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  • What: An ancient healing system which focuses on the restoration of holistic balance through gentle breathing techniques and slow movements

  • Origins: Qigong can be traced back some two thousand years in ancient China.

  • Benefits:Qigong can harmonise, strengthen and have a healing effect on the functioning of all the internal organs and bodily systems. It increases the supply and flow of energy throughout the body, can have a variety of rejuvenating effects and is believed to increase longevity as it induces calm mental and emotional states.

  • Journal:Click here

Day 13, 27/09/11: Discovering Qigong - China

Up for qigong practice and then out to the Forbidden Kingdom. There were so many people, almost like the amassing of a small city.

After lunch we headed to the silk market and friendship store. Here it would seem the best sales pitch is to grab and pull at potential customers. This was definitely not my kind of place, my reptilian brain really gets primed when people start touching, pulling and pushing me; it actually takes a lot for me to stay present with it.

The traffic on the way back was horrific. Beijing in rush hour is an epic slog and after devouring an ice cream my stomach was starting to churn and gurgle. By the time we reached the institute I was desperate for the toilet. One of those, couldn't get my trousers down quick enough moments; the relief however was immediate.

This evening I avoided all food, I just couldn't face the prospect of eating again - I'm pretty much done in on that score.

I really got a lot from the treatments this evening; felt as if my energy levels were slightly low. Tonight I had one acupuncture needle in my stomach and one in each temple. When he inserted the needle in my right temple and twisted I heard a distinct pop; I recoiled slightly and Master Wan put his hand out and kept apologising as the girls dabbed around it. As I lay there I could feel a different kind of sensation, this one didn't feel the progressive kind.

Once the treatment was over the girl continued to look strangely at my temple and profusely kept dabbing. I asked, 'is it bleeding?' Then Taina said, '...Oh, you are going to have such a bruise there in the morning' ...Nice!