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Charles Pearce
Department of Kinesiology

April Wang
Department of Applied Health Science

Tracy James
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, October 13, 2008

Qigong, health and HPER

Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation invites the Chinese Health Qigong Association to Bloomington for workshop, demonstrations

Oct. 13, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Bloomington will get a dose of traditional Chinese health culture this week as members of the Chinese Health Qigong Association conduct a workshop and demonstrations to raise awareness of the healthful benefits of this ancient Chinese exercise.

Health Qigong movements

Chinese Health Qigong Association demonstration in New York earlier this year

The association was invited to Bloomington by Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER), which offers qigong classes in what is considered the second largest academic martial arts program in the U.S. The School of HPER also has forged relationships with universities in China and Taiwan. While on campus, delegates will talk with researchers in the School of HPER about potential areas for collaborative research.

"Qigong and tai chi have been recognized in China as low cost and effective wellness activities, which is one reason they are so popular and have been promoted as healthful since the '30s," said Charles Pearce, a long-time instructor in HPER's martial arts program, which is in the Department of Kinesiology.

Members of the Chinese Health Qigong Association will conduct a workshop Tuesday from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. in room 163 of the School of HPER, 1025 E. 7th St. The workshop is free and open to the public.

The association also will provide an exhibit at the INShape Indiana "Healthy Schools, Healthy Indiana," summit on Wednesday. Registration for the summit, which is open to the public, costs $35. Registration information can be found at Immediately after the summit, qigong demonstrations will be provided between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., in Alumni Hall in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. 7th St.

In China, qigong is well-known as a traditional Chinese exercise and is practiced regularly by an estimated 350,000 people, according to the Chinese Health Qigong Association, which also says the exercise can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve glucose metabolism. The association says the exercise also can be used to treat headaches, insomnia, pain, cardiovascular disorders and even cancer.

In the U.S., interest has grown in qigong and tai chi, which offers many of the same benefits, since the 1960s. Chinese researchers have conducted a considerable amount of research on the health benefits of the exercises. In the U.S., federal agencies have recently begun funding research into the use of qigong to prevent chronic diseases such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease, said April Wang, a doctoral student in the School of HPER's Department of Applied Health Science. Scientific articles, abstracts and reviews about the health effects of qigong can be found at

"Some companies are already incorporating it into their wellness programs," said Wang, who worked for the Chinese Health Qigong Association for several years before coming to IU. Recently, she began working with an aerospace company in Martinsville that has begun offering qigong classes during the workday to its employees.

Pearce can be reached at 812-856-5996 and Wang can be reached at 812-606-8933 and