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Qi gung is generally considered exercises to increase or maintain health- but it actually means a study of health. It is sooooo much easier than Tai chi. I know what you mean as I tried some classes when I was in Shanghai. Tai Chi developed much later from the Qi gung exercises and are very complicated steps. One Tai Chi form can take months to learn.
Qi gung you can do the first time. It is very slow moving and relaxing.
For NTM patients, relaxing and stretching the back and neck helps you to breath much better and deeper. Once you learn to breath more deeply, it just gets easier and easier.
Some exercises have you breath in deeply and exhale slowly (called reverse breathing)- this is especially beneficial for people with lung disease and breathing problems. It also helps push out mucous and exercise the lungs deeply without all the work that the acapella makes your lungs do.
As to how I got into doing this- sernedipity!
I just saw Lee Holden on PBS TV and decided that it seemed like something that could help. So I bought the DVD. Then on vacation two months later, I took several Tai Chi/Qi gung classes at the hotel from a grand master who was also a Shaolin Priest (part Mongolian, part Indian-east) and a professor. He is working with doctors at a major medical center doing research on breast cancer. After I learned that they are able to measure immune system improvements from Qi gung exercises, I decided to learn more.
You know when they developed this it was thousands of years ago. There was no science at that time as we know it- and I did medical research at Harvard and at Yale- believe me I know the difference. So of course, it has a lot of mumbo jumbo that you have to pick through to get at what really has some basis.
Just start with doing the exercises. It is easier that way. Then if they are beneficial, you can take it a step further and try Dr. Yang’s DVD’s and learn exercises more precisely tuned for health at various times of the year and for different parts of your body. For this Qi gung is excellent and way ahead of western exercises. Also, because they are done so slowly and controlled, your overall body becomes more supple and stronger.
The added benefit is that these slow moving exercises are very meditative and increase your focus and sense of well being. Not a bad thing with this difficult disease.
Let me know if they work for you!