HISTORY OF SOARING CRANE QIGONG
Soaring Crane Qigong was introduced to the world in 1979 by Master Zhao Jin-Xiang. With thousands of qigong forms available, Soaring Crane Qigong rapidly became (and remains) one of the most popular forms in China, with well over 20,000,000 people practicing. The reasons are many: The Five Routines of Soaring Crane Qigong are easily learned, students begin to notice changes in mind, body, and spirit shortly after beginning practice, and it is one of the most effective forms of medical qigong practiced today.
Historically, qigong developed in China along four primary lines: to increase physical prowess, to increase life span, to improve one's health, and to give one access to one's own spirituality. Soaring Crane Qigong, while emphasizing the restoration and maintenance of health, draws from all of these historic lines. As a result, a practitioner's entire being is affected.
Master Zhao, founder of Soaring Crane Qigong, had become ill with pleurisy and tuberculosis as a teenager and was eventually able to cure himself by practicing the qigong taught to him while in a sanitarium. His continued practice led to insights and understandings from which he developed Soaring Crane Qigong.
SOARING CRANE QIGONG COMES TO AMERICA
In 1982, Professor Chen Hui Xian, then teaching at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The prognosis was grim, until she began learning Soaring Crane Qigong from one of Master Zhao's first students. One year later she was in excellent health. She continued to practice and began teaching Soaring Crane Qigong in China, while also accompanying Master Zhao abroad. She became a Professor of Qigong in 1993 at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland and currently directs its Qigong program while continuing to teach Soaring Crane Qigong both at the College and throughout the world.
THE SPIRIT OF SOARING CRANE QIGONG
Imitating the movements of animals with characteristics considered worthy of emulation predates and influences the development of Qigong. The titles of the Routines themselves are suggestive of the intention of Soaring Crane Qigong:
"Gathering Qi from the Six Directions." "Penetrating the Heavens and the Earth." "Crane's Head Carrying Qi through Governor Vessel and Conception Vessel." "Crane Touching Water." "Mingling with the Source of All Qi."
The red-headed cranes are respected for their peaceful nature, graceful movements, long life, and devotion to one another; the spirit of the crane comes alive in the practice of the qigong it inspired.
THE PRACTICE AND THE EFFECTS
Ultimately, the purpose of practicing any form of qigong is to become a channel between Heaven and Earth and to attain harmony among Heaven, self, and Earth.
On a less esoteric note, Soaring Crane Qigong is a system of mental visualizations and gentle physical movements that open the meridians of the body, through which the qi flows. Within the safety of a perfectly balanced form that allows heightened awareness while remaining well grounded, Body, Mind and Spirit respond. The effects of clearing the meridians can be experienced as improvement in physical health, including lower blood pressure, increased flexibility, sounder sleep, less pain, fewer headaches, improved immune system function, and increased energy. The effects can also be experienced in the functioning of the mind, with the practitioner noticing improvement in creative and intellectual abilities. Lastly, one's Spirit is likely to be affected; emotions are more balanced, moving through and stabilizing more easily, and one's access to intuition and other subtle energies increases, as does one's awareness of connection with the Universe.
In short, consistent practice of Soaring Crane Qigong is empowering and life changing.
WHO CAN PRACTICE SOARING CRANE QIGONG?
Soaring Crane qigong can be practiced by nearly anyone, with the exception of pregnant women and those who are mentally ill. Physical limitations need not stop a person from practice, since any movement can be visualized with considerable effectiveness.
The practice of Soaring Crane Qigong is complementary to nearly all forms of treatment. However, learning Soaring Crane Qigong is not a substitute for medical care and any questions concerning its appropriateness for you need to be addressed to your medical practitioner.