It was bad enough that Dr. Robert Rosenbaum
got six colds every year and had persistent back and sciatic nerve pain most of his
life.But cold hands that never warmed up?
Not a happy thing for any patient he
So nobody was more surprised, or pleased, than Rosenbaum
tried the ancient Chinese healing practice of qigong.Not only did his
pain disappear and his
whole mood become calmer, but his
hands also warmed up. That was eight years ago, and he now teaches the art to his own patients at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Oakland, where he is a neuropsychologist.
said, is great for healing not just physical ailments but emotional upsets like anxiety as well -- and if ever there was a good time for that it's now, with war worries rattling nerves everywhere, he
Today, people all over the world will get an opportunity to check out firsthand what he
and other practitioners of qigong, and its companion art of tai chi, are talking about.
It's the fifth annual World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, and groups will be demonstrating the two practices in parks, squares and others spots all over Northern California.
The idea is to promote world peace and healing, with demonstrations beginning in New Zealand at 10 a.m. (New Zealand time) and rolling through every time zone on the planet at 10 a.m.Fifty-six countries are participating.
In Northern California, demonstrations will happen in dozens of cities from San Rafael and El Cerrito to Sebastopol and Grass Valley.
"Regardless of people's beliefs, pro or con about the war, we all want things to work out better," said Rosenbaum
, 53."And if nothing else, qigong has the effect of helping us feel less jangled by the war, less saddened."
Even those unfamiliar with tai chi and qigong will probably recognize the practices when they see them: groups of people standing together doing what looks like a slow-motion, Asian dance routine.
The most recognizable of the two practices is tai chi, a gentler, slower version of more familiar martial arts crafts such as tae kwon do.It was invented in China about 1,400 years ago and consists of a series of flowing, set routines, with names like "Chen" and "Yang," designed to help balance, strength and relaxation.
"Qigong does far more than it ought to from a medical perspective," Rosenbaum
said."It's really quite remarkable."