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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Mystical Qigong Handbook for Good Health is a nonfiction self-help book written by Glenville Ashby. Ashby has studied Eastern and other spiritual disciplines for over thirty years, and he is certified in Pangu Shengong and other qigong styles. He has studied under Masters Ou Wen Wei and Zou-Je-Ting, and was accepted by the former for teacher training. Ashby discusses traditional Chinese medicine and the role that Qigong has historically played in spiritual and physical healing. He also ties in the precepts of Qigong and energy healing with other religious and spiritual traditions including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islamism. He introduces some of the movements that comprise Qigong, including the 8 Brocades and the 5 Animal Frolics with an emphasis on both the spiritual and mystical aspects of them as well as the physical movements. In the concluding section, he sets out step-by-step instructions for a Qigong session.
I have long been interested in the potential that Qigong has for improving mental and physical health and wellness, so I was quite pleased to have the opportunity to read The Mystical Qigong Handbook for Good Health. I’ve read other books on the subject, but found most were either lacking in the history and philosophy of this discipline or insufficiently detailed enough in the descriptions of the movements and their purpose. Ashby’s text is superbly balanced in that regard. I also liked his technique of showing the similarities of philosophical and spiritual thought and tradition across a wide range of religious traditions. The reviews he includes of other relevant articles and resources have also been quite helpful in giving me suggestions for further reading. I’ve already begun learning the movements and was excited to discover that much of what Ashby wrote was immediately apparent from my practice. The Mystical Qigong Handbook for Good Health is most highly recommended.