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LECTURES, WORKSHOPS & COURSES

Courses Offered

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.

Self-Healing Systems
Taoist Qigong
Qigong Visualization and Meditation
External Qi Healing
Medical Qigong
Inner Martial Arts (Nei Jia Quan)
Supernatural Abilities
Special Interests (Sports, Business, Taoism, etc.)
Qigong Lectures and Keynotes

Self-Healing Systems

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 immune system.

  • 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.

  • The 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 Ruler.

  • 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 improves.

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.


Qigong 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 health

  • 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.

External Qi Healing

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 include:

  • 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.


Medical Qigong

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.

Inner 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
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.

Taiji 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” 1972


Bagua Zhang
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 the lungs.
Crushing darts out like a wooden arrow (Wood Element) and benefits the liver.
Drilling coils like a meandering stream (Water Element) and stimulates the kidneys.
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.


Supernatural Abilities

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.


Special Interests

Therapeutic Qigong
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.

Sports Qigong
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.

Sexual Qigong
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.

Business Qigong
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.

Feng Shui
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.

Taoism: 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.


Qigong Lectures and Keynotes

THE WAY OF QIGONG: AN EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACH TO CHINESE ENERGY MEDICINE
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.


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