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Medical Qigong Education Centre

Everyday Qigong Practice by Richard Bertschinger

 

Singing Dragon, London and Philadelphia, 2013

ISBN:  978 1 84819 097 4

eISBN: 978 0 85701 097 1

 

Richard Bertschinger is an acupuncturist, teacher of the healing arts and translator of  ancient Chinese texts. He studied for 10 years with Taoist Sage and Master, Gia-fu Feng (1919-1985). This book is a compilation of some of the exercises Richard has taught in his qigong classes over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chapters include: early morning meditation, an eight-sectioned brocade, the three circles posture, the ten aggrievement exercises, the three lowerings and the genius of rubbing.

 

In his introduction, Richard advises that personal instruction is best.  To be quite honest, I find the instructions in this book completely inadequate to even attempt performing some of the exercises on your own. I find it difficult to believe the glowing testimonials in the front of the book. Sifu Gary Wragg calls it an “excellent introduction”.

 

As an example, in the chapter on the three circles posture, Richard gives the 18 pointers to this posture. These are classical qigong pointers to correct posture. However, he just gives the translations of the Chinese terms without any explanation of what they mean. He writes that they should be learnt by rote. I would say there’s not much point if you don’t know what the terms mean. Would someone new to qigong understand “waist fallen” or “back extended” without further explanation? I think not.

 

I would like to compare this book with Ken Cohen’s The Way Of Qigong which in my opinion is an excellent introduction to simple qigong exercises. In his chapter on the stance of power, Ken gives a very full explanation of each of the cryptic expressions from the Chinese classics relating to posture.  I would also recommend Ken Cohen’s Essential  Qigong Traditional Training Course which contains an abbreviated version of The Way Of Qigong plus DVD video footage so that you can see the principles demonstrated.

 

In his introduction, Richard writes that the aims of the book are to “teach regulation of  the body, regulation of the breathing and regulation of the mind”.  I would say that he fails in teaching regulation of the body for the reasons given above.

 

In summary, I’m not at all sure what audience this book is aimed at. There are far better introductions to qigong available.