Qigong (sometimes alternatively spelt Chi Gong or Chi Kung) is an ancient practice that makes up one of the branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine, alongside acupuncture. It shares similar principles to yoga of deep breathing, mindfulness, and removing energetic blockages, to help energy flow more smoothly throughout the body and create an overall sense of well-being. It’s an umbrella term for many forms of movement, including the more commonly known Tai Chi.
Mast Cell Action is delighted to share our new weekly Qigong class, which will run in blocks of 6 weeks. These sessions will be led by volunteer and Mast Cell Action Community Champion, Jen and hosted by volunteer Community Champion, Deborah. These sessions are designed for people who have MCAS or care for someone with MCAS. Sessions are weekly, in 6 week blocks, on Mondays at 2pm, with a break week every 7th week.
The first break week will be Monday 21st August, and there will be no session that week. Sessions will resume on Monday 28th August for 6 consecutive weeks.
Please book a place for each session you wish to attend.
Qigong involves gentle movement combined with deep breathing, mindful presence with the bodily experience, and sometimes visualisation or chanting. It can be done standing, seated, lying down, or even without any movement at all - we’ve heard that as long as you can breathe, you can do Qigong! Our Qigong classes will be seated.
The great thing about Qigong is that it’s highly modifiable. It’s a movement practice that places great importance in honouring what one’s body can do in that particular moment, and in not overexerting oneself. If you have concerns that you might not be up to it physically, Jen can provide suggestions for paring back the exercises until you find a level that suits you. All that you’ll need to bring is a chair to sit on (something like a dining chair without armrests, or a stool, so that you can move your arms around).
Qigong is a gentle healing practice. It can help to lower stress and pain in the body, and promote better energy levels and sleep. It is not a magical cure all for health issues however, but a valuable part of the puzzle in managing them.
Qigong honours where the body is at today, and emphasises working within your capabilities. It involves slow movement and deep, slow breathing. If you have trouble breathing as slowly, you can speed the movements up to be in time with your own breath.
If an exercise causes any pain, try to reduce your range of motion until you get to a point that's comfortable for you. The practice should never be painful. If a movement or breathing exercise is not possible due to pain, or because of dizziness or low energy levels, focus on your breathing instead. If you find that the movements are not accessible to you, you can even close your eyes and imagine yourself doing the movement-the brain is a powerful thing, and you can get similar benefits just by pretending! Mast Cell Action will not be held responsible for any injury sustained.
We will be running this session virtually through Zoom, you are welcome to attend with your microphone and camera off if you feel more comfortable doing so - although you may benefit from being more interactively involved during the session.
MCAS can be a frustrating condition to live with. Avoiding triggers and managing symptoms can be overwhelming. I find that one of my biggest triggers is stress, or other strong emotions like anger. Finding ways of managing those emotions has helped me a lot in learning to live with chronic illness..
Practicing Qigong has been a vital part of my MCAS journey. The deep breathing and gentle, mindful movements soothe the nervous system, and can lessen the impact of symptoms by releasing tension from the body. It's a joy to share this branch of traditional Chinese Medicine with other people, and watch it have similar effects!
My name is Deborah and I became very unwell with MCAS in March 2018, although looking back I can see I had it mildly all my life. I have worked really hard to find ways to manage the condition, and the support and advice that I received from members of the Mast Cell Action online forum and the Mast Cell Action charity have been invaluable to me in my MCAS journey.
Now I am feeling a little bit better, I volunteer as a Community Champion for Mast Cell Action so that I can 'give something back' and hopefully support others in the way that I was supported when I needed it. I love volunteering with Jen to deliver the Qigong sessions on Mondays, it's a highlight of my week to connect with her and with other people with MCAS and learn about the benefits of Qigong.
Introduction to Qigong Long Session HERE
Introduction to Qigong Short Session HERE
Qigong for Sleep Long Session HERE
Qigong for Sleep Short Session HERE
Qigong for Lungs and Immunity Long Session HERE
Qigong for Lungs and Immunity Short Session HERE
Qigong for Digestion and Immunity Long Session HERE
Qigong for Digestion and Immunity Short Session HERE
Qigong for Emotional Release Long Session HERE
Qigong for Emotional Release Short Session HERE
Qigong for Pain Management Long Session HERE
Qigong for Pain Management Short Session HERE
Qigong Recap Long Session HERE
Qigong Recap Short Session HERE
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