Qi Gong for Better Health and Wellness

In partnership with
Qi Gong Expert Lee Holden,
Holden QiGong
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4.9 out of 5
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Course No. 9023
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What Will You Learn?

  • See how you can increase the energy reserves in your body.
  • Understand and practice mindful movement to increase physical awareness of your body.
  • Reveal the ways Qi Gong can both energize the body and calm the mind.
  • Gain valuable insight into treating persistent issues like headaches, back pain, stress, and more.

Course Overview

If you are not familiar with Qi Gong, now is the perfect time to become acquainted with an exercise that won’t leave you winded after practice and that doesn’t require expensive equipment or specific clothing. It’s also a wellness option that can improve your health after the most basic practice, and is accessible no matter your age or body type. The practice of Qi Gong, time-tested over thousands of years, has the potential to improve your physical fitness, free your mind, and energize your life with renewed vitality.

Taught by Master Instructor Lee Holden, the 12 lessons of Qi Gong for Better Health and Wellness will show you why Qi Gong is the art of effortless power, mirroring the movements of nature. By following Master Holden’s peaceful movements and his soothing, supportive direction, you’ll find yourself breathing more deeply and finding a new sense of peace. Filmed against a background of rivers and mountains, these lessons will help you relax from the moment they begin, as you learn to become open and receptive to the natural energy of the world.

Qi Gong—sometimes called the grandmother of tai chi—is the basic exercise system within Chinese medicine. It focuses on opening the places in your body where your circulating energy is blocked, allowing your life force, known as “qi”, to flow freely. Many ancient and modern practitioners believe that, when your qi is flowing properly, your body and mind are balanced and able to help you enjoy your most healthy existence. But whether your concern is your qi or just basic health, Qi Gong can have amazing benefits for your fitness and mental well-being.

The Health Benefits of Qi Gong

Qi Gong has been used as a tool of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, both as a preventive practice and as a treatment for chronic illness. Consequently, it’s easy to find anecdotal evidence of Qi Gong’s health benefits in disease prevention, stress reduction, and healthy aging. But because there were no formal medical studies to back up that evidence until recently, Western medicine tended to look down on the practice as unimportant at best and fraudulent at worst.

That paradigm has changed. As soon as Western scientists began a rigorous study of Qi Gong, they couldn’t overlook its positive health effects. While the research is still relatively new, scientific studies published in reputable medical journals have identified dozens of physiological and psychological benefits of Qi Gong, including:

  • Anxiety. Studies have shown positive effects of Qi Gong in anxiety reduction, improved balance in the autonomic nervous system (our fight, flight, or freeze response), and in the body overall.
  • Bone Mineral Density. Studies of women have shown increased bone mineral following Qi Gong exercises.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Studies suggest that regular practice can reduce pain and improve sleep, vitality, and physical functioning in patients with chronic fatigue.
  • Disordered Eating. Studies have shown Qi Gong to be a positive therapeutic tool in conjunction with psychotherapy for the recovery of patients with anorexia.
  • Immune System. Studies have reported improvement in numerous immune-related blood markers, including a decrease in markers related to inflammation.
  • Parkinson’s Disease. Studies have shown that Qi Gong exercises can improve body functions in patients with early or middle stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Who Can Practice Qi Gong?

As a slow-moving, peaceful, meditative form of exercise, Qi Gong can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities. The movements in this course are slow and simple, and always carefully modeled and explained. Qi Gong will “meet you where you are,” allowing you to begin a practice no matter your age or fitness level, and help you feel more relaxed and energized. With no sequences to memorize, you will feel confident every step of the way as you follow Master Holden’s guidance into a more peaceful and energized life. Even if you’ve been sitting on the couch for years and know better than to jump into a neighborhood basketball game, you should have no problem starting Qi Gong.

The Beauty of the Basic Movements

There is no one single “right” way to do Qi Gong. In fact, there are hundreds of different types and thousands of exercise variations. In this course, Master Holden has brought together 12 distinct groups of movements—each group formulated to address a particular health issue—with a total of more than 50 different exercises. Throughout all 12 lessons, you’ll find the constant themes of calm mind; deep breath; and slow, steady movements.

With easy-to-follow directions, you will learn some the most basic and calming Qi Gong exercises including:

  • Knocking on the Door of Life. This exercise cultivates high-quality energy flow in your body by stimulating the acupressure points for vitality. The easy, twisting movements will help bring suppleness to your spine. And at the end of this one exercise, you’ll already be able to feel the tingling sensation of the qi moving through your body.
  • Opening the Flow. This soft, gentle exercise will calm the mind and relax the body, while also increasing your energy flow. As you follow along with the soft, smooth movements—allowing your arms to float up and then float down—you’re training your body to move with relaxation, flowing effortlessly, like water. While on the outside, this exercise looks and feels very soft and relaxing, on the inside you’re increasing the unrestricted movement of your qi, increasing your vitality. This is your own personal flow.
  • Embracing the Tree. The physical movement in this posture is so simple, it doesn’t even look like an exercise—the work is all on the inside. As Master Holden demonstrates, you’re standing in an erect and relaxed position, with your rounded arms in front of you at a comfortable height as if you were embracing a beautiful, thick tree. With a slow, calm breath, you take in cool, peaceful energy through your rooted legs up into the rest of your body, aware that you are also absorbing the beautiful energy from above, just as a tree does. This posture will allow you to mindfully access the natural energy all around you, increasing your powerful vitality.

The beauty of these Qi Gong exercises is that you can benefit even if you just listen! Master Holden’s calming voice and detailed description of breath work could form the basis for a beautiful practice of mindful meditation. Even if you’re not yet ready to “exercise,” you can join the millions around the world who benefit from the beautiful, ancient practice of Qi Gong with Qi Gong for Better Health and Wellness.

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12 lectures
 |  Average 42 minutes each
  • 1
    Introduction to Qi Gong
    In this lesson, you will be introduced to the flowing movements of Qi Gong, and the deep, slow breath that powers those movements. Qi is the life force that circulates through the body, bringing vitality to every organ and structure. When qi is blocked, the bodily systems can't perform at their peak, and ill health can result. The breathing, stretching, and strengthening techniques in this lesson will help ensure a fresh supply of energy to all parts of your body. You'll learn a variety of simple movements including Shaking, Spreading the Feathers, Opening the Flow, and Centering. x
  • 2
    Qi Gong for Better Breathing
    When we spend our whole day sitting down, slightly slumped over the desk, our life force energy can become pretty low. But when we stand up, pull our shoulders back, open our heart, and breathe deeply with awareness and purpose, we elevate the life force within us. With that goal in mind, this lesson includes the movements of Wave Breathing, Holding Up the Sky, Rooster Spreads His Feathers, Soaring Crane, and Great Bear Swims in the Ocean. At the end of this lesson, you will feel both more relaxed and more energized—almost as if the air were breathing you. x
  • 3
    Qi Gong Mindfulness in Motion
    Mindfulness is the simple-sounding act of being aware of the present moment, and recent research has shown it to have a strong positive effect on both mental and physical health. But for most of us—whose minds tend to wander here and there, over and over—mindfulness can be a challenge. In this series of Qi Gong movements, we use the power of breath and energy circulation to bring our thoughts back to the present, again and again. Movements such as Waterways, Clearing, Tiger Claw, Fireflies in the Lantern, and Lotus help us experience the present moment, exactly as it is. x
  • 4
    Qi Gong for the Upper Back and Neck
    We live in an age of inactivity and repetitive motion, with many of us spending hours every day hunched over our computers and smartphones—all of which causes strain in the upper back and neck. But even if we had proper support, posture, and movement throughout the day, our neck muscles must support and balance our head during every waking moment. In this lesson, you’ll use deep abdominal breathing and strong but gentle movements to help clear tension from the neck, upper back, and shoulders. Movements include Silk Reelings, Water Waves, Clearing, Spreading the Feathers, and Bear Swimming in the Ocean. x
  • 5
    Qi Gong for Healthy Joints
    When we think of our joints, most of us think of the large joints: shoulders, hips, knees, and maybe elbows. But we actually have hundreds of joints in the body, although not all are movable (like those in the skull). The energy in our moveable joints can become stagnant over time through repetitive motion, improper posture, and stress. The simple but effective movements of Qi Gong, combined with deep breathing techniques, can bring energy and suppleness back to all our joints. In this lesson, movements include Spinal Cord Breathing, Turtle Neck, Silk Reelings, and Opening the Flow. x
  • 6
    Qi Gong for Arms, Wrists, and Hands
    This lesson is about opening energy throughout the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and joints of the lower arms, allowing for a greater range of motion and better qi circulation down through the fingers. Although arthritis symptoms often begin in the hands, many types of exercise and movement practices ignore the need to increase strength and flexibility in the hands. In this lesson, you're encouraged to listen to the needs of your body, giving yourself as much or as little stretch as you want. Movements include Silk Reelings, White Crane Soaring, Opening the Flow, and Baby Bird Learning to Fly. x
  • 7
    Qi Gong for Headaches
    Almost everyone has experienced headache pain at one time or another, and many of us experience headaches frequently. The most common type of headache, the tension headache, can be caused by tightened muscles in the back of the neck and the scalp. Qi Gong relieves that tension, increases circulation, and calms the mind—all working together to ease the pain, and leave you feeling refreshed and energized. The movements in this lesson include Wave Breathing, Clearing, Spreading the Feathers, Waterfall, and Pulling Down the Sky to the Six Directions. x
  • 8
    Qi Gong for Strong Bones
    In Chinese medicine, bones are considered to be the energy storage areas of the body, representing deep vitality. They are also the source of our red blood cells, made in the bone marrow. We know that if weight-bearing exercises aren't used to stimulate the bones, our bones can become more porous as we age. This Qi Gong routine uses the force of your own body weight to strengthen your bones. In addition, these exercises will help increase the flow of your qi and your overall vitality. You'll learn movements including Knocking on the Door of Life, Shaking, The Fountain, Opening the Flow, Flying, and Bone Breathing. x
  • 9
    Qi Gong for High Blood Pressure
    When your blood pressure is consistently too high, the heart has to work harder than normal and the vessels can become damaged, resulting in a heart attack or stroke. A recent meta-analysis of studies of more than 2,000 patients concluded that Qi Gong is an effective therapy for hypertension. By using Qi Gong to relieve stress, relax your mind and body, and relieve stagnation to increase the free flow of energy, the risk of high blood pressure can be reduced. In this lesson, you will learn the movements of Water Waves, The Boa, Swimming Dragon, Repulse the Monkey, and Embracing the Tree, among others. x
  • 10
    Qi Gong for Energy and Vitality
    Holding tension in the body—whether or not we’re aware of it—can restrict the flow of qi and dampen our sense of vitality. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to activate your own qi and how to move with strength, flexibility, and intentionality. These slow, meditative movements will strengthen the energy system of the entire body. You’ll learn movements including Knocking on the Door of Life, Chi Massage, Turning a Water Wheel, Between Heaven and Earth, Embracing the Tree, Monk Holding the Pearl, and Bamboo in the Wind. x
  • 11
    Qi Gong for Anxiety
    While occasional anxiety is a normal and expected part of life, anxiety disorders significantly affect the lives of 40 million adults in the United States each year. The opposite of anxiety is flow, a feeling of internal peace and relaxation you can discover through the practice of Qi Gong. This lesson will help you find that equanimity, where the body is relaxed, the mind is at peace, and anxiety is held at bay. This routine is like a mini vacation from all the things in life that pull you off your center. You'll learn movements including Wave Breathing, Cleansing Breath, Drop and Shake, Qi Massage, and Cloudy Hands. x
  • 12
    Qi Gong Five Elements Energy Balance
    There are five elements that represent the energy in nature and in each of us—water, wood, fire, earth, and metal—one energy differentiated into many forms. We ourselves are an extension of the Earth, always lifting up to the sun and the universe. The human body is a powerful conductor of electricity and qi, and when the elements and energy are balanced inside of us, we feel happy, healthy, and at peace. In this lesson, you’ll learn a variety of postures to help balance your energy, including Sword Hand, Snake Spits Out the Tongue, and Embracing the Tree. x

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Video DVD
Video Download Includes:
  • Ability to download 12 video lectures from your digital library
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
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DVD Includes:
  • 12 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

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Your professor

Lee Holden

About Your Professor

Lee Holden
Holden QiGong
Lee Holden first discovered the power of qi at the early age of 10 from his parents’ meditation lessons. He studied a variety of martial arts including Karate, Kung Fu, and Capoeira and had an early interest in Taoism, Qi Gong, and Chinese medicine. After college, he set out on a path of self-discovery in Asia, visiting China, Japan, and Indonesia to study with master teachers, and Thailand, where he was hired to write...
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Reviews

Qi Gong for Better Health and Wellness is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 7.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Qi Gong These are so well done, as is every course i have ever received from Great Courses.
Date published: 2019-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent routines I have used Lee Holden’s Qi Gong in the past with excellent results so I was pleased to see this comprehensive collection of routines. They are easy to follow and to watch. I highly recommend them.
Date published: 2019-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What I was hoping for! I enjoy practicing Qigong and have been looking for an instructor that created a Qigong flow with more of a workout. I am so glad I ordered Lee Holden's series, it is exactly what I was looking for.
Date published: 2019-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Feel the Qi Instructor is easy to follow and give interesting background information as he takes you through each move.
Date published: 2019-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from qigong So far I look at the first 2 lesons, I will see all the lesons I enjoy every parts of it. The part I was desapointed is there is book with it. To learn all the theories
Date published: 2019-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good course I bought this course for a relative who suffers from stress related problems, and has high blood pressure. They're finding it really helpful, and they feel much more relaxed. I've been following it too, and I feel much more energised in the morning. I also think this course could help people who have a weight problem as the exercises are gentle, yet they stimulate the metabolism. The instructor explains everything very clearly, and as an other reviewer said it's like having your very own private tutor. Thanks to the Great Courses Company for producing another gem.
Date published: 2019-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Like having your own private instructor! The lessons are easy to follow with step-by-step instructions. So happy I purchased this! I have been looking for something more in depth since I first discovered QiGong!
Date published: 2019-05-12
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