For Jenny Bertram, the art and nature of Qi Gong is a way of life that has been with her for over thirty years. For Jenny, the practice of Qi Gong is an expression of self that lies at the intersection of service, personal exploration, and connection to the natural world. So, when Holden Qi Gong decided to hire a teacher liaison to support our students, Jenny was the ideal candidate.
In this blog, we share Jenny’s inspiring story as a lifelong student of natural healing modalities. Through her skillful service and warm presence, she’s quickly become a part of the Holden Qi Gong Family and is adored by both students and colleagues alike.
As a child, Jenny loved playing in the garden and nearby forests while learning about plants and all the wildlife around her. Even before she knew about herbal medicine, she was captivated by the nourishing energy that all of nature has to offer. As soon as she got a hold of herbal books, she quickly started looking for remedies to common ailments such as chickenpox or the flu.
Because her mother was a care provider at the local hospital, Jenny was able to peer into the world of western medicine at an early age. She had a genuine curiosity about healing and wellness, and naturally gravitated toward taking care of her five siblings when they were sick or needed support. Even her stuffed animals received bandages and “medical attention.”
It didn’t take long for Jenny to know that she wanted to be a healing practitioner. She studied science to learn more about the human body and decided to go to medical school to become an Environmental Epidemiologist. Herbology and homeopathy also continued to be of great interest to her.
As a young adult, a couple of poignant experiences prompted Jenny to pivot in her path as a healing arts practitioner. While in medical school, she lost her best friend to cancer. Because Jenny had been his primary caregiver, she saw firsthand how various schools of medicine impact healing and healthcare in various ways.
Shortly after his death, due to the stress and emotional grief, Jenny was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. Despite her doctors’ best attempts, western medicine was unable to provide her with an effective treatment.
Discovering the Power of Chinese Medicine
During her learning journey, Jenny felt confident that nature held immense wisdom that could be channeled for healing. She knew that the natural world gravtitated toward a state of harmony, and that humans could experience that harmony by attuning themselves to the lessons of nature. In a courageous decision, Jenny left medical school to further explore other modalities for health and healing.
Her decision was confirmed after curing her thyroid condition through acupuncture, nutrition, and herbal remedies. Simply by nourishing herself appropriately while removing internal blockages and circulating energy (Qi) Jenny was able to overcome her health challenges and regain vitality.
Inspired by the innate healing potential of the body, she moved to San Diego, California to pursue a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine where she was quickly introduced to Tai Chi and Qi Gong by a Taoist priest. After starting her program, she transferred to Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, California. In part, it was the rich, coastal soil and towering redwood trees that drew her to northern California.
Jenny fell in love with Santa Cruz where she deepened her relationship with the elements of nature and with her passion of acupuncture, Qi Gong, and mind training through meditation. She loved how the practices enabled her to work directly with her internal energy to cultivate the states of being she wished to experience. She also recognized the importance of sharing Qi Gong with others and empowering them to take an active and important role in their own healing journies.
Jenny’s Approach to Healing and Well Being
When asked about her role as a healer, Jenny responds with simple humility: “It doesn’t have anything to do with me; I’m just a conductor helping the energy move.” Jenny recognizes that healing is about unlocking the body’s innate wisdom and allowing Qi to flow freely and harmoniously.
Jenny also makes it clear that she doesn’t believe in “fixing people.” Rather, Jenny’s approach is to create a safe space for people to be their own, individual beings. She asks lots of questions to help patients access their own, intrinsic wisdom, and that is when healing takes place. It’s like helping someone learn how to “ride the wave” of the body’s natural healing potential. That analogy, no doubt, was inspired by her time in Santa Cruz next to the ocean. Jenny integrates acupuncture, dietetics, herbology, Qi Gong, and meditation into her healing practice.
After practicing for five years, she studied and received her second Master’s degree—a Masters of Divinity at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. There, she learned a variety of meditation and mind-training practices that further enriched her capacity as a healer and teacher.
Jenny’s Role at Holden QiGong
As the Holden QiGong Teacher Liaison, Jenny supports our teacher trainees through their journeys. This includes answering questions about course materials, providing instructional guidance, and offering emotional and spiritual support. As any teacher trainee knows, the program invites students to go into deep self-exploration and cultivation. Since Jenny has been through the training herself and is a Certified Holden QiGong Teacher, she’s able to help students fully integrate the lessons that our courses offer.
Jenny is also a highly empathetic and compassionate person. When combined with her excellent communication skills, there’s no better person to hold space for our students and support them in their journies. These qualities also make her a wonderful colleague.
Interests and Personal Life
Jenny lives with her husband in Colorado’s rugged Rocky Mountains in the high country next to the city of Boulder. Each morning, she wakes up at 4:30am to start her day with some Qi Gong and meditation. When she’s not working, she can often be found sharing nature and leading hikes along the numerous peaks she enjoys climbing. She also loves trail running and picnics with her best friends.
Music has always been a big part of Jenny’s life. Although her early morning routine reflects great discipline and dedication to her practice, she’s quick to point out that sometimes staying up late for a live music show to dance with loved ones is what nourishes the soul the most. Reading and reflective time with ancient classic texts also hold an important place in Jenny’s life.
When asked about her intentions for the future, Jenny talks about her desire to “bring Qi Gong into all the nooks and crannies of the world.” Having experienced how powerful the practice is for herself personally, she’s dedicated to sharing it with as many people as possible. At Holden QiGong, we couldn’t be more excited to have Jenny onboard as we work together to succeed in that collective goal!
If you’re interested in expanding your practice, be sure to check out the Holden QiGong Teacher Training program that Jenny serves as the liaison for.
Elevate Your Practice By Becoming a Holden QiGong Certified Teacher
The Holden QiGong Teacher Training program is our most in-depth learning experience that leads you on an exciting journey with other like-minded students. Through this process, you’ll learn a variety of Qi Gong practices that can serve you in all aspects of life, from personal wellness to your professional career.
As Teacher Training liaison, Jenny is an important part of the program, and all teacher training students have the opportunity to work with her directly as they progress through the lessons. Click on the banner below to learn more about how the Holden QiGong Teacher Training program can help you elevate your practice and live a more fulfilling life.
PS. To learn more about Jenny’s story, method of healing, and philosophy, check out Jenny’s website, J-Bird’s Healing Arts and Wellness.