Several years ago, my interest in Chinese philosophy and healing led me to pingshuai, a simple hand-swinging exercise (pictured above being demonstrated by Yao Huai-Ying on the far left). This basic form of qigong was developed by Master Lee Feng-San Sifu of the Meimen Qigong Culture Center in Taipei. It is designed to improve the circulation of qi or vital life force, which is the central underlying principle in Chinese traditional medicine and martial arts.

Pingshuai is easy to learn; does not require any equipment; can be performed indoors or outdoors by young and old alike; and takes as little as 10 minutes. For maximum benefit, the exercise should be performed daily. There are a few important things to keep in mind, as I have found out, when doing any qigong exercise:

• wear comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes (barefoot is okay)

• wait for one hour after a meal and 30 minutes after a snack before doing the exercise

• focus on what you’re doing (don’t watch television or use your smartphone during the exercise)

• synchronise breathing and body movement

Practitioners of pingshuai swear by its many health benefits. One does not have to take their word for it. The best way is to try it. As the French physician and Enlightenment philosopher, Julien Offray de La Mettrie, said: “Let us then take in our hands the staff of experience… To be blind and to think that one can do without this staff is the worst kind of blindness.” (L’Homme Machine, 1748

Another Chinese exercise that should benefit you:

Baduanjin: A beautiful Chinese exercise (by the sea)

Disclaimer: I have no connection with the Meimen Qigong Culture Center in Taipei or any wellness centre for that matter. I am sharing the foregoing information about pingshuai in the hope that it would benefit the readers of Marine Café Blog. If you have any medical condition, seek the advice of a doctor before starting any qigong regimen.

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