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News Paper Interview

THE WICHITA EAGLE
Copyright (c) 1999, The Wichita Eagle & Beacon Publishing Co.

QIGONG TAKES, KEEPS HER EXTRA WEIGHT OFF

Name: Sylvia Gorup, Wichita.
Personal: 48; married; two grown children; title officer at Security Abstract and Title.
Problem: Extra weight that “just kind of creeps on as you get older.” Gorup had dieted and regained weight several times through the years. She had been exercising five days a week and “kind of watched what I was eating, but not really,” but hadn’t seen any change in her weight.
What she did: Enrolled in a qigong (chee-gong) weight management class at Evergreen Wellness Center, a traditional Chinese medicine clinic in Wichita. Lost 30 pounds in about five months and has kept the weight off.
How she did it: Qigong emphasizes breathing, meditation and stationary and moving exercises to enhance the flow of energy through the body. Gorup started a 30-day exercise class with a friend who was seeking relief for fibromyalgia. During the class, teacher Qizhi Gao talked about using qigong for weight loss; class members talked him into offering the weight loss class.
The class, which met for an hour every day for two weeks (including weekends), taught Gorup to “eat when you’re hungry and drink when you’re thirsty” and breathe in a specific way that pushes the diaphragm up and gives her a feeling of fullness. She also learned an “energy-gathering” meditation. The breathing exercises and meditation are to be done three times a day, for 20 to 30 minutes a time. “You got down to the point where you ate hardly anything, but yet you weren’t hungry and weren’t tired,” says Gorup, who says she was skeptical going into the class but tried to remain open-minded.

She lost 18 pounds during the two weeks and continued to lose afterward; weight loss among class members ranged from five to 22 pounds. Gorup ate what she wanted but found that she could no longer easily digest some foods.
Because she could eat what she wanted, she felt no sense of denial. She took the class again earlier this year, along with three co-workers. This time, she lost four or five pounds; the co-workers lost about 10 pounds each. She hasn’t regained any of the weight. Her hints for success: “Part of it is buying into the philosophy” of Chinese medicine, she says. “You’ve got to want to do it.” Take the class with a partner “to motivate each other.” The diet was easy for her because “you didn’t have to think about what you were eating, you didn’t have to think about weighing your food.” Class members kept daily records of what they ate and how they felt, physically and emotionally.

It Worked for Me is an occasional feature on people who have found a way to improve their physical or mental health. To suggest a person to be featured, call Karen Shideler at 268-6674 or e-mail her at kshideler@wichitaeagle.com
CAPTION: Jeff Tuttle/The Wichita Eagle
Sylvia Gorup practices the qigong breathing she learned to help her lose weight. She lost 30 pounds

DATE: Tuesday, June 29, 1999           EDITION: Main           SECTION: LIVING

A new class will be online now. You can take it at home. More information is available from the Evergreen Wellness Center at 316-691-8811 or email to info@ibreathin.com.