Book Review: ‘The Way of Qigong’ by Ken Cohen

The problem with most books on Qi Gong or T’ai Chi is that they are very style specific, and aren’t really relevant to people not practicing that particular style. In ‘The Way Of Qigong’ Ken Cohen answers this problem with a wealth of knowledge and understanding of Qi Gong that is applicable and useful for everyone.

The detailed first section takes us through the basics – What is Qigong, where does it come from, and how does it work. Cohen gives detailed descriptions of the Chinese terms – Qi, Jing, Shen, The Dan Tian, and so on. Each is explained in simple terms, without resorting to jargon. We then have a very interesting section which discusses the research on Qigong, and the relationship of Qi to bioelectricity, hormones, light and consciousness.

Of most practical use is the next section, dealing with the specifics of Qigong practice. We are given detailed instruction on time and place of practice and the correct posture. Breathing techniques are also described in detail.

Cohen then goes on to describe specific Qigong exercises and meditations, including ancient forms such as the 8 Brocades, Bone Marrow Cleansing and the Taiji Ruler. The detailed descriptions and plentiful diagrams are enough to practice these exercises immediately at home.

Further sections go on to talk about An Mo Gong (self healing massage), which is hard to get information on, but a wonderful practice and something that always forms part of my morning routine, External Qi healing, ‘The Dao of Diet’, tea, and sexual Qigong.

All in all, this is a manual not only of history and background, but also of practical and useful techniques and information for Qigong practitioners of all styles. Ken Cohen has over 40 years of experience, and this shows through in the detail and the references to his own personal experiences, and also with quotes from the Qigong classics. A must for anyone interested in Qigong.

The book is available from and