What I’m Reading Now: Flowing Zen

Some of you who follow this blog know that I’ve struggled with migraines for a long time, and for a while there they got real bad. Western Medicine wasn’t quite as helpful as I would have hoped, once I sought help, though I did get a lot of relief with TruDenta, which I’ve blogged extensively about. And yet even that plateaued at about 85% of the work done. And then it stopped working. (Still love TruDenta, and still grateful for it. Let’s say I was an extreme case.) And so I kept looking, even as I collected good habits like a squirrel hoards nuts in the fall.

Through a long series of events, beginning with the first time I studied martial arts as a freshman in high school, I encountered Qigong and the particular way one teacher in Florida presents it, and it’s his book I’m currently reading. It should be said I don’t live in Florida, but then he had been teaching online well before it was the done thing in our pandemic world, and during the pandemic I started doing more than just reading his blog. I became one of his students.

What is Qigong?

It’s a martial art that heals. It jump starts the natural energy of the body to get your own self-healing capacity (also known as spontaneous remission) into high gear. Or really, any gear but reverse. High gear might be too much for some people to begin with. So, obviously, there’s stuff it can’t do: It can’t regrow limbs, because that’s beyond the body’s capacity. But what it’s done for me was so spectacular in just two years of studying it with him that, when my teacher was writing his book and when he called out for of his more recent students who have had success to share their story if they felt comfortable doing so… I did. And now I’m Page 94.

To be clear, my teacher has had hundreds of new students in the last five years, as he’s had about 20,000 students over the course of his career of teaching qigong. He chose other case studies as well, and he might have skipped mine, but if you know my story, you know it’s a dramatic, and that’s before one actually has to consider the use of hyperbole. When I downplay it, it’s dramatic. When I’m brutally honest, I traumatize listeners. Which is why I’ll let you go read my teacher’s edited version of my story on page 94, if you choose to do so. But it should be said that when I last saw my doctor and regaled her with all the medical issues that have either entirely gone away, or have significantly improved, she was stunned.

And then we had a conversation about qigong. But I digress.

Flowing Zen: Finding True Healing With Qigong

The book authored by Anthony Korahais is easy to read, flows well, is informative, and even as a multi-year practitioner and no longer a beginner, even as one of his students, has been an informative read. He says himself that it is half memoir and half manifesto. If the most a person knows about qigong is that it looks like a vaguely Chinese word (and they’d be right), it’ll tell you everything you need to know to have a good foundation and actually start a daily practice that will change your life. If a person has been studying various non-Western healing arts or the martial arts or even qigong with someone else for decades but they still hurt and nothing seems to help much, or for long, this book can. His method is solid. He doesn’t promise miracles, but he does promise healing and the healing goes deep, provided you actually do the exercises.

You know, I almost wrote ‘provided you get up and do the exercises,’ but let me be super clear here: when I first started as his student about two years ago now, I was sometimes in so much pain I couldn’t get up and do the exercises, and I had no energy anyway. So I did them sitting down. It was the best I could do. And it still helped. And soon enough, I could stand long enough to do them: I had enough energy, and enough freedom from pain.

I have other books on Qigong, and I’m particularly fond of the author and teacher Bruce Frantzis and his body of work, but Korahais is even more relatable. He’s a normal guy who has had his own struggles with health that he’s very honest about, he’s got a method that is both ancient and new (a sign of a true master, I think) and that actually provides results, and he’s a very good teacher.

[EDIT: It dawns on me you might find Sifu Anthony Korahais’ website useful: flowingzen.com. He’s got all kinds of goodies over there.]

The Fine Print

I did not receive anything in exchange for an unbiased review. I am, actually, going to receive a free signed copy as a thank you for having my story used in page 94… but I had forgotten about that, and went and bought myself a copy anyway. And then I bought six more to give away to people I love. And eventually, I suppose, I’ll receive my signed copy, and give away the one sitting next to me as I write this blogpost.

In fact, I’ll send it to the first person who responds to this post in the comments, indicating that they want it. [EDIT: Okay! At first I thought I’d have just one copy to give away, then I realized I’d had two, and then when Sifu found out I was giving some of my copies away here on my blog, he gave me an extra one. SO! Check the comments! If you haven’t seen me give away THREE copies, I still have one up for grabs. If you want it, I’ll send it to you. :) ]


    • Joanna, shoot me an email identifying yourself, with you address and I’ll send it either when my husband finishes the book, or when Sifu sends me my signed copy. Revsarey at gmail. Congrats for nabbing the book!

      • Hi, First of all , thank you. I just did the first exercise of reaching for the sky.
        I met you years ago when you were a supply priest at St. Paul’s in Lewiston. I always loved your sermons because they were so practical.
        Please don’t send me your signed copy, that’s special. It’s for you.
        Joanna Torreano
        4400 Upper Mountain Road
        Lockport, NY 14094
        I will keep you posted about my migraines. For me, they are very unpredictable. I’ve tried everything I could think of.
        Thanks again,

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I will seek this book out. I had migraines for decades that left with menopause so I identify a bit. now I just feel like my body is angry at my stress levels, so I like the idea of looking into QiGong.

  2. I would be interested in the book if it’s still available. I’m thrilled for you that you found something that helps with your migraines. I used to have bad migraines, but apparently mine were mostly caused by hormones, and menopause has largely cured them. My current struggle is with depression, lack of exercise, and procrastination, a true triple threat. So I’m open for trying something new, as meds and therapy haven’t helped. Thanks, Lin

  3. You know, Lin, as it turns out, I’m actually going to have two extra. I’ll send you the other one, when I get it. Let me check and make sure I have your address. If not, I’ll shoot you an email. In the meantime I reco and his website, flowingzen.com, which is a good place to procrastinate. Also, his mailing list is worth it.

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