Sheng Zheng Gong and Healing

Ruscombe Manision Community Health Center

Ruscombe Manision Community Health Center

In April of 2017, Peter Van Buren gave a talk to the health practitioners at Ruscombe Mansion* on the benefits of integrating Sheng Zhen Gong with the holistic therapies they practiced. After first explaining a little about Sheng Zhen Gong, Peter then guided the group though a brief practice, so they could experience firsthand the “Sheng Zhen state”.  And, then he addressed the group,

"In preparing for this talk, I needed to answer the question, what does Sheng Zheng Gong (SZG) have to do with health practitioners?

Since I am not a health practitioner myself, I had to ask others about their experience with SZG and healing. As I reviewed my notes from these brief conversations, I was surprised at the many similarities in the responses.

I corresponded with Miles Nicohols, a Dr. of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Colorado, who also teaches SZG. He recently completed a study which showed that, after just a 2-day intensive SZG practice, cortisol and DHEA hormone levels normalized in the subjects. Plus, they subjectively reported that they felt a significant reduction in fatigue.

This was exactly what one of my students, a friend’s son, told me. About 2 years ago, at the age of 18, and a freshman in college, he developed a severe form of epilepsy. So severe that he was put in a medically-induced coma multiple times during the summer of 2015.

The following fall, he started learning SZG from me as part of his personal therapy plan, and we still have weekly sessions together. When I asked him how he felt SZG helped, he told me that sometimes the epilepsy takes so much out of him, that he has trouble finding enough energy to move. He told me practicing SZG replenishes his energy, reversing this effect.

Miles explained that, although many understand that stress can create fatigue, stress management is often missing from therapy plans. Practicing SZG reduces stress by relaxing the mind and opening the heart. This allows clients to be more accepting of what is, as well as more loving towards themselves, their health concerns and others in their lives.

Miles went on to tell me that he and other Sheng Zhen practitioners who are doctors or healthcare providers often teach their clients a movement. Then they incorporate practicing these movements into their treatment plans.

He has taught Opening the Heart to people who have desk jobs that frequently cause sore necks and shoulders.

And, Descending to Earth to a patient who was struggling with hip and knee pain.

And, The Universe Trembles when people are spacey and ungrounded.

I asked my own massage therapist, Betsey Gilbert**, if she could feel a difference in our work together. She said yes, the difference was in the connection to my energy. She can make a stronger, more direct connection, which allows her to go deeper and further with the healing.

This relates to what another health practitioner told me. Don Leathers, a Dr. of naturopathic medicine and teacher of Sheng Zhen, Taiqi, and martial arts in Moab UT, said that through SZG clients are self-empowered to become more active in their own healing. 

Initially, he worried that such empowerment would lessen his skills in the eyes of his clients. In reality, Don finds that his clients become more engaged in their sessions together, so that they are much clearer and better able to respond to treatment.

As this deeper engagement continues over time, the practitioner and client go to a higher level of health care and consciousness.

Don told me, “When I am with a client who has been practicing SZG, the sessions are very conscious, and amazing understandings come out for both of us. This helps the practitioner to go to a higher level when working with someone practicing SZ. I feel as practitioners it is important to empower the client and help them understand their true nature. If this is accomplished, then they stay healthy and we have a healthier society.”

And, this is exactly my own experience – I have learned things by being in the “Sheng Zhen state” while working with Betsey. These new understandings have brought my healing to a higher level.

Whenever SZG is practiced, we start by connecting to the universe, connecting to everything, connecting to “the ALL”. During sessions with Betsey last fall, I realized two things.

1)     When you fully grasp that we are all connected, that everyone is a part of the ALL, then you must understand that whenever someone hurts or suffers, the ALL hurts and suffers.

2)    I realized that by reducing my own suffering, I would reduce the suffering of the ALL. So, I gave myself permission to be pain free. I told myself that it was OK if I didn’t hurt anymore. Whenever anyone hurts less, it is literally better for all of us.

Incorporating Sheng Zhen Gong into a holistic treatment plan helps both the practitioner and the patient to work together to go further. The benefits include managing stress, and reducing fatigue and pain, while empowering clients to take part in their own healing, and bringing new understanding to both the client and the practitioner.

All of which leads to higher levels of healing. And that’s good for everyone."


* Ruscombe Mansion is a holistic Community Health Center in Baltimore. Peter will be teaching weekly classes there on Wednesday evenings starting May 17. See class schedule for details.

** Ms. Gilbert is one of the health practitioners at Ruscombe Mansion.