The Healing Power of Qi Gong: How to Transform Stress Into Vitality | Lee Holden

The Longevity & Lifestyle podcast

The Longevity & Lifestyle podcast

The Longevity & Lifestyle podcast

Episode 136

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Performance coach, detail-loving educator, big-thinking entrepreneur, podcaster, mama, passionate adventurer, and health optimization activist here to help people transform their lives, and reach their highest potential! All rolled into one.

“We know science and medicine can measure the electromagnetic frequency of your heart 5 to 10 feet away from your body. And that electromagnetic frequency is like a fingerprint. It is very unique to you. So, we have to redefine ourselves. Are we actually skin-encapsulated? Are we just inside here? Or are we more than that? If we look at the ancient mystics, they say we are much more. There's this energy about you, there's this vibration, this invisible field. And now, even modern science says that all the organs have an electromagnetic frequency that extends beyond the body, especially the heart. The heart's electromagnetic frequency is the biggest.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

It's no secret that traditional Chinese medicine, developed thousands of years ago, has a wealth of effective practices that can help us live longer and healthier lives.

One of these practices is Qi Gong, which involves exercises to optimize the life force energy within us, aiming to improve our health and well-being.

My guest today is Lee Holden, a lifelong explorer of the life force energy, Qi. He began his journey at the age of 10 through his parents' meditation lessons.

His passion for understanding the body's inner energy led him to martial arts such as karate and kung fu. Beyond the physical, he immersed himself in Taoism and Qi Gong and discovered the healing powers of Qi. He also explored Chinese medicine, bridging ancient wisdom with modern understanding. Today, he shares his knowledge as a renowned Qi Gong master, advocating for holistic well-being and helping others unlock their full potential for vitality, inner harmony, and longevity.

Join us as we dive deep into the history of Qi Gong, the best practices for transforming stress into vitality, exercises for lung health, boosting energy, and detoxing the body.

Tune in!




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Show Notes 

Key Takeaways:


Intro (00:00)
Everything you need to know about Qi, the life force energy (01:50)
How to deal with a stressful day? (11:00)
The ideal Qi Gong routine (16:15)
Different types and use cases of Qi Gong (19:47)
Lee’s journey and how he got into Qi Gong (31:51)
How to boost your energy and detox your body (35:55)
Are there any negative consequences to Qi Gong? (43:58)
On longevity and the future of health (46:24)
Outro (49:43)


Intro (00:00)
Everything you need to know about Qi, the life force energy (01:08)
How to deal with a stressful day? (10:18)
The ideal Qi Gong routine (15:32)
Different types and use cases of Qi Gong (19:05)
Lee’s journey and how he got into Qi Gong (32:23)
How to boost your energy and detox your body (36:27)
Are there any negative consequences to Qi Gong? (44:30)
On longevity and the future of health (46:56)
Outro (50:15)


“Qi means life force energy and a basic definition is that it means aliveness. It means you are alive.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

“Health is not a destination, it is a journey.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

“The latest research shows that stress is about 89% of why we go to our primary care doctor.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

“Flowing water does not get stagnant.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

"Qi Gong is the practice of increasing energy and decreasing stress.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

“Qi Gong is called the art of effortless power.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

“About 70% of toxicity is eliminated through exhaling.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

“Qi Gong is called the art of preventing disease and prolonging life.” - Qi Gong Master Lee Holden

Legal Disclaimer: Please note, to avoid any unnecessary headaches, Longevity & Lifestyle LLC owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of The Longevity & Lifestyle Podcast, with all rights reserved, as well as the right of publicity. You are welcome to share parts of the transcript (up to 500 words) in other media (such as press articles, blogs, social media accounts, etc.) for non-commercial use which must also include attribution to “The Longevity & Lifestyle Podcast” with a link back to the URL. It is prohibited to use any portion of the podcast content, names or images for any commercial purposes in digital or non-digital outlets to promote you or another’s products or services.


Claudia von Boeselager: Welcome to another episode of the Longevity and Lifestyle Podcast. I'm your host, Claudia von Boeselager. I'm here to uncover the groundbreaking strategies, tools, and practices from the world's pioneering experts to help you live your best and reach your fullest potential. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to always catch the latest episodes.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note, to avoid any unnecessary headaches, Longevity & Lifestyle LLC owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of The Longevity & Lifestyle Podcast, with all rights reserved, as well as the right of publicity. You are welcome to share parts of the transcript (up to 500 words) in other media (such as press articles, blogs, social media accounts, etc.) for non-commercial use which must also include attribution to “The Longevity & Lifestyle Podcast” with a link back to the URL. It is prohibited to use any portion of the podcast content, names or images for any commercial purposes in digital or non-digital outlets to promote you or another’s products or services.


Lee Holden 0:00
Health is not a destination. It's a journey. Each and every day, you do your Qi Gong and practice your meditation and your breathing so that you transform stress back into vitality and stay healthy. You clear problems in your body almost before they manifest physically.

Claudia von Boeselager 0:18
Are you ready to boost your longevity and unlock peak performance? Welcome to The Longevity and Lifestyle Podcast. I'm your host, Claudia von Boeselager, longevity, and peak performance coach. Each week, we'll explore groundbreaking science, unravel longevity secrets, share strategies to grow younger and stay up to date with world-class health and peak performance pioneers. Everything you need to live longer, live better, and reach your fullest potential, ready to defy aging, optimize health, and promote peak performance. Visit for more.

My guest today is Lee Holden. Lee is a lifelong explorer of Qi or lifeforce energy, beginning his journey at the age of 10. Through his parent's meditation lessons. His passion for understanding the body's inner energy led him to martial arts like Karate, kung fu, and cap wisdom. Beyond the physical, he delved into Taoism and Qi Gong, uncovering the power of chi. Li also explored Chinese medicine, bridging ancient wisdom with modern understanding. Today, he shares his knowledge as a renowned Qi Gong master advocating for holistic well-being and helping others unlock their cheese potential for vitality and inner harmony. And I would add longevity as well. Welcome Lee to the Longevity and Lifestyle Podcast. It is such a pleasure to have you with us today.

Lee Holden 1:44
Thank you so much for having me. Thanks for that great introduction as well. Yeah, let's add longevity to that

Claudia von Boeselager 1:50
will add longevity to that as well. So, at least, I'd love to start with lifeforce energy Qi. What does that mean to you?

Lee Holden 1:59
Yeah, I mean, I love this topic too. Because lifeforce energy is what it's all about. And I think people intuitively know what it is, but not intellectually, like, what is Qi, what is energy? You know, anybody who asks, you say, Hey, how's your energy? They're going to answer you're like, Oh, I feel a little low. I feel a little down. I feel happy. So, we intuitively kind of know what energy is, but it's hard to put our finger on exactly how to use it. And what it is in our minds, which makes it confusing. So like you said, She means lifeforce energy. And let's just do a very basic definition, that it means aliveness, it means you are alive. Now, this life force is very mysterious because we can't explain the beating of your heart, let alone the consciousness in your mind. All of this would be Qi, we experience it, but we can't explain it. So there is a mystical aspect about Qi and the practice of lifeforce energy. And it is so self-evident because we are alive that we don't know exactly how to define it or explain it. So it becomes very mysterious. So let's listen to it like an ancient Chinese medicine. There are many different kinds of Qi, like there's the Qi of your heart, there's the Qi of your lungs, there's the Qi of your mind. There's the Qi of emotions. And so we can work with this lifeforce energy on many different levels, you can say, wow, you know, I'm feeling really emotionally stressed. And Qi Gong is gonna say, well, let's work with that stress and transform it into vitality back into its pure essence, and then redefine it and reshape it. So Qi, like water, is going to be very fluid and flowing. And it's going to take the shape that you pour it into. And so in a practice, like Qi Gong, we're saying we have the power to move this energy in the direction that we want. And is

Claudia von Boeselager 4:00
Is it almost like reincarnating? That energy, if you will, from, say, a negative stress energy and transforming it into a positive one, is that the imagery I'm sort of getting? Yeah, that

Lee Holden 4:11
is the practice because life does the opposite. We're like, you know, we can be happy and, hey, excited about the day, and then we have a few stressful things happen. And then we're just like, boom, down. So the practice is how to transform stress, tension, pain, and illness back into something healthy. So health, vitality, energy, emotional balance, clarity of mind, a deeper connection to each other, a deeper connection to, you know, nature and the universe. These are all part of the practice.

Claudia von Boeselager 4:47
Beautiful, and how is it measured, if you will, right, so are there different a scale that the hearts let off certain Qi energy versus stresses at a different level? And when you're transforming it, Are you like elevating the vibration of it? What's going on?

Lee Holden 5:03
I love this question, too, because we can talk about energy as form and formless. So let's look at the heart, the heart as the form is a pump that circulates blood. Now we can say if the Qi of the heart is off, physiologically, you know, we might have arrhythmias, we might have palpitation, we might have chest pain. But when we look at the formulas, we're gonna say what the formulas Qi of the heart is, emotions like love, joy, excitement, passion, compassion, all these things. Loving Kindness would be a formless energy of the heart. We can't do heart surgery, open heart surgery, and say, oh, yeah, you need a little extra love. There's not enough love in there. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Yeah, yeah. Right. I know, modern technology is pretty amazing. So this formless energy, it's the frequency of the heart. Now, very interestingly, we know science and medicine can measure the electromagnetic frequency of your heart, some, you know, five to 10 feet away from your body. And that electromagnetic frequency is like a fingerprint and is very unique to you. So we have to redefine ourselves, are we actually skin encapsulated? Are we just inside here? Or are we more than that? You know, and when we talk to the ancient mystics, they say, you are much more than that there's this energy about you, there's this vibration, this invisible field, you know, and now modern science is saying yes, all the organs, the brain has an electromagnetic frequency that extends beyond the body, and especially the heart, the hearts electromagnetic frequency is the biggest. So, you know, practically speaking, we can sense and feel people's emotions, personalities, you know, from a distance, we can walk into a room and get up, get a vibe, and get a sense. And this is, you know, what we might call heart wisdom. Now, what do we do with it, so we have, you know,, all these very complex emotions, and we're talking about the emotions of the heart like love and joy. But there's also the negative side when we feel anxious, nervous, anxious, worried, stressed. Now, this is a different vibration, a different frequency, a different energy, and just like being on a different station on a radio, or a different, you know, channel on your Spotify, that particular frequency is either going to be harmonious or discordant to you. And what we want to feel is more harmony. We want to feel the right energy at the right time. So, you know, speaking of the radio, maybe you're on, you know, you know, hard rock, and it's not that time of day for you to be listening. You want smooth jazz. So, being able to change the frequency, being able to shift and change the station to something appropriate for you in the moment is a skill set. So working with that energy in practices like Qi Gong, the word Gong means skill, skill at working with Qi, working with energy, what is energy, so it's the skill of working with the energy of your body, creating health, the skill of working with the energy of your heart, creating emotional positivity or emotional balance, skillet, working with the energy of your mind, creating presence, creating positive thoughts, creating focus, and clarity. These will also all be part of this practice. So in Qi Gong, it's like, let's say a yoga practice where you're doing movements, and you're breathing, but it addresses all aspects of ourselves.

Claudia von Boeselager 8:49
Beautiful. For those unfamiliar, can you maybe just share briefly the history of Qi Gong people like maybe Qi would

Lee Holden 8:58
like you to focus, the hardest part about this practice is saying the name Qi Gong spelled Qi, which you know, is a translation from Chinese, but it is actually spelled more like Cha Qi Gong you know, interesting, the word Gong. The word Gong is like Kung Fu, Kung Fu beans, like expertise. So you have this expertise that working with energy. So, Qi Gong is an ancient practice. It's about 4000 years old. It's part of Chinese medicine, which is really interesting because Chinese medicine is a practice of prevention. So I don't know if you know this, Claudia, but the way the medicine worked, was you would pay your health care practitioner as long as you were healthy. And as soon as you get sick, you stop paying. You're like, buddy, you're not doing your job. I don't feel well. I'm not gonna pay you for sickness.

Claudia von Boeselager 9:53
This totally makes sense. What if we could reintroduce this model later? What do you think?

Lee Holden 9:57
That's is definitely my Fantasie. Let's reintroduce it because, you know, we don't have a health care model. We have a sick care model. And we don't focus on how to stay healthy. You can't go to your doctor and say I feel pretty good. How can I feel better? And that's what the ancient masters said: this is true medicine. How do we feel better and better because health is not a destination? It's a journey each and every day. You do your Qi Gong practice, your meditation, and your breathing so that you transform stress back into vitality and stay healthy. You clear problems in your body, almost before they manifest physically. That's what the Chinese medicine approaches. It's like, oh, my energy's a little down, my energy's a little off, let's tune into that, on that subtle level and make improvements there before it manifests as a headache, or neck pain, or, you know, anxiety or insomnia, all those things that, you know, we, as modern people are facing.

Claudia von Boeselager 11:00
And I think this is so fundamental because people underestimate a lot of diseases that we have can be brought exactly back to an emotional trigger, a stressful incident, chronic stress, of course. And there's a lot of emotionally energetic things that are going on that contribute to the body, then finally saying, I've had enough, and it manifests then in a tumor or cancer, or migraines, or whatever it might be. Yeah. And so for people listening, then obviously, you know, Does everyone have to become an expert Qi Gong master, right to practice? Or, like, what are some strategies and tools and things people should look out for if they're like having a stressful day, and they're like, this is going to, you know, cause burnout in a few day's time. If I don't get on top of it. What are things people can I do to tune in, first of all, to see what's off? And then, you know, some, let's say, basic steps without going to the full mastery, what would you recommend?

Lee Holden 11:57
Well, this is such a great question. And it's such a great point because you're exactly right that stress is the root cause of disease and illness. You know, the ancient masters and Chinese medicine doctors have been saying that for 1000s of years. And recently, what the latest research shows that stress is about 89%, like almost 90% of why we go to our primary care doctors. So the rate is very high. So emotional stress, we're just talking about this a formless energy, something that we're thinking about, it could be mental stress, it doesn't even have to be happening right here. You know, it could be sitting in traffic, because what is stress? You know, that's a good question to think about. What is stress for you might be different for me. And so stress is a perception. It's not necessarily real. So we need to get our minds and our emotions in order and really orient to actually what's happening. And is this stress necessary because stress is a reaction in your nervous system that brings you into the sympathetic branch, which we call fight or flight? And you might just ask yourself, hey, I'm getting stressed out is this actually a life-threatening circumstance is sitting in traffic? life-threatening, and if it's not, do something about it to clear it is my is thinking about tomorrow's meeting life-threatening circumstance; most of the time, it's not. So we don't want this overactive stress response to chronically be going off in our bodies because it does wreak havoc on our health. So, addressing the stress as it comes up in our minds, and just saying, okay, look, alright, let's just take a deep breath. I'm sitting in traffic. There's nothing I can do instead of banging on the steering wheel and tightening my body. It doesn't help do that traffic, right? The guy in front of you is not like, whoa, you know, that guy behind me is getting real stressed out. Let me let me change lanes and let you go ahead of me. That's not going to happen, right? So we have to, like, what a better response. Turn on a little music, and change your breathing. Notice where you're carrying tension and stress in your body. And people can do that, right? Now. You can say where am I carrying stress, stress, tension, and tightness in my body, like your neck and shoulders? You can relax a little bit more. Why doesn't everybody just try that? Just relax a little bit, take a deep breath. I know you just did Qi Gong; you just did something that's going to help your energy because carrying stress in your body takes energy. If you contract your muscles unnecessarily, you're going to be using energy for that contraction. And by, you know, two or three o'clock, you're like, why am I so tired? Well, you've been walking around as a stress ball and carrying this tension, and now you're not very efficient at working with your energy. So that's Qi Gong right there. What I always recommend for people is to have a practice because we're all going to get stressed out. We're all going to carry too much tension in our bodies. So each and every day, have a little practice or a long practice, you know, you can, you know, come to my class online, you can follow a video, you can learn a little Qi Gong and just implement that it doesn't take very long. In fact, you know, you could do a Qi Gong routine in like five minutes and just start to transform that stress back into vitality. And in that transformation, you have just done very high-level medicine you have, you've uprooted the problem before it arrived as , you know like you said, a headache or, you know, full-blown neck cramp, or carpal tunnel. All these things are rooted in emotional stress. So don't let emotional stress be like, ah, that's I'm just stressed out, everybody's stressed out. Don't let that be your way of moving through the world. Because your body will talk louder and louder. You know, it'll start as like discomfort in your neck. And then I'll move to neck pain, and then I'll move to a headache, and then on and on and on. So, address it early. And as they say, in Chinese medicine, dig your well before you're dying of thirst.

Claudia von Boeselager 16:15
Very smart. Yeah, there's a wise Chinese proverb. And I had the pleasure of living in Shanghai for four months. You really, oh my gosh, like now? Yeah. But I would notice in some parks, you know, the Qi Gong sort of collective in the mornings, right? And so is morning, the best time is it, you know, throughout the day when you need it, and I'm thinking of maybe somebody who might be working in an office there was he might be able just to stand up and start, you know, doing Qi Gong as well. So, are there certain times that you think are very beneficial to have a Qi Gong practice?

Lee Holden 16:50
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think I love the idea of doing it in the morning, first thing in the morning, you, you know, think of your Qi Gong practice, as your lightning flash of vitality, like, we want that, like get up and go energy in the morning. So most people have a cup of coffee, well, Qi Gong can be a great substitute or addition to your morning ritual, you know, and you could do, you know, I have a practice, I have a 30-day challenge, and it's only seven minutes every day. So it's just seven minutes. And I usually say, let's try it, guys, try seven minutes in the morning and see how you feel for 30 days. And you know, that's the same amount of time on your snooze button. So get up, do your seven minutes, get your lightning flash of vitality, and see how you feel. Usually, what happens is that people want to do more and more. The other good time to do it is some time at the end of the day when you could just say I need a little practice with whatever stress I picked up today, I want to clear it out so that I can sleep well, I can discharge it. I'm not, I'm not just accumulating stress each and every day, every day, I'm actually letting it go. And coming back to a place of balance or transforming it into a calm relaxation. So I love the flexibility of the practice to be able to meet you where you need. It doesn't have to be a morning practice. It definitely can be it doesn't have to be an evening practice. It can be the middle of the day, can be the late morning, you know, just do your practice and take charge of your energy. And that's really the most important thing.

Claudia von Boeselager 18:29
And you're saying even five minutes is okay, or you know, in some meditation types like to meditation, they say twice a day, 22 minutes, is there any sort of optimal Qi Gong for vitality? Protocol,

Lee Holden 18:42
right? And you know, this question is going to be very individual because we're all leading very different lives. So, I like to create practices that meet you where you need it. So I feel like, hey, everybody's got seven minutes to try this and do it each and every day. Whether it's before cooking dinner or before breakfast, do it together as a family and try it out. Usually, time is a very interesting thing. People say, Well, I'm busy, I got four kids, I got, you know, two jobs. I don't have enough time. And I'm like, for those people. I'm like, you don't have enough time not to do this practice. You need to be efficient. You need to be energized. You can't afford to be going through the day stressed out and fatigued. So get your practice in, and I think, you know, a great, great way of practicing 20-minute routines, fantastic. A one-hour routine is great. But if you don't have it, just do a 120-minute routine, you know, five days a week. Something like that is really a great way to keep your energy moving in the right direction.

Claudia von Boeselager 19:47
Beautiful, and are there different types of Qi Gong? Can you talk us through that and what are the differences in their characteristics like what makes them different?

Lee Holden 19:58
Absolutely. And you know, because you Gong is such an ancient practice. There are many styles of Qi Gong, I think there are something like 3,500 different styles of Qi Gong. So it's a lot. You know, let's say one form of Qi Gong would be Tai Chi. People don't know this. They know Tai Qi has its own thing, but it really can be a style of Qi Gong because Qi Gong is basically broken into three categories. Number one, medical Qi Gong exercises to prevent problems to create health and vitality. Number two, spiritual Qi Gong uses Qi Gong as a way to connect to the Divine, your Higher Self, and the universe. The third one is Qi Gong, which builds energy for martial arts. In martial arts, martial artists use Qi Gong as an exercise to build energy to create strength and flexibility. There's a lot of overlap between these styles. Like Tai Qi people usually do Tai Qi, Tai Qi is a form of energy cultivation relaxation. But originally, Tai Qi was a martial art. And every movement in the Tai Qi form is self-defense or a mark martial application. So you have these three distinct styles. I've really specialized in the medical Qi Gong, you know, helping people go like I have a headache. And then I'll say, here's the routine for a headache. Well, I have high blood pressure. Well, here's a routine for high blood pressure: I have neck pain. So I've created all these conditions, specific routines, to help people overcome their illnesses. I just saw so many people so frustrated with Western medicine, whether it's sitting in a doctor's office for hours or I need to go, you know, get a doctor's appointment. Oh, we can see you next month. Well, what am I going to do in the meantime, just suffer through and be worried about it? I wanted to give people things, and they could do tools and research that they could do immediately to help them activate their own natural healing power within themselves.

Claudia von Boeselager 22:06
so beautiful and so powerful. And the fact that you know, once you've learned the practice, it's free. You're not dependent on, you know, somebody else, or a machine or a doctor's office or an appointment, which is really phenomenal. But can you share with people listening? What are different use cases? So you mentioned, you know, with like headaches or, you know, stress, but what are other, as you said, medical scenarios where you have worked with people with, and maybe you can talk about some of the success that these patients and clients have had,

Lee Holden 22:37
it's really all walks, I mean, everything from neck pains, uh, you know, terminal cancer, Parkinson's, to insomnia. I mean, it's just like from mild, you know, health things to very, very severe. And we've seen miraculous things, absolutely miraculous things where it's just like, well, get your affairs in order, you know, you got a few months to live, people started their Qi Gong practice, and they are in remission. Now, why is this? It's not necessarily that the Qi Gong healed them or I created some magic formula. No, it's really you have healing power in your own body. Now, that healing power isn't activated when we're stressed out. It's it's a simple physiological explanation. Because when you are in survival mode, your body allocates all its resources to focus on the external and to be in fight or flight, right? So all your energy is going to your muscles, all your pupils are dilated, and your breath is fast. And so your body's like, we don't have time to self regulate and self heal, because we gotta be, we gotta be on alert for danger. When you can relax, you know, your energy moves from sympathetic to parasympathetic. What do we call parasympathetic? We call it rest and digest. So that means your energy is going back to your center, you're actually going to be able to digest your food because your body's like, we can digest now, we're not about to be eaten by a grizzly bear. Now, we can bring that energy inward. The other thing in parasympathetic is what happens. Your internal healing power gets activated and reignited. So you do your Qi Gong practice, it clears stress, you start to relax, and you start to feel really good. And all of a sudden, your body's like, oh, but we got problems in here. Let's start to clean it up. Let's start to heal. We all have tremendous healing power when we set up the right context, and Qi Gong sets up the right context for healing to happen.

Claudia von Boeselager 24:46
Does it also shift? So I think from an energetic perspective, let's say cancer cells would have a different energy than other healthy cells. Does it sort of detox and make clear that there are more stuck energies that can happen in the body? Is that also what's happening?

Lee Holden 25:04
Yep, it's called, you know, cancer would also be called stagnation; it could also be called depletion, like we're just completely depleted. So you don't have enough energy to actually your body to perform physiologically, and then this other energy takes over. So now, as you start to build healthy energy and get it to circulate, you know, there's a saying in Qi Gong flowing, water doesn't get stagnant, and the hinges of an active door don't get rusty. And the same is true of your body. So if you, if you are just sitting too long, stressed out, not moving, not breathing properly, your mind is full of worries, and you're emotionally stressed out, it's going to create stagnation. Over time, like stagnant water, that water just becomes, you know, gross and yucky, as those are those are official Chinese medicine terms. In that stagnation, what happens is you can get things like a tumor, you can get this prolific proliferation of bacteria, you know, negative energy, your immune system is dramatically compromised in those circumstances, get that Qi, get that energy to circulate. And again, your body's energy becomes like healthy flowing water. And it removes that stagnation. So that's where this practice can become magical and miraculous. All of a sudden, you get the energy to circulate, and your body responds, and you're like, Wow, I feel better. Not only do you feel better, you are better.

Claudia von Boeselager 26:39
And it would have an impact on mental health, as well, right? So, essentially, I was clearing the stress and clearing any of those negative charges.

Lee Holden 26:46
That's a big thing. For me, I think people really suffer from mental and emotional disturbance. And when they just people just don't know what to do, I'm, I'm stressed out, I'm anxious. We're always looking for something external to do or to take nothing wrong with that, but know that you have the power to shift your mind and your emotions. Now, the simple thing is that your emotions follow your body. So breathing, for example, is reflected in your emotional state. So if somebody's sad, how are they going to be? How are they going to breathe? They're gonna breathe shallow, their chest is going to sink down, right, and they're gonna breathe very shallow. And when someone is sad and depressed, they have a hard time inhaling. Alright, so they can't. extreme sadness also has a hard time exhaling, you know, like, we don't want to let go. So you can see, you can see how somebody's breathing and how they're feeling. Stress is slow, as is rapid breathing through the mouth.

Claudia von Boeselager 27:52
Shallow, right? All right, if you try

Lee Holden 27:55
this, if you look up, and everybody can try that, just kind of, you know, bring your chest up, look, bring your chin up, take a slow, deep breath through your nose. And it's a posture for happiness. In the same way, if you sink your chest and bring your chin down, you're gonna suddenly you're like, oh, people are gonna look at you and say what's wrong. So, change your body, change your breath, and your emotions will start to follow. Is this a simple technique? And, of course, there's much, much more to it. Because we've been ingrained with a lot of emotional patterns. But you can really help your body and your emotions by changing the way you're breathing and the way you're standing. And a simple thing is to like, for example, when you're really stressed out or nervous or anxious if you shake your body, this is a cheat. Like animals do, or you see an athlete before an event. They're like, they're shaking their breathing. You know, we don't do that before a meeting. We don't do that before we take our kids to school and get in the car. I mean, I do have. I have three teenagers. So I'm like, you know, three teenage girls. I get them a healthy breakfast in the car, no fighting, and to school on time. I'm like, Yes. Where's my gold medal? Okay, exactly. So I prep for that kind of stuff. Because you want to bring your best energy into the things you're doing in your life. And, you know, a Qi Gong exercise, I was shaking an audience; you can do this, really simply, by just taking your hands and shaking like this. You know, the heart meridian is right there on the inside of the wrist. So discharging it by shaking, shaking your wrist, and taking a few deep breaths is going to help you achieve is everybody doing it? Okay. I'll take a deep breath while you're shaking your wrist. Take a deep breath. Don't do this. If you're driving, guys, don't.

Claudia von Boeselager 29:48
do this. If you're driving. Keep your hand on the steering wheel, please. Yeah, do

Lee Holden 29:52
one hand at a time. And then, if you just put your hands in your lap, you're gonna feel a little buzz or tingle in your hands and your feet. fingers, now your Qi has been activated. The sensation of activated energy is electricity like electricity moving and tingling. And you want that tingling energy to move in your body. And this is just one little exercise, but you can really get this buzz, and energy and strong vibration were like, Wow, I feel so good. Most people don't know how good they can feel, you know, in a scale from zero to 10; most people are living at a three or a four, you know, these practices take you up to an eight or a nine, where you're just like, Yes, I feel great. I'm charged up. I'm excited about my day.

Claudia von Boeselager 30:38
Beautiful. What a nice way to set the day as well. And does it is it enough to just do the hands? Or do you think people should be shaking?

Lee Holden 30:46
You can. What you do is you when you stand up, you just bounce into your legs and you shake your arms, your spine, the back of your neck. That is a fantastic way of discharging stress. So anytime you if you feel stressed out, you stand up, shake for two minutes with real deep breathing, and you're gonna be like, Wow, where did it? Where did that stress go? It's, it's not in my body anymore.

Claudia von Boeselager 31:11
It's so amazing. And I mean, for people who have pets, they'll notice that as well. Like, you know that I have a dog, right? So if there's anything that bothers her, she'll kind of check it off. Either she's like very excited, or something kind of bit strange. She'll shake it off, and then she's fine again. And we forget to do that as humans. We're just like in the stress state the whole time, kind of wandering around the place and piling on the stress-energy over and over again. So, everyone listening, just remember the shake a bit more often. Plus, it's good for you. Right? So a little bit of movement. And

Lee Holden 31:39
when you're standing in line at the coffee shop, I mean, you know, what happens is you just like shaking, and the person in front of you is like, you know, buddy, you should go ahead of me. So not only nuclear stress, but you get to the front of the line faster,

Claudia von Boeselager 31:51
or everyone will get inspired, and you can break into dance. Exactly. Lee, I'd love to switch gears for a minute and just learn more and share with my audience more about your background. How did you get into this? And can you share a little bit about your journey?

Lee Holden 32:10
Yeah, you know, number one, I think you mentioned in my bio my parents were very much into creative visualization meditation, and hypnosis. They were sort of exploring all that all that stuff. Yeah, right on me. They took. Yeah, they're like, we took a weekend workshop on hypnosis. Let's try it on the kids.

Claudia von Boeselager 32:35
Like me and biohacking devices with my kids as well.

Lee Holden 32:38
Yeah, exactly. So, you know, my parents would come in and, you know, kind of count us down and lead us through meditation, and I started feeling energy. So I remember being about 15 years old, and just having this surge of energy, my body, tingling, buzzing electricity. And I was like, What is this? And it really wasn't until I was in college, like exploring a bookstore about Chinese medicine, tai Qi, meditation, and Qi Gong, that I started seeing meridian lines and acupuncture acupressure points. And I was like, that's what happened to me. And I got really interested. So I started reading books on it, and exploring, I went to, some workshops on the practice, and I was also a collegiate soccer player. So, playing collegiate soccer. At a school like UC Berkeley, it was very stressful. And I had a low back injury. And, you know, Qi Gong and acupuncture is what healed me. So I was like, my, by my junior year of college, I was like, I want to do more of this stuff. So, you know, interestingly enough, you know, the first Qi Gong book I bought at this bookstore, that particular teacher would come through my university town, and about once every six months, I take a workshop with him. And I kept asking him, Hey, can I work for you? And he finally hired me as a ghostwriter. I started writing his books and organising his material for him and taking a workshop. I'd write up notes, I'd help I'd help him organize it into a book format. And then he had me come as soon as I graduated, I went to Thailand. And that's kicked off my journey of traveling through Asia and starting and studying with various healing arts masters, Tai Qi masters, and Qi Gong masters, I go to China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand. And not only was I working with this master writing his books, I was also studying with a lot of other teachers. My question was, how do I explain all this esoteric wisdom to my soccer player friends who are now working in Silicon Valley and getting all stressed out? So I started really figuring out how to make this applicable to Westerners.

Claudia von Boeselager 34:52
Thank you for doing that leave because the world needs this and especially in the West as well. Obviously, in Eastern medicine, they're more familiar with it. And what were some of the most pivotal or profound insights during that journey and traveling in these incredible places around Asia? That really, really were a game changer for you?

Lee Holden 35:11
Yeah, well, you know, I mean, some of these masters just blew my mind on what the human potential is, you know, they could do incredible things, not only healing, but just when they would, you know, send you energy either through like an acupressure point, or just even from a distance, it was so tangible. It was, you know, startling and scary for me at first, because they're just so powerful. And I was like, Oh, these are these are the Olympic athletes of Qi Gong practice, these are the masters that have just reached a high level that most of us haven't achieved. So I've met a lot of those kinds of masters.

Claudia von Boeselager 35:55
So in terms of boosting energy, Li, what is the best way of implementing Qi Gong is that you were mentioning breath, and, you know, releasing some of the stress and things like that as well. But let's say someone is like going into that board meeting or presenting to 100 people on stage or whatever it might be. What is a beautiful way to use Qi Gong to really up your energy levels?

Lee Holden 36:17
Yeah, beautiful. And I think this is so key, I think of Qi Gong as the practice of increasing energy and decreasing stress. And you know, as you decrease stress, your energy levels will go up, just because you're not using your energy inefficiently. Well, one way to boost energy, and this is somewhat counterintuitive, is to move your body slowly and in sync with your breath. And so when you see people doing Qi Gong, they're moving slowly. And the reason is, that when you slow down, your body relaxes, and you're more receptive to taking energy in and circulating the energy you have within yourself efficiently. So it says really beautiful practice because you move your body slowly, when you slow down your body, you slow down your mind. There's, they're connected. And so there'll be all these different pattern movements, where you're moving very slowly, with relaxation, very gracefully, flowing like water. And all of a sudden, you're like, wow, I just feel not only more energized, but you feel this high-quality energy feels so good. And that is the beautiful thing about the practice because Qi Gong is called The Art of effortless power. Oh, that's a very good phrase. You just have to observe nature, and you're like, oh, wait a second, we're doing something counter to what nature is doing. You know, the river at the top of the mountain isn't all stressed out about getting to the ocean, it's not like, Oh, my God, look at all those rocks. How am I ever going to get around those rocks? No, that'd be a neurotic River, right? So nature actually moves very efficiently, very effortlessly. And we can, too. We just have been ingrained to be stressed out to feel busy, whether we are or not to feel anxious, our stress pattern is hyper-vigilant. And so we're getting all this stress when it's not necessary. And we need to do some practice to be able to relax, center and return to flow

Claudia von Boeselager 38:24
beautiful. And I think that's such a good analogy of people. I was just literally before our conversation, observing how beautifully the trees are just swaying in the breeze. And it's like this effortless ease and grace that that's happening with them yet, we all think we have too busy and here and the next thing and grabbing the coffee as we're running up the door. And we stress ourselves out so much. So I love the concept of boosting energy you slow down, and that will refocus and rebalance you and that energy that you have is not going to be stressed out, but actually to the beautiful power that you can have to, to create wonderful things in your life. So I love that, and I'd love to ask about detoxing and Qi Gong. And can you guide us through how you can use Qi Gong for detoxing and for increasing obviously your health and that regard as well?

Lee Holden 39:17
Yeah, yeah. And your body is naturally designed to get rid of toxins. So you know, we eat food, you know, a lot of it's nutritious and healthy. Your body is designed to eliminate the waste. Now what people I think this is fascinating, we are designed to do that emotionally as well. So we go through your day, you get stressed out, which is toxic. There's a lot of good things that happen, you know, like people say nice things to you, have a great conversation, you have a good laugh. What we tend to do as human beings is let go of the positive and hang on to the negative. So, detoxification emotionally would be hanging on to the positive and letting go of the negative. So what do we call this, we call this gratitude practice. You practice gratitude as I, oh, let's reverse it, let's not keep the stress and be like, Oh, that person said this, you know, you know, out of 100 things that happen, you know, 90 could be positive, and we're gonna hang on to those 10 Negative, change that transform that, you know, at the end of the day, think about, you know, a few things that you're really grateful for that you really appreciate it, put some energy attention and focus on it, because it does take training, we're more hardwired to focus on the negative emotions. We're just designed that way. It's part of our survival mode. So to be truly happy and to be relaxed, it takes some training with it. We're not that your system doesn't prioritize that. So, gratitude can be a good emotional detox. Now, physically, how do we physically detox so you can work on breathing you can? You can breathe from your belly because a lot of the diaphragmatic breathing is going to help to massage the organs and help detoxification. I don't know if people know this, but about 70% of toxicity is eliminated through exhaling; most of the toxins in your body are stored in your blood and we want to work on exhaling. Exhaling is an act of letting go. So longer exhales, long, much longer exhales like if you try exhaling right now, you're gonna find at the bottom of where you say was a normal exhale, there's a lot more breath that you could still blow out. Yeah. So, longer exhales there's really good. Now, in Qi Gong practice, we have a whole set of exercises called purging. And really, they're just about detoxing, clearing areas where you hold stress, letting go of emotions, you know, making sure that we're emptying out before we what we call tonifying, which means to bring in so you purge before you tonify as part of our practice, and we're going to do a whole bunch of those kinds of exercises right in the beginning of practice.

Claudia von Boeselager 42:15
Beautiful, so you're kind of having a fresh, fresh palate if you will, that you build upon. Yeah, you

Lee Holden 42:20
do the muddy water out before you pour the fresh water in

Claudia von Boeselager 42:24
the traditional Chinese medicine, sludge, and

Lee Holden 42:30
dredge channels,

Claudia von Boeselager 42:31
what are you excited most about in the Qi Gong space and getting your message out to the world? What's your vision for the next few years?

Lee Holden 42:39
I mean, I just love being on a podcast like this. I've been doing a lot of TV interviews, I'm going all over the country doing morning shows, and I'm teaching like the host of the morning shows, like a five-minute routine. And it's hilarious because some people I'm like, Oh, you don't know how to move the body. You just like, how does this thing work? How do I drive this thing, you know, like a simple movement, like, and they're just like, doing something completely different? And I'm like, oh, right, we're living up from our next up, but really don't know how to move their body with relaxation or with ease. And they don't know how to breathe. So I love teaching people these tools and resources because I see profound effects on their health and their overall enjoyment in life. So this is really inspiring. It's fun. For me, I'm passionate about it. You know, I'm doing all kinds of things online because I could just reach more people than I can if I'm just doing things live and in person. I do live and in-person events as well. But I love being online and teaching people how to circulate their energy and really help them to address those things that are bothering them with condition-specific routines. And so you know, I love people to just be in my class and get as many people doing it as possible.

Claudia von Boeselager 43:58
Beautiful. I wanted to ask you a question about something you mentioned before, and it was the more energetically aware you become through your practice. Are there any sort of negative implications? Are you much more sensitive, let's say to negative people or stressful situations that say you observe a fight or something like that, or are you not bothered? Because you know, you can clear it straight away.

Lee Holden 44:20
Right? And that's the hope. So the gong, the skill set of working with energy, is that yes, you become more sensitive, so you're more empathetic, you're more intuitive, you are more perceptive. But in that sensitivity, it's very important to be able to clear or to be able to delineate that's their energy. That's not my energy. You know, like at a buffet, you don't have to eat all the sugary foods. You can say like, that's their energy. I'm not going to choose to ingest that emotionally. We can do the same thing. And that's a skill set to say, hey, that's your energy. I can really be here and support you, and I can offer my listening, My presence, and my suggestions, but I don't have to take it on as my energy. This is extremely important for healthcare workers; whether you're an acupuncturist, a doctor, a psychologist, people are telling you about their problems all day long. So there are great Qi Gong routines just to keep you protected. If you are one of those sensitive people who feel like they take on other people's energy, emotions and stuff, you're just like, I don't know why I feel depressed. Or, you know, I had friends that were acupuncturists, and they would come home, they're like, I have a headache. And I have PMS. And I'm a guy, I don't know why I just took on all this energy, I better learn something to clear it

Claudia von Boeselager 45:37
up to fun. I think that's a very good point with people who maybe work in the medical or therapeutic professions that are dealing with sickness and illness and complaining the whole time that that can have a real impact on the psyche, right? So, being able to clear it out. Even just standing there and just shaking it up between patients is probably every time.

Lee Holden 45:56
Yeah, it is huge. And I think for those people. This is the time to do a, you know, a 1020 30 minute Qi Gong routine is at the end of the day, you know, a lot of just like clearing, move your body D breathing, a little resets, you know, a flowing moving meditation and you're just like, Whew, I'm back. Now, I can transition from being at work to coming home and not take all that energy of work into my family.

Claudia von Boeselager 46:24
Yeah, I think this is a great practice in front of the front door of the house. People can start to not bring it in right or love that. Yeah. That would be really, really great. Lee, if you could live to 150 years old, with excellent health, doing lots of Qi Gong, obviously, how would you spend it? Oh, my

Lee Holden 46:45
goodness, that that is that is my goal, right? That is definitely my goal. Qi Gong is called The Art of preventing disease and prolonging life. So, the Qi Gong masters were definitely the original biohackers. They were very interested in longevity because life is enjoyable when you're living it in a skillful way. And there are so many things to experience, and through experience, we gain wisdom. So the longer we're here, the more wisdom that we can gather and gain, the more we can share that wisdom with others. I think, for me, living into 150 would be enjoying my family and my community, seeing this beautiful world, and really being an instrument to help people live their best lives. I mean, I think that is really something that I'm extremely passionate about to help people create that shift. I think if there are more happy, healthy people on this planet, we're going to treat each other much, much better. And we're going to treat this beautiful planet that we live on. With respect, and honor, and enjoyment. Yeah,

Claudia von Boeselager 47:53
we share similar passions as well because then people can focus on living their true purpose right and creating a beautiful impact on the world. So here's to more of that. There's so much overlap with Qi Gong and longevity, so I love it. Yeah, absolutely. Lee, where can my listeners and people watching are interested in understanding Qi and qi gong for longevity purposes as well? Where can they find out what you're up to and find out more resources? For it?

Lee Holden 48:20
Beautiful? Yeah, come to my website at holding Qi So Qi Gong, QIG OMG, Holden, Qi And, you know, we have a subscription where people can just join on Zoom and take classes with me weekly. We have, you know, I do workshops, like three-hour workshops on specific topics, and I did one on longevity, Qi Gong for longevity, and it was great. It focuses on the principle of resiliency, which is strength and flexibility, like, like a tree in the wind, you know, it's strong, but it's also flexible. And that this workshop was really focused on that, and I learned this from a teacher of mine, who was 106. And she taught this whole set of movements, and she said, like, Hey, you do these movements, I guarantee you're gonna live past 100. And so I was like, I'm gonna learn those.

Claudia von Boeselager 49:16
I'd love to share the link with my audience. We'll put it in the show notes as well. So I'll get that separately off of you that were beautiful. And what about social media people?

Lee Holden 49:26
follow me on Instagram, holding Qi Gong official, and we have a great YouTube channel with lots of free content. It's Holden Qi Gong on YouTube. Yeah, subscribe there, and you get all kinds of great little videos and quick little routines for this, that, or the other ailments.

Claudia von Boeselager 49:43
Beautiful. Lee, do you have a final ask or recommendation or any parting thoughts or message from my audience today?

Lee Holden 49:51
Oh, wonderful. It was so nice to be here. I mean, I think you find your flow, find your own unique energy because you are unlike anybody else on this planet. And when you connect to it, that authentic expression comes forth. And you feel this effortless power moving through your life where, you know, unseen energy conspires with you rather than against you. And you know, whether it's a practice like Qi Gong or meditation, contemplation, you know, tune into who you truly are from the inside out.

Claudia von Boeselager 50:23
Beautiful. Thank you so much, Lee, for coming on today and sharing your wisdom with everyone interested in longevity. It sounds like we all need to get into Qi Gong very soon, so we'll be following your work. Lee,

Lee Holden 50:33
thank you so much, Claudia. Pleasure. Thank you.

I’m Claudia von Boeselager

Longevity Coach, detail-loving educator, big-thinking entrepreneur, podcaster, mama, passionate adventurer, and health optimization activist here to help people transform their lives, and reach their highest potential! All rolled into one.

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