It was an honor to be invited to lead this presentation on Qigong and Scoliosis. My Virtual company, The Perfect Workout, hosts a Regional meeting once a month. I led a short Keynote presentation along with a demo of a few Qigong exercises from the Wudang Five Animals series.
Some of the materials that I shared were from my Zoom teaching research study that I conducted one year ago! Knowing that some of my colleagues also have scoliosis, I discussed how Qigong has helped me with reducing back pain.
After providing a short overview of my background and the key vocabulary, I talked about the history, theory, and philosophy of Qigong. I also explained how Qigong is similar to Slow Motion Strength Training.
In explaining the causes and effects of scoliosis, I discussed the results of two studies that demonstrate how Qigong is more effective than surgery. I gave a short overview of two traditional exercises for spinal traction that form the basis of the Five Animals techniques.
Despite being a little pressed for time, and also trying my best to capture my audience’s attention (at the end of a 3 hour meeting), the presentation was a success. Thankfully, I was able to finish in exactly twenty-five minutes (timing is absolutely essential at TPW).
In the final Q&A I asked the trainers to share their feedback. One trainer who also has scoliosis said that her spine cracked in a way that was identical to receiving a chiropractic adjustment.
One of my dreams is to do more research on Qigong for back pain! In the meantime I am incorporating these techniques into my Virtual training sessions.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information or to experience the benefits of these ancient techniques.
Master’s Thesis – Kaleidoscopic Katas: An Intercultural Somatic Curriculum for Holistic Health
I am overjoyed to announce that my thesis has been approved by the University of Northern Colorado. I have been working towards my Master’s in Dance Education for the past two and a half years. Here is the link to the online publication:
I don’t expect that many people will read all ninety-nine pages of my thesis, but you may find parts of it interesting. Attempting to complete this rigorous program during COVID has been one of the most challenging things that I’ve ever done. I could not have accomplished this goal without the help of the people who I’ve listed on the Acknowledgements page.
The intent of this research study was to combine three African and Eastern somatic movement practices into a modern dance curriculum. Few studies have investigated the therapeutic value of subtle body awareness in a dance class context. This integrative study combined psychological, physiological, and contemplative pedagogical approaches, which led to the development of a comprehensive five-part workshop with five adult participants. This ten-hour online class series involved learning a traditional Afro-Haitian serpent dance called the Yanvalou, the Tantric practice of Chakra Yoga, and the Five Animals qigong. The original curricular goal was to combine these three modalities into five sequential katas. Due to numerous COVID-related setbacks, the researcher modified the curriculum and examined the relationships within this trinity of movement forms. The following qualitative instruments were used in this multimethod research study: reflective journal entries, participant commentary, a post-study rubric, video documentation, and the researcher’s observations. Pre- and post-surveys were used for quantitative data collection and were cross-referenced for the purpose of identifying emergent themes. The combined result of this data provided evidence of holistic health enhancement, personal empowerment, and altered states of consciousness. This study advanced the somatic application of the Yanvalou by exploring its relationship to the chakras and qigong meditation techniques. It also informed the continued development of a contemplative curriculum that could be utilized by post-secondary institutions.
Registration is now open for this lively 5-part series of adult martial arts classes. The Five Animals is a dance-like form of medical qigong. Qigong translates as qi (life force energy) and gong (cultivation practices). The purpose of the Five Animals is to enhance health and longevity. These low-impact movements increase strength, flexibility, and balance. Each class will focus on learning one of the animal forms.
Level: Beginner/Intermediate Cost: $25 for the series Minimum 3 people/Max 10 When: Mondays, Nov 15 – Dec 13 Time: 4pm PST/5pm MST/7pm EST (40 minutes) Where: Zoom
What to Bring: Water bottle. Athletic wear. Tennis shoes or yoga mat. Insight Timer App installed on your phone.
Pre-registration is required and ends on November 14. Contact Emily to discuss payment options.
I reserve the right to cancel if less than 3 people sign up.