Chi Kung - Energy for Life
James MacRitchie

Review Gunther M. Weil, Ph.D. Thorsons/Harper Collins. ISBN: 0-00-714568-3 'Chi Kung - Energy for Life' is the third book in what has become the MacRitchie Chi Kung Trilogy. It continues and expands the purpose of the esteemed Founder of the National Qigong (Chi Kung) Association * USA, not only to broadly disseminate the benefits of the art and science of Chi Kung/Qigong to the widest possible audience, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to support the building of community and professional networkng that has been at the heart of Jim's contribution to the field for many years. It is in this spirit that Jim MacRitchie has dedicated this book to the NQA.

In many ways this book more fully expresses and accomplishes this mission than his earlier works - 'Chi Kung: Cultivating Personal Energy' (1993), and 'The Chi Kung Way - Alive with Energy' (1997) - both of which focused almost exclu- sively on the well-established areas of introductory level theory and practices. 'Chi Kung - Energy for Life' also includes some of these same elements, but more significantly accom- plishes this broader purpose by including the contributions of 22 leading Western practition- ers and teachers. A number of these are also professional members of the NQA, and include Gaspar Garcia, Roger Jahnke, Damaris Jarboux, Jerry Alan Johnson, Mark Johnson, Marcia Kerwit, Dennis Lewis, Ken Sancier, Michael Winn and myself among others. The scope of perspectives articulated by these authors is wide-ranging, as well as fascinating, and illustrates a variety of ways that Qigong may be applied in all areas of daily life.

This book's quality and readability is enhanced by its careful organization into five major headings, which arrange the diverse content and help to guide the reader. The examined subject matter includes basic Chi Kung history, energetic theory and core principles, (including an overview of the Five Elements emotions and organ theory), some excellent beginning level practices, Medical Qigong and Clinical Treatment, the application of Qigong in education, geriatrics, longevity, sexuality, infants and children, and its use as a stress management tool in profession- al work. The book also includes some information for more advanced practitioners, or readers with a broader exposure, who may wish to expand their understanding of the subtleties of Eight Extraordinary Meridian Chi Kung (one of Jim's Acupuncture specialties), Taoist inspired spiritual devel- opment (Inner Alchemy methods) and sexual energy cultivation. It is, as well, a primer on contemporary scientific research into Chi Kung.

Generally, compilations of this type can be tricky and of uneven quality. However, the contributions of the various authors are concise, generally well-written, and flow nicely from section to section. In addition, the typical challenges of diverse styles are minimized by excellent editing. This book's primary strength is in the fact that it brings together a tremendous amount of knowledge from a broad array of perspectives. Its publication marks another significant milestone in the acculturation of Chi Kung.

Gunther M. Weil, Ph.D.