Healing Arts Committee


   The Performance and Healing Arts have always been an important part of Comfest. In the early 70's, Comfest built a huge homemade inflatable structure that had art and performances inside. In the 80's, many different versions of an Arts Stage were tried. These were usually presented in an Arts Tent that  sometimes included visual art, acoustic music and children's entertainment as well as performance and healing arts. This eventually led to a handmade Dance Stage that eventually became the Live Arts Stage.

   The Live Arts Stage has presented chanting, poetry,, improv., theatre,  hip-hop,  drumming and dancing, puppets, youth performers, bagpipes and storytellers, traditional, ethnic  other acoustic music as well as demonstrations of dance, performance and healing arts. Some of these also include audience participation.

    The Live Arts Stage offered performances and demonstrations of Healing Arts. Classes and workshops were scheduled nearby off-stage, starting as early as 8AM.  In 2007, we added a Healing Tent, near The Live Arts Stage, where we are better able to present classes, lectures and workshops. Because some workshops and classes are also presented in the area outside the Healing Tent and because of the peaceful spiritual vibration manifested there, we call that area The Healing Zone.

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   A major purpose of The Healing Zone is to present some of the many ways to keep ourselves healthy by using alternative and traditional medicine to treat our bodies and nurture our spirits. Ancient traditions provide many natural paths to self-healing. They can teach us time-tested methods that show us how we can prevent illnesses and live to our full potentials. Preventive medicine is an important health care issue that is just beginning to be explored. Many people get sick and die when they don't need to. We can learn methods to heal ourselves of many ailments without relying solely on doctors and expensive, often dangerous pharmaceuticals.  Keeping one's immune system strong is the best way to keep oneself healthy and prevent disease. 

   We are offering workshops and presentations as well as performances by leading teachers and practitioners of many forms of healing arts.  These healing artists represent a small segment of the many excellent teachers in Columbus. In addition to these local practitioners, we will be bringing in a couple of outside teachers.

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   We are offering workshops and presentations as well as performances by leading teachers and practitioners of many forms of healing arts.  These healing artists represent a small segment of the many excellent teachers in Columbus. In addition to these local practitioners, we will be bringing in a couple of outside teachers.

   Our featured healing artist this year will be Master Zhongxian Wu, who was also here in 2007.  Master Wu exemplifies the relationship of the Healing Arts  to other Art.  Master Wu has committed himself to the life-long pursuit of the ancient arts of internal cultivation through the Classical Chinese Wisdom Traditions, which includes the study of Chinese Painting, Calligraphy, Classical Chinese Music and Dance as well as Qigong (Chi Kung), Martial Arts, Chinese Medicine, Chinese Astrology and Yijing (I Ching) Science.  Master Wu has studied with some of the best teachers in these fields and is dedicated to the support of everyone who is on this path to healing, peace, harmony, and Enlightenment.

   What all these traditions have in common is Qi (Chi). Qi can mean "breath", but a more accurate term is Vital Energy or Life Force. Qigong (Chi Kung) is the science or exercise of cultivating the bodies internal energy (which the Chinese have been researching for the last four thousand years). Qigong by itself or in conjunction with Taiji (Tai Chi) helps develop energy, promote health, aid in self-defense and help prevent illness and achieve mental and spiritual peace.   Over his past 20 years of teaching, Master Wu has seen many people cure themselves from physical and mental suffering and through their inner cultivation transform their lives to peace and harmony.

   Master Wu will be giving workshops in Qigong (Chi Kung), Chinese Calligraphy, Yijing (I Ching) and Herbal Medicine and other aspects of traditional Chinese Medicine.  At the Live Arts Stage on sat. he will be performing his own music on an ancient Chinese instrument called Qin and then he will be part of a Tai Chi demonstation there that will feature live music by Paul Brown. Master Wu will be leading us in ritual shaking at various places throughout the festival. Dancing and music are forms of vibration, as is shaking. When practicing Qigong, Master Wu always begins with shaking in order to open the pores, connect with the Shen (Spirit) and Qi fields, and communicate with the Universe. 

   Master Zhongxian Wu was born on China's eastern shore in the city of Wenlin in Zhejiang Province. He was inspired at an early age by practicing Qigong and Taiji and recognized the immediate strengthening effects of this practice.

    Master Wu has written two books in English.  His first was Vital Breath of Dao: Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong and  there is a also dvd of that name. He will be giving several workshops on this unique form of Qigong. His second book in English on the I Ching is entitled Seeking The Spirit of The Book of Change and was just published in May 2009.  He has written a number of books in Chinese and many articles for journals and magazines, and he is the subject of numerous articles and interviews. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon. For more information on Master Wu visit his website at: http://www.masterwu.net.

   Our other guest Healing Artist, Frances Gander, blends five element acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, enriched by techniques and theories from other traditions. She teaches Tai Chi (Taiji) and Chi Kung (Qigong); Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Healing Foods & Herbs and more. State licensed by the Medical Board of Ohio, nationally board-certified by NCCAOM, and a graduate of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute in Columbia, Maryland, she has been in practice since 1993. Her healing arts are enhanced by nearly 30 years of internal arts practice (taijiquan and qigong). She runs the Three Treasures Health Center in Athens, Ohio and publishes the Journal of Martial Arts and Healing.  Her website is: http://home.frognet.net/~threetreasures.

   Some of the local healing artists that are planning to give workshops this year include Sipra Pimputkar, Stacey Wiggins, Dr. Sandy Golenberg), Lori Moffett from Alphastate,  Brandy Zink, Meg Scott, Kimberly Kalfas, Chen Taiji of Ohio, Heather Tapia and Caroline Schleppi. Workshop areas of interest will include Hatha, Laughter and Restorative Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong,  Natural Chilbirth, Nutrition and Living in the Love Vibration.