PM
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This Podcast with Qigong Research Vice President Tom Rogers should help reassure you on the safety of Qigong.

http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/whatsnew.php

You should be fine with Spring Forest Qigong.

Yes Qigong can potentially be dangerous if the practice is not balanced. That is why it is important to have a good system.

Some people read a book and start packing chi into a particular body parts and get into trouble. Also, there are fundamentals that need to be worked on before moving into advanced practices. The key to choosing a system is to view what the results that senior practioners are getting.

Re: Is Spring Forest Qigong dangerous?
weight39doug #54705 06/14/06 12:06 AM
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I just want to echo what has already been said here.

I have been doing T'ai Chi Ch'uan and various forms of Qigong for over 25 years. And the only danger in my life is when I am not doing it! And by that I mean, I slip back into patterns of life that are not as healthy (like spending too much time on internet forums! ) and my health is not at the optimum level it is when I am practicing consistently.

Having said that, I do believe that there are dangerous forms of Qigong. Those that are used to toughen the skin or bones for martial purposes or for demonstrations and performance can be very dangerous. An example of this is the qigong that is often called "Iron Shirt" and others of its ilk. Any of these kinds of qigong, especially practiced without supervision, I have little doubt can be harmful.

However, SFQ is no where near that type of extreme practice. On the contrary! It is a totally safe and well designed system (really a "modular" system), that allows the practitioner to progress at their own pace on their own schedule. It offers a multi-media "kit" to help one learn in different ways and in different learning modes. And unlike many other Qigong videos or books (many of which are still excellent), it has an online forum (this) and telephone coaching. Both of these I have been using along with my practice and I find them EXTREMELY helpful. For example, many of the suggestions given in this very topic are valuable and will help beginners and actually anyone at any level.

I am no expert, but I am an experienced amateur. And for what it is worth, I can tell you with little doubt in my own mind, that this is a superior form of qigong, brilliantly developed, taught and presented by Chunyi Lin and his production team and marketed and supported by Learning Strategies.

In the just two months or so that I have been practicing it, it has helped me virtually eliminate my migraines and some back pain, as well as some fatigue and other problems I have been experiencing. I also have some other health problems such as high cholesterol and a hiatel hernia (acid reflux) that I am very optimistic it will also help me improve (the latter condition has already improved and I am almost completely off of my medicine with that).

Even when I still get the migraines, if I can at least do about an hour of SFQ (half hour each of active and sitting), I can almost guarantee that my migraine will be gone. If I have two hours, it will certainly be gone. Every time. Like clock work.

In addition, I am right now in the middle of some serious job-related stress and anxiety and when I do the SFQ, I not only feel better, but I feel more in touch with "long forgotten love, kindness, forgiveness", that is helping me heal on a whole 'nother level.

The only danger, as far as I am concerned, is the terrible waste and shame it would be to not utilize this treasure trove of a system.

And as always stated throughout the course, if one has a specific condition one is working on or a specific concern, fear or symptom, one should consult one's health care professionals to play it safe and secure.

FWIW & YMMV

Good practice & health to all!

Steve

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