Qigong - a personal journey
Qigong ("Energy Work") is an ancient and yet remarkably contemporary mind/body practice from China practiced by millions of people worldwide in countless variations. I’m Stephan Wik, the co-ordinator of IIQTC Europe. My interest in Qigong stems from a desire to learn how to lower stress, improve health and maintain a sense of grounding in the ever increasing tempo of the modern world.
I've been on a journey of personal development for well over 40 years now. In the late '80's I started to explore the ancient Chinese healing arts and philosophical system of Daoism (also spelled Taoism) and later on saw first hand the healing power of the "Internal Alchemy" practices when dealing with my partner's health crisis. In our case Chinese medical traditions stepped in and worked when Western medicine had little left to offer.
I subsequently wrote a book about our journey and then started studying acupuncture and herbal medicine (TCM) in Amsterdam. I have also studied traditional Yang Style Tai Chi in Belgium with some world-class Chinese competition champions as well as attending a wide variety of Daoist related courses and workshops.
What I've discovered through all of this is that learning these Daoist practices takes, if one follows the "traditional route", a long time. For example acupuncture, herbal medicine, Tai Chi, Feng shui and the various Chinese martial arts styles all require years of dedicated learning and practice to master. This means that, for many people, access to this treasure trove of valuable information has not been possible. This has meant that I had little to recommend people who were asking if there was a way to learn the basics without decades of study.
I finally found a way forward when I made contact with the author of one of my staple reference guides (The Healing Promise of Qi), Dr. Roger Jahnke to ask about learning how to teach Qigong and Tai Chi. His institute, The IIQTC, is dedicated to making these healing modalities widely available, and I found his down-to-earth approach was just what I was looking for. The forms taught at the IIQTC are easy to master and teach. This does not mean that the benefits are experience any faster than with the traditional teaching styles as there is no substitute for ongoing, daily, sustained practice when it comes to Daoist mind/body practices. But what the IIQTC forms do is, in my experience, lower the threshold for anyone wanting to get started.
I subsequently completed all three levels of his teacher training and have been offering these ever since. The feedback has been excellent from my course and retreat participants. I've now started to offer Wuji Qigong (Primordial Qigong) as this form integrates all of the previous practices that I've done over the decades.