A Conversation with Qigong practitioner
Guy Spiro: Jeff, I like to begin an interview by asking people to tell their story. I know you teach Qigong seminars to thousands of people each year and also host the website Qigong.com. What did you come through to get where you are now?
Jeff Primack: I began training in Energy Arts, Qigong, in about 1996. I was a college student at the University of Florida getting dual degrees; one in Eastern philosophy and one in business. During my time there, I studied for two years with my first true teacher, a Siberian shaman and Zen master who had spent numerous years in a Taoist monastery. She was a professor at the University and an amazing human being. She fortified within me a deep reverence For Chinese healing practices. However, like all great teachers, at some point, they send you off with, “Now use what I’ve taught you.” She moved away to California.
I craved further knowledge in this art form called Qigong. I read hundreds of books, but it wasn’t the same. I went on a quest to find masters of Qigong, flying some highly experienced teachers from China, Canada, Europe, all over the world, to Florida, arranging 2-day seminars with them. I’d get 70 to 80 people together with these masters and we’d all learn Qigong together. I taught my first class after completing five years of training. After intensive study with these masters, I designed my own form of Qigong.
GS: By whom were you most influenced?
JP: Paul Dong is definitely somebody I would name. He is author of the book Empty Force. He showed me how we could move our body (and others), without touching, through the use of qi. I use this concept in our Qigong push hands exercise.
Another highly respected teacher is Master Weizhao Wu.
I studied with him intensively and arranged many of his workshops. I practiced Qigong everyday as my job, learning how energy works. Through my own daily practice I could feel qi as magnetism in my hands, pulsation of blood, heat and incredible vibration in the abdomen. Each year the energy grew stronger; the blend of exercises affected me on a profound energetic level. I sought to develop my own, deeper, ‘hybrid’ Qigong forms.
My practice centered on breathing techniques (pranayama) from India’s yoga tradition, Dao-Yin slow movement Qigong and special alchemy meditations from Chinese Taoist masters. Most of the exercises I’ve taught remain audience favorites; like the 9-breath method.
GS: What was it like when you first began teaching Qigong? Was it well received right away?
JP: The first workshop I taught took place in my parent’s living room in March 2003. Only twelve people came, but the response was ecstatic and I knew I was onto something big. After two years of increasing turnouts and larger hotel venues, a major shift occurred.
In November 2005, I charged under a hundred bucks for a four-day seminar I called “Qi Revolution” and two hundred people came. Five years later over fifteen thousand people have taken the seminar.” ( Without a doubt, the reason its grew so fast is because we teach participants breathing techniques, like nine-breath method, a technique so powerful it gives the user a full-body vibration within 45 seconds. We’ve received testimonials from people who had been doing energy work for 30 years before taking our seminar, afterwards telling us the Nine-breath method was the strongest energy of their lives. The seminar simply offers people a profound Qi experience.
GS: It’s interesting to watch what’s happening in all different areas of spirituality, metaphysics, and even religion. Across the board, it’s time for all of these kinds of things to be made more accessible.
JP: Qigong is only a small part of everything that’s happening to expand natural medicine and the global consciousness of humanity. The unique thing that Qigong brings to the table is a kind of biological experience of spirit. For example, the pulsing, the humming, the heat vibration involved with Qigong is so tangible, it breaks through many limiting beliefs about our healing potential and even, who we really are. I think energy cultivation techniques will prove vital to the emergence of a higher consciousness at this critical time period on Earth.
GS: So, keep it theoretical and learn intellectually, but eventually you’ve got to get down and do it. Give us a working definition for Qigong.
JP: It is a special type of exercise that makes people ‘pulse’. Imagine if you could circulate as much blood flow from jogging two miles as you could while standing or sitting effortlessly, practicing Qigong. You pulse effortlessly with stronger blood flow from specialized movements, breathing techniques and meditation practices. This increased blood flow is immediately palpable and many even report it helps take away pain.
Qigong is the art of harnessing qi. It directly affects blood flow, digestion and the body’s metabolic energy. High metabolism can also be described as high qi vibration. The practice of Qigong exercise usually results in healthier bowel movements; greater energy; greater strength; increased metabolism, sex drive, etc.
GS: When you say metabolic, it starts to sound like a physical thing.
JP: Qi is physical in that it is what moves the blood in your body. From the biological viewpoint, Qigong exercises increase the pulsation of blood, the flow of qi, and the metabolism. If, for instance, somebody has a shoulder injury, they can do Qigong exercises, bringing blood, bringing qi, into that area. You feel it the moment you begin. The energy is magnetic, palpable. Circulation is everything in Qigong. Blood flow is synonymous with qi circulation.
Increasing numbers of high profile personalities are speaking out boldly about the healing power of Qigong. Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show and a regular guest on Oprah Winfrey’s show says “If you want to live to be 100, do Qigong!” Many qualified authorities are even saying Qigong is the ideal practice for people fighting diseases of the immune system, like cancer.