Could Bigu Qigong be for you and your health?

4:01:13 PM CDT - Wednesday, August 23, 2006

By Shannon Littlejohn

Loretta Forlaw wants to teach you to breathe for your health. The assistant professor of nursing needs a study group for her research into Bigu Qigong, a Chinese medicine approach to effective weight loss.

In exchange for joining the study in September, participants should lose 5-10 pounds and feel an increase in energy.

The catch lies in the commitment: The study must run for 14 consecutive days. But Forlaw needs only an hour of her subjects’ time each day. Most people, she said, can manage the time during lunch hour or after work.

Qigong, Forlaw said, is an ancient form of healing that works by “harmonizing mind, body movement and breath to enhance the flow of Qi (energy) in the body.” Bigu Qigong, pronounced “bee-goo kee-gong,” was developed by Dr. Qizhi Gao, whose Chinese medicine clinic is based in Wichita. “Bigu” translates as “avoid (bi) the grain (gu).”

“We know it works,” said Forlaw. “It’s just finding the parameters.”

For this control group, Forlaw is testing only the breathing component of Bigu Qigong, which generally also includes energy gathering and traditional Chinese self-massage. Those are optional techniques, she said.

Although people will be asked to record their dietary intake, the emphasis is not on what they eat or on counting calories, said Forlaw.

“Really, there are only two rules,” she said. “Eat only when you’re hungry; drink only when you’re thirsty.”

Participants will be taught a special breathing position and techniques for breathing for 15 minutes before a meal. They will be assessed on appetite, fatigue and mood.

Forlaw is currently forming a group to start on Friday, Sept. 15, and work through Friday, Sept. 29. Times will be noon-1 p.m. or 5-6 p.m. and the meeting place, to be announced, will be on the WSU campus. If you are interested in participating, contact Forlaw at loretta.forlaw@wichita.edu.

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