SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Built on its success of Kungfu classes, Shaolin Temple USA will start offering Shaolin Chan Medicine service and Health Qigong classes in the San Francisco Bay Area starting on Oct. 2.
Since founded in 2007, the non-profit organization committed to promoting Chinese martial arts in the United States has set up four centers in the Bay Area and another in Herndon, Virginia, with more than 1,000 students currently enrolled, said Yan Ran, chairman of Shaolin Temple USA, on Saturday.
"Many residents came to our centers seeking alternative treatment for sub-health conditions, such as back pain and weakness. We hope to combine Shaolin Kungfu with Shaolin Chan (Zen) medicine and Health Qigong to better serve the students and residents," said Yan Ran.
The Shaolin Chan Medicine, which combines the medicine of Chinese Buddhism and traditional Chinese medicine, has a history of over 1,000 years. It's closely related to the development of Shaolin Kungfu. Most of the prominent Shaolin monks in history were versed in Chan, Kungfu and medicine.
In recent years, Shaolin Medicine, a health care provider has published books on Shaolin medical practice over 800 years ago, has rediscovered secret prescriptions of Shaolin Medicine.
"Shaolin Medicine is ready to share those prescriptions with the world. It also plans to send experts to overseas Shaolin culture centers to provide health care service," said Yan Ran.
Like Kungfu, Chinese Qigong is getting increasingly popular among Americans in the Bay Area as they benefit from the breath-regulating exercise.
"I feel more balanced and energetic (after the exercise)," said a local resident, 69, who preferred to be identified as Sally W. She attended a Health Qigong demonstration at the San Francisco center of Shaolin Temple USA.
She was introduced to practice Qigong five years ago by her husband, who has been doing the ancient Chinese form of exercise for 10 years.
She said she preferred Qigong to other physical exercises because of the slow and gentle style and relaxed mind.
Health Qigong is a new form evolved from the traditional Qigong to meet the requirement of practitioners in modern society.
The Chinese Health Qigong Association has organized experts to create eight exercises of Health Qigong based on traditional Qigong theory, including Yi Jin Jing (Muscle-Tendon Change Classic), Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Frolics), Ba Duan Jin (Eight Section Brocade) and Da Wu (Big Dance).
Health Qigong is a traditional national sport in China, which aligns physical movement, breath and mind adjustments as the major form of exercise, said Yan Ran.
It's a health-preserving exercise that can improve the functions of the body, he said.
To promote cultural exchanges between the United States and China, Shaolin Temple USA and the Wushu (Martial Arts) Department of Xi'an Physical Education have recently teamed up to send Chinese professors and students to the United States starting early next year.
The professors will help train Kungfu instructors, while the students will have the opportunity to receive training on qualifying for International Wushu Judges and to participate in international Wushu competitions in the United States, according to Yan Ran.