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Introducing Qigong

Updated: Jan 8

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Marty Gryciuk and her husband Rolf have lived in Haliburton for 18 years. They are the owners of Marty's Health Food Store in downtown Haliburton. Many of you will know Marty by her exquisite knitted creations.   Her creative spirit jumps out of every sweater and pair of socks that she knits. Marty requires her body to work hard every day either in her store, or when knitting/ teaching knitting or being a spinning student at Sir Sandford Fleming College. In August 2002 when she was thrown from her seat in a car accident (she was wearing a seatbelt, but the car flipped head to toe and she was ejected out the back window), she found herself with chronic pain in her body.  Marty suffered from constant pain in her spine and one leg. Several months into recovery, Marty came to her first qigong class with me.

"QiGong (pronounced "chee gong) is a practice that dates back thousands of years to ancient China.  The word "qi" (or "chi") means "life force" or "vital energy of the body," and "gong" means accomplishment or skill that is cultivated through steady practice.   <> QiGong is specifically designed to cultivate the body's vital energy, using it to heal and strengthen every system throughout the body.  Thus, qi gong means "cultivating energy," to strengthen and cleanse the body. QiGong's gentle, rhythmic exercises mirror the movements of nature, especially the fluidity of water.  Combined with simple breathing techniques, <> Qi Gong is uniquely suited to relieving stress, boosting the immune system, and increasing the body's innate healing abilities."

"Qigong" can be learned quickly and is beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels.   During the first four years, Marty used a chair in every class and in the beginning for the entire class.  Slowly she started to incorporate some standing moves (while using the chair to help with balance) and eventually she combined chair with floor work.  Her dedication and perseverance were incredible.   Her friends with her in qigong class kept encouraging her and celebrating every little victory she made.  Now, in 2010 Marty attends a gentle yoga class every week.  She no longer needs a chair and anyone new coming into the studio would look at her and notice how confidently she moves her body.

After eight years of staying dedicated to her body (doctors, chiropractor, qigong and the support of friends)  Marty has better balance, less trips to the chiropractor/ massage therapist (still has massage for relaxation), much less pain in her back and leg and more confidence in her body.  Marty has developed her own 10 minute routine that she does at home every day to maintain her health.   When someone has an accident or receives an injury there are so many possibilities for rehabilitation.  The trick is to find something that works for the individual and stay dedicated to it.  It may take a combination of things but in the long run - it's worth it! Just ask Marty next time you see her.

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