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The Benefits of Qi Gong: Michael Gelb on PYP 534

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I first “met” Michael J Gelb in 1988, when I chanced across a copy of his first book, Body Learning, while renting a room in a London flat owned by a piano teacher. At that point in my life, I wasn't interested in the body except as a life support system for my brain, which was the only organ I was truly interested in.

OK, that's not totally accurate – I was 23 years old, after all – but you know what I mean. Education, learning, erudition, philosophy, personality; that's what made humans themselves. How we walked, sat, moved, danced – irrelevant.

Body Learning introduced me to the Alexander Technique, and through that intellectually rigorous discipline, to the very idea that body and mind are connected, and may in fact be mirror images of each other.

And that's a concept that has informed my career – and my life – ever since.

Thanks to Body Learning, I began studying Alexander Technique. I started juggling seriously, attending weekly juggling sessions with some of the best street performers in Europe, and traveling to juggling conventions. I became a juggling teacher, and helped hundreds of people discover their own dexterity, creativity, and bilaterality (I may have made that word up).

Gelb's book, The Five Keys to High Performance: Juggle Your Way to Success (originally titled Lessons from the Art of Juggling), helped me see juggling as a metaphor and doorway into learning in general. I still use the concepts of stepped growth and primary inhibition in all my teaching and coaching to this day.

And his book Thinking for a Change introduced me to principles of neuroscience that support the development of creativity, which I've attempted to use in all my work.

Gelb reached a mass audience with his bestseller, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, which even made it onscreen in a blockbuster movie, The Italian Job.

Now that he and I have become friends, Michael is able to influence me in a much more customized way. So when he suggested I start studying Qi Gong, I immediately signed up for the course he recommended: Robert's Peng‘s Yi Jin Jing.

In this conversation, we discuss Michael's experiences with Qi Gong, Tai Qi, and other energetic healing arts. He also guides me (and you) in a simple 20-minute standing meditation that can transform body, mind, and spirit.



Michael J Gelb on the web

Michael's coaching website

Michael's Life Energy Fitness Course

Robert Peng

A Few of Michael's Books:

Body Learning

The Five Keys to High Performance: Juggle Your Way to Success (an updated version of Lessons from the Art of Juggling)

Thinking for a Change

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Healing Organizations

Looking for Transformational Change?

You know how when you discovered plant-based eating, you basically went, “Holy shit, how come the entire healthcare system isn't totally embracing this as one of the most powerful keys to disease prevention and reversal!”?

That's how I feel now about a psychological approach to transformational change called “Memory Reconsolidation.” Few psychologists have heard about it, and when they do hear the radical transformations it can bring about in a very short time, they're often skeptical to the point of disbelief.

But I've added Memory Reconsolidation work to my own coaching, and can attest to its amazing efficacy. So much so, that I'm devoting the next year to mastering it, studying with the best clinicians and teachers in the world, and then introducing it into health coaching through my trainings.

Right now, I want to triple my coaching practice to get more and more opportunities to do this work. And I'm lowering my fees – a lot – to make it easier for people to work with me.

If you're interested in working with me (and willing to commit to a minimum of 2 months), click the link below to open the form in a new browser tab and I'll get back to you within 3 business days.

Yes, I'm interested in Memory Reconsolidation Coaching.

You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight

Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.

It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂

Tip Jar

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.


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