The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing by Kenneth S. Cohen
(I'm trying out a new reviewing system. It's based on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the highest)
Summary: The Way of Qigong (pronounced "chi gung") by Kenneth S. Cohen is a great book about the Chinese theory of energy healing, known as qigong.
This book has an amazing amount of information in it. The types of exercises in it range from passive and meditative to very active. There are diagrams to help with the active qigong, and there are great descriptions for the meditative qigong. There is a great chapter on the history of qigong, and also a lot about the qigong lifestyle, not just the physical aspect of qigong. I doubt a book could have much more information than this one does without being ridiculously long.
The book is perfectly organized. There are chapters solely devoted to the history and science of qigong, there are chapters dedicated to breathing habits alone, relaxation, internal/external qigong, you name it, there's a chapter. The division of these topics into chapters makes it easy to read and easy to find whatever you're looking for. The index also helps with that. When reading this book, I never found myself in a place where I couldn't find what I was looking for. There's even a section in the back that gives a schedule for a new self-teaching qigong student, which was very useful to me.
User Friendliness: 9
The language in this book is very easy to understand. There were occasions when I felt a bit overwhelmed with the terms used, but other than that, it's extremely user friendly. It treats the reader as if they have absolutely no information about qigong prior to reading the book, but it doesn't baby the reader, making them feel stupid. Cohen uses very appropriate language for people who have and haven't learned anything about qigong.
This book has been very useful to me. I've tried some of the meditations and the active qigong in the book, and every time I have, I've felt more alive, more energetic. At times, it feels as if you'll never get to do some of the things in the book, that they're too complex, but you just need to realize that this, like everything and anything else, takes time. You're not going to become a qigong master overnight, and Cohen points this out quite well in the book.
I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning about qigong. Qigong is a wonderful way to make your life better. In this book, Cohen notes several pieces of physical and metaphysical evidence that qigong works.