Wendy Smith, Phd
My introduction into the world of Qigong occurred as a result of my own search for healing outside of traditional western medicine.
In 1995, while focusing on my career in film/video production, I broke my right ankle several times and then the left ankle. Then I developed acute tendonitis in both wrists from the crutches I had been forced to use. Eventually I was in a wheel chair for a short period of time. As a result of various therapies I underwent, I managed to recover but not totally. My doctors advised that I would not fully recover because of some “unknown” genetic condition.
The idea of not being able to fully recover was unacceptable to me so I began to look into alternative therapies. This is when I began working with a Qigong therapist who slowly helped me to heal my ankle. Realizing I would need to practice the exercises on a regular basis to maintain the recovery to my ankles, I enrolled in classes at the Qigong Institute of Rochester. I continued these classes from 1999 – 2000 while initiating energy healing work on myself. After 4 years in casts, crutches and a wheel chair, I was walking again. I attributed my success in large part to Qigong.
Training and Certification
Having personally experienced the benefits of Qigong I wanted to learn more and bring this wonderful healing modality to others. In 2000, I began my studies with world-renowned Qigong Masters Roger Jahnke and Ken Cohen, and later with Pragata who trained in Buddhist Qigong from the Shaolin Monastery. Ken Cohen, author or the well-known book, “The Way of Qigong, the Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing”, is one of nine exceptional healers studied in the Menninger Clinic’s Copper Wall Project and has written more than 150 journal articles.
In addition, I’m certified in Tai Chi for Arthritis through Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi Productions and certified in Qigong by Master Yang Yang through the Center for Taiji Studies. A long time student of meditation, Yang Yang practices with the Blooming Lilac Sangha, following the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Upon completing my initial training, I decided to introduce qigong to others through the water exercise classes I was already teaching. Qigong became the cool down portion of my Active Older Adult aquatic classes. The response was so overwhelming that I was asked to teach it on land as well. I have been teaching qigong then tai chi ever since at the offices of Su Callan Harris Physical Therapy, Dr. Jeffrey Welch, the Irondequoit and the Brighton School Districts, JCC, YMCA, Preferred Care and more recently the Rochester MS Society.
I continue my training with Ken Cohen to this day, and train with his assistant in between workshops. Recently I integrated my background in video production (I have a PhD in Documentary Film Studies) with my passion for qigong by producing a DVD of my class.
I came to Qigong out of desperation in 1998 and today I go to it in deep gratitude. It is a gift. Qigong is much more than a set of exercises, it is a way towards more balanced living. If you desire improved health, relief from stress, and are looking for an alternative healing therapy, the benefits of qigong practice will change your life.