Health courses at Skagit College | Guest Column

By Stephanie Prima

Skagit Valley College is offering a new approach to health this winter. Visiting Qigong instructor, Jan Weedman, certified by the Institute of Qigong and Integrative Medicine in Bothell, Washington, will conduct an entry-level class in Yi Ren Qigong. SVC Director Randy Martin commented, “We’re always looking for knowledgeable instructors who have a passion for the subject matter. This course fits that bill. We expect it will be a very popular class.”

The four Saturday sessions and four optional weeknight sessions start Jan. 27.

Qigong, pronounced “chee-gung”, is an ancient, natural energetic healing practice. As a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is a ‘relative’ to acupuncture, older than Tai Chi, and much easier too.

Regular practitioners report stronger immune system, reduced/dissolved chronic pain, improved blood pressure, sound sleep, and slower aging. They also report emotional/spiritual benefits such as reduced stress and anxiety, better ability to focus, greater understanding and patience, less depression, more balanced emotions and a calmer mind.

Yi Ren Qigong delivers all these benefits, but is unique among the many different Qigong forms practiced today because of the way it efficiently develops energy awareness and directly applies it to the body. Yi Ren brings ancient wisdom to present time in ways consistent with current scientific understanding, and relevant to the demands of modern life.

This makes the Yi Ren Level I practice a much easier method than traditional meditation to bring your awareness from perpetual focus on the outside world to the inside energy of your own body. You experience increasingly deeper levels of relaxation, and learn to develop and balance the healthy energy flow between mind and body. This helps you understand the consequences, both positive and negative, of your lifestyle choices. Thus, consistent practice leads to more vibrant health and well-being.

“Authentic Qi cultivation leads to exploring and realizing the True Self, experiencing True Love, and awakening True Wisdom within, in order to live a healthy and happy life,” says IQ&IM’s Director, Guan-Cheng Sun, Ph.D.

Additionally, the IQ&IM is dedicated to scientific research (both evidence- and outcomes-based), and recently had the results of one study published in the journal, Medicine. While teaching at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Sun conducted a randomized controlled clinical pilot trial of Yi Ren Qigong in participants with type 2 diabetes. The results clearly suggested that Yi Ren Qigong may be an effective complementary therapy for type 2 diabetes.

This program is certified to issue Continuing Education Units. The large number of Yi Ren practitioners in health-related fields report this practice helps them develop their intuition in treating patients/clients, and gives them a strong foundation for self-protection, so they don’t become depleted while caring for others.

Jan is my own teacher, and I have found her to be an amazingly insightful, supportive and effective Qigong teacher. Dr. Sun’s Human Potential and Life Force podcasts can be accessed here. The SCV course description is at, register by calling the college.

Stephanie Prima, owner of Move Into Mindfulness, LLC, works with people who are beginning to feel the pain of aging. For questions regarding the class, you may reach her at 360-317-1448, or