Thanks to Zhineng Qigong David can keep on working as a musician

David Werthen_350 When I attended my first Qigong course in 2006 I had a lot of pain in my back and shoulders due to playing music. I'm a double bass player, classical approach, and I had practised a lot when I started at the Music Academy in Gothenburg. I had actually practised a lot for several years without considering how it influenced my body. That's actually common among musicians. What if I had learned Qigong at the same time as I started to do music – then I would have had a tool from the beginning and maybe I wouldn't have had any injuries? I also think it would have been good mentally. I grew up in a context where music was quite performance-orientated. It was quite hard and when you're young you are quite weak and influenced by the surroundings.

The Summer Course a Turning Point

When I started to practise Zhineng Qigong, I mainly had problems with my back but also with my feet. I had heel spurs in both feet and I remember that I came to the Summer Course with special made shoes with special made insoles.

At the first course I was quite skeptical to Qigong. I thought there were only oldies at the course, no young people. I learned Hold Qi Up and that was at least something I enjoyed doing even though I didn't get very good results. Probably it felt good in my body. I was looking for some kind of relief and I had tried many different things that didn't work.

I continued doing the movements and I attended both Summer Courses, in total 18 days, already the same year. It must have been that I felt it was very good, especially after the Summer Courses. I had heard many people saying that they didn't start to practise Qigong for real until after the Summer Course.

Now I realize that it's actually due to Qigong that I can continue playing music at all, but still I work on my problems. My feet are much better. I don't have any insoles anymore and standing up for a long time works well. I still have problems with my back and my shoulders. The tensions run deep but that will dissolve as well. The problem is that I rarely get a chance to relax – I keep playing all the time. I don't think I would have been able to do that without Qigong.

Great for the Mind

I also feel that Qigong training has done a lot for me mentally. The future looks brighter to me. It feels like an insurance policy for the future and I'm calmer and more stable. I went to my first Summer Course with my physical problems but it was a revelation when I noticed that Qigong is much more than that. Ailments became almost secondary. I thought that everything would be fine. But I noticed that it was great for the mind. I had missed a concrete way to work on my personal development and this really is. I'm very happy that I found this training.

Now I look at everything in a new way. My attitude has changed. It's an ongoing process. Life is brighter, more positive. I have been strict with myself, really hard, but now I'm starting to relax. I might have started to prioritize in another way. The most important is to feel good, no matter the situation. If you're unwell, you're unwell, regardless of how far you have come in your career or how much money you have. It might sound like a cliché but the sensation of feeling good and being happy doesn't come from the outside. It's actually something from the inside. That's really how it is and it's fantastic to have a method where you can learn and use that.

Courses Motivate

I try to practise every day but my days are different and therefore it's a bit difficult to have routines. I often I travel and stay away for a while and to find routines and stick to them is a struggle then. Therefore it's really good to go to a course because there you always get motivated.

I haven't reflected much on how Qigong has influenced me as an artist but as the training influences me as a human being, I suppose it influences me as an artist as well. My ability to concentrate has improved and maybe I can see more clearly but I've been very orientated not to connect my Qigong training to any kind of performance. That's the time I spend completely on myself. It's my tool to make life as good as possible.

Actually I could thank my problems for finding Qigong. That's also a way to see it. There's a meaning with a lot of things even though you can't see it when you're in the middle of it.

David Werthén