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| LECTURES, WORKSHOPS
Presentations may include lectures and keynotes, pre- or post-conference
institutes, workshops, or 6-8 week semester classes. Presentations
generally focus on one or two of the systems listed below. Sponsors
may contact us for unique program descriptions that meet your needs.
Qigong Visualization and Meditation
External Qi Healing
Inner Martial Arts (Nei Jia Quan)
Special Interests (Sports, Business,
Qigong Lectures and Keynotes
- We teach the great, classical systems, including:
- Relaxation Qigong (Fang Song Gong). Sophisticated
methods of progressive relaxation that may be practiced standing,
seated, or supine.
- Bone Marrow Cleansing (Xi Sui Jing). The classic
system of purification qigong, attributed to Bodhidharma, the
founder of Zen Buddhism. Bone Marrow Cleansing sends healing
qi through the bones. Studies suggest positive effects on the
- Healing Sounds (Liu Qi Fa). Beginning and advanced
levels of Healing Sounds, an integration of sound and posture
to drive toxins out of the lungs, heart, liver, spleen, and
kidneys. The advanced set includes exercises to detoxify acupuncture
points and meridians. The Healing Sounds are widely prescribed
in China and have an excellent clinical record.
- Primordial Qigong (Hunyuan Gong). An exceptionally
rare and powerful qigong from the ancient Taoist tradition and
transmitted today by renowned Taiji Quan Master Feng Zhiqiang.
Professor Cohen learned this system originally from one of Master
Feng's senior students, Madame Gao Fu (1916-2005) and also from
Master Feng himself. Blend the primordial energy of Heaven and
Earth with the energy of life within the body.
- Coiling Silk Qigong (Chan Si Gong). Coiling
silk refers to the uncoiling of a cocoon as you gently pull
a silk thread. Coiling silk movements open and close the joints
and stimulate the qi to reach dense, congested, or tight areas.
Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi). The most ancient healing exercise
still practiced today. The Five Animals were created by Hua
Tuo, the father of Chinese Medicine, in the second century A.D.
The Five Animals are the Crane for relaxation, the Bear for
strength, the Monkey for flexibility, the Deer for grace, and
the Tiger for power.
- Taiji Ruler (Taiji Chi). The first person to
teach this technique publicly, Zhao Zhongdao lived to age 118.
Taiji Ruler is attributed to Taoist recluse Chen Xiyi and was
until the 1950s a secret of the Chinese imperial family. It
consists of easy-to-learn rocking movements that build qi in
the feet, lower back, abdomen, and hands. It may be practiced
for self-healing or to increase the power of healing touch.
The QRPC is one of the few schools in the world that teaches
the complete system of Taiji Ruler, including the solo exercises,
two person exercises, strength training techniques, and meditative
- Standing Meditation (Zhan Zhuang). Standing Meditation is the foundation of qigong practice. The student learns to stand in meditative postures for a period of time in order to improve posture, deepen the breath, and increase the body's structural integrity. Better alignment produces greater ease and freedom of movement. An individual who is proficient in Standing Meditation has Peng Jing, Resilient Power and core strength. This makes Standing Meditation an excellent qigong to prevent impact injuries, whether from a fall, a flying object (or bumping into one), or a martial arts fist. Having Peng Jing doesn’t mean that one cannot be injured, only that one is far less likely to be injured.
- Yi Quan (The Mind-Intent Healing and Martial Art) is one of the greatest, most comprehensive systems of qigong, the legacy of the esteemed Master Wang
Xiangzhai. Because of its extraordinary attention to posture, movement, breathing, and mindfulness, Yi Quan teaches the vocabulary upon which qigong is based. Evidence suggests that it is excellent for brain health, neurological functioning, and as complementary therapy for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Brain Injury, and balance problems. It is as effective for optimizing health as for improving athletic performance. Yi Quan includes Standing Meditation, Walking Meditation, Shi Li (“Experimenting with Force” Methods of Receiving, Sending, and Moving Energy to improve coordination), Healing Imagery, Fa Jing (Discharging Power for martial arts or sports), one-on-one postural therapy, Jian Wu (Health Dance: improvisational and creative combinations of techniques in flowing patterns), and much more.
- Muscle/Tendon Transformation (Yi Jin Jing).
Dynamic isometric exercises combined with respiratory techniques.
Builds strength and power without muscle mass.
- The Eight Brocades (Ba Duan Jin). The eight
brocades is a simple qigong warm-up and stretch routine that
students learn in one or two classes.
- Eighteen Monks (Shi Ba Luohan). Vigorous stretching,
strengthening, balance, and conditioning exercises to improve
sports and martial arts performance.
- Self-Massage (An Mo Gong). By lightly chafing
the skin over specific meridians, acupuncture points, organs,
muscles, and joints, stagnant qi is dispersed and circulation
Taoist (also spelled Daoist) Qigong
The Taoist philosophy of yin/yang balance was an influence on all aspects of Chinese culture, including cuisine, acupuncture, art, poetry, music, and, of course, qigong. Certain qigong methods continue to be closely linked with Taoism, including the Primordial Qigong and Taiji Ruler described above, Qigong Visualization and Meditation described further down this page, and the following:
- Snake and Hawk Qigong
Heaven (Hawk) and Earth (Snake) are primary forces in Taoism. The Snake includes slow, spiraling movements that dissolve tension, increase the body’s supply of qi, and sharpen awareness and intuition. Snake Breathing opens the acupuncture meridians and spreads vitality to every cell of the body. The Snake is complemented by dynamic Hawk Flying Methods that imitate the soaring and swooping motions of the hawk. To put it simply, the snake teaches suppleness; the hawk teaches speed and power.
Visualization and Meditation
Healing Imagery is cutting edge medicine in the west. Through imagery,
the mind communicates with the body. Neuropeptides (chemicals of
consciousness) are released that directly affect organ and immune
function. Qigong includes the most extensive and ancient system
of healing imagery techniques in the world. We offer training in:
- Gathering Energy from Nature: Sun, Moon, Stars,
Earth, Sky, Trees
- Lesser and Greater Heavenly Circulation: sending
qi through meridians, to clear them of obstructions and restore
- Turtle, Crane, and Deer Meditation, to refine
Spirit (Shen), Breath (Qi), and Sexual Vitality (Jing)
- Cultivating Stillness (Ru Jing)
- Embryonic Respiration (Tai Xi): training the breath
to become Slow, Long, Deep, Smooth, and Even. As the breathing
rate drops, the mind becomes relaxed and attentive.
An External Qi Healer uses gentle touch or non-contact treatment
to reach the client's life energy (qi) and bring it to balance.
It is different from western Therapeutic Touch in that it includes
a sophisticated method of health assessment and a systematic training
for the healer to increase the effectiveness of his or her treatment.
External Qi Healing (EQH) is valuable for health-care providers
or anyone who wishes to deepen his or her understanding of healing
energy and its effect on others.
Scientific research has demonstrated that EQH is not dependent on
the client's belief system or cultural bias; it is effective in
vitro and in laboratory animals. Patients treated by EQH have less
frequency of recurrence of disease than those treated by acupuncture.
Yet, the system is easy for a Westerner to learn as it does not
require knowledge of Chinese medicine. The objectives of this course
- learn self-healing exercises and meditations.
The healer must learn to take care of his/her own health so there
will be no danger of either transmitting diseased qi or being
depleted when working with the ill
- find a core of inner strength. Create appropriate
boundaries yet maintain compassion.
- open the body/mind to the universal well of healing
power in Nature. By tapping a transpersonal source, the healer
reaches an unlimited supply of qi.
- learn the theory and practice of EQH, including
methods of assessment, projecting specific forms of therapeutic
qi, and how to integrate EQH into the healing/helping professions.
Since the 1950s, it has become popular in China and, recently, in the United States to speak about Medical Qigong. This term was a political expediency, a re-labeling of longevity and wellness techniques (originally known as yang sheng, “nurturing life”) to make them more acceptable to Communism and to western medicine. I prefer the term “Healing Qigong” to “Medical Qigong”, as qigong aims to treat the whole person, to establish energy balance and spiritual harmony rather than to focus on disease (the realm of medicine). It is healthcare rather than sickcare. All of the courses above are Healing (now mislabeled “Medical”) Qigong.
Martial Arts (Nei Jia Quan)
The inner martial arts are martial arts that have a strong qigong
component and may thus be practiced for their exercise benefits
or for self-defense. They include:
Taiji Quan means the martial art (quan) that harmonizes yin and
yang (taiji). The practitioner learns to balance the spiritual and
physical dimensions of yin and yang:
Spiritual: inside with outside (self with nature), lower body with
upper body, female with male, subconscious with conscious.
Physical: passive with active, soft with hard (suppleness with strength),
slow with quick, high postures with low.
Quan looks like a slow motion choreographed dance, with 108 postures
each flowing into the next. Professor Cohen teaches the popular
Yang Style of Taiji Quan, noted for its gentleness, and the original
Chen Style Taiji Quan, with dynamically changing rhythms-- like
crashing waves and slow retreating tides. Students may also learn
Taiji Sensitivity Training (Push Hands), Taiji Self-Defense, and
Sport Weaponry (Staff, Sword, and Saber).
The Taiji Quan martial artist learns to move away from aggression,
"neutralizing" it like a stream flowing around a rock.
Taiji Quan has proven effects on pulmonary function, cardiovascular
health (especially blood pressure), and balance. It was the first
Chinese self-healing art to appear in the Journal of the American
Medical Association and other peer-reviewed journals.
Photo above shows Ken Cohen (upper right) practicing
Taiji Quan partner exercises
from the Chinese newspaper article “Taiji Quan in New York”
Bagua Zhang trains the body and hands (zhang) to move in circular
patterns (bagua). It is generally considered the most mysterious
of the Inner Martial Arts. The founder of Bagua Zhang was nursed
back to health by Taoist priests who taught him their healing and
martial art. Bagua Zhang is a superb art for cultivating flexibility
and rooted strength. When applied to self-defense, the Bagua boxer
imagines that the attacker is the center of his or her circle. She
whirls around the attacker with a combination of ingenious locks,
throws, and strikes.
Xing Yi Quan
Xing Yi Quan (Body Mind Boxing) is based on five linear strikes,
each related to one of the Five Elements of Chinese philosophy:
Splitting moves like an ax chopping wood (Metal Element) and benefits
Crushing darts out like a wooden arrow (Wood Element) and benefits
Drilling coils like a meandering stream (Water Element) and stimulates
Pounding explodes like a canon ball (Fire Element) and is related
to the heart.
Crossing trains diagonal footwork (Earth Element) and benefits the
spleen. After learning the Five Elements, students progress to the
Twelve Animal Movements: Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Chicken, Sparrow,
Hawk, Lizard, Horse, Phoenix, Snake, Eagle, and Bear.
As a martial art, Xing Yi Quan is the opposite of (and complement
to) Taiji Quan and Bagua Zhang. The practitioner never retreats.
He or she drills into the opponent, defending and counterattacking
at the same time.
What about the stories that made qigong famous (and infamous) in China during the 1980s and 90s: qigong to dodge arrows, qigong to strike people without touching them (ling kong jing), qigong invisibility, light weight qigong (qing gong) to jump 20 or more feet in the air (as demonstrated in Chinese martial arts movies), driving bamboo chopsticks through tables, reading words through an opaque sealed envelope, using palm energy to start fires, and so on? When the founder of Yi Quan was asked about these, he, like other masters, frowned on such tricks and exclaimed, “Ping chang ji shi fei chang!” The ordinary is the extraordinary! I contend that invisibility is the art of being unnoticed, and light weight qigong means to take oneself lightly. People who are successful at living are already adept at dodging arrows.
Professor Cohen's work has been sponsored by the American Cancer
Society, chronic pain clinics, and numerous medical schools, hospitals,
and health-care organizations. Therapeutic Qigong courses are designed
to teach practical techniques and supportive research that address
specific health concerns.
Golf Gong anyone? Qigong can dramatically improve performance in
any sport. One golfer improved his drive by 50 yards after a month
of qigong. A tennis pro found a new way to teach hand-eye coordination,
weight shifting, and waist flexibility. A qigong football player
uses Taiji Quan principles to effortlessly knock down the opposition.
Explicit details about how to achieve personal sexual health through
exercise, diet, and methods of circulating and balancing life force
with your partner. Focusing on far more than technique, Professor
Cohen also speaks about the importance of Love as the key to sexual
harmony. Professional lecture format with plenty of humor and anecdotes.
Qigong can reduce stress and improve employee health, attitude,
social skills, and energy. It means less missed work days and a
better bottom line. One of Professor Cohen's students, the former
owner of one of the largest used car dealerships in the U.S., attributed
his success and early retirement to qigong. Employees who practiced
qigong had more energy and greater sensitivity to customer needs.
Sales went through the roof! Business managers and negotiators can
use qigong to stay centered, which means not being manipulated or
pressured into poor decisions. At all levels, qigong teaches business
people how to take better care of themselves.
Qigong for Seniors
Ken Cohen has taught at various senior centers for many years and
finds that seniors' enthusiasm, dedication, and willingness to question
put younger students to shame. There are qigong techniques suitable
for athletic seniors as well as for the most physically challenged.
Qigong for Kids
They already know it! If parents practice qigong, they will
be more sensitive to their children's needs. When little people
express interest in learning qigong, then they are ready to
learn with the big people!
Qigong for the Disabled
The Qigong Research and Practice Center was one of the first
centers in the world to offer qigong to the physically challenged.
As early as 1973, Ken Cohen was tutoring the blind in Taiji
Quan and had developed a method of teaching through gentle
touch and detailed description. During the 1980s, students
sometimes rolled into class in wheel-chairs and were thankful
that they were accepted and encouraged. By including an illustration
of a paraplegic man in his book, The Way of Qigong, Professor
Cohen hopes to change the closed door policy that Chinese
qigong masters have generally had towards the handicapped.
"After age thirty, we lose thousands of brain cells per
day. We are all brain damaged and handicapped, it's only a
matter of degree!"
|One should be appropriately cautious teaching
martial arts to young people.
Here is Ken Cohen with his wonderful grandkids and niece.
Heaven, Human, and Earth: the trinity of Chinese thought. To understand
the heavens, study astronomy and astrology. To understand the human
being, study medicine and qigong. To understand the earth, learn
feng shui. Feng shui teaches the influence of home design and landscape
on health, state of mind, and fortune. Which direction should the
main door of a home or business face? Why do people feel depressed
or elated in a particular room? How can you sense earth energy and
know where to build your home? Feng shui includes practical ways
to boost the positive qi in a place or space.
The Way of Nature
Taoism, China's indigenous spiritual tradition, is the foundation
of qigong. Created by mountain hermits and sages (the "Immortals"),
it emphasizes simplicity, contentment, and unity with nature. In
this course, we focus on the Tao Te Ching, the 4th century BCE classic
of Taoism, as a guide to meditation and healing. The Tao Te Ching
includes advice for both people and society. On a personal level,
it has concrete instructions about how to quiet the mind and achieve
longevity. On a social level, it speaks about the dangers of selfishness
and greed and the importance of community. The original text is
filled with layers of meaning, like a fugue with several melodies
playing at the same time. Learn the meaning of these different "melodies"
and how to go beyond them to the underlying silence of being. The
course may also include an exploration of Chinese poetry, which,
like Taoism, celebrates the beauty of nature.
Lectures and Keynotes
THE WAY OF QIGONG: AN EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACH TO CHINESE ENERGY
Qigong, literally "energy work," is the foundation of
Chinese medicine. It includes health enhancing exercises, breathing
techniques, and meditations, as well as a sophisticated method of
health assessment and therapy. Thousands of studies conducted in
both China and the West demonstrate qigong's positive effects on
cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, psychological health, and many
other conditions. Qigong is essential training for physicians, nurses,
and other health-care providers who wish to prevent "healer
burn-out" and educate patients in self-care. It can help anyone
maintain a high level of "infectious" positive energy.
Professor Cohen will offer a dynamic slide presentation and critical
discussion of qigong development, research, dangers, and benefits.
QIGONG FOR CANCER
Qigong is the most popular and best researched method of CAM (Complementary
and Alternative Medicine) in the world. It is an ancient Chinese
system of exercise and meditation for health and well-being. In
this dynamic lecture, Ken Cohen will discuss cancer from a qigong
perspective, including the connection between cancer and liver function,
cancer and pace of life, how qigong prevents and treats cancer,
and how western medical science validates qigong's effects.
QIGONG FOR STRESS: THE PRACTICE OF INNER BALANCE
Stress is a maladaptive response to any demand made on the body--
a heart that races in response to traffic, high blood pressure at
tax time, weakened immunity because of long work hours. Sometimes,
stress becomes prolonged, maybe for a lifetime; the sympathetic
nervous system is on overdrive-- from a Chinese viewpoint, too much
yang and not enough yin. You know the cliché: we have become
human doings rather than human beings. In this lecture internationally
renowned qigong master Ken Cohen will discuss the Chinese philosophy
of stress, including its causes, detrimental effects, scientific
foundations, and most importantly, what can be done about it!
FROM GREEN TEA TO OMEGA 3: THE TAO OF DIET
Professor Ken Cohen, author of The Way of Qigong, will share his
East-West approach to nutrition, combining the best of both Chinese
medicine and Western nutritional science. He will also offer an
entertaining look at the myths that link diet with both enlightenment
and delusion in ancient China.