Hello and welcome!
I’m Zoe Bicât, and I love sharing the benefits of Qigong for health and wellbeing. I would be honoured to support your health through my classes and the physical therapies I offer.
After studying for a BA (Hons) Degree at Warwick University, I began training in 2011 with the internationally recognised injury rehabilitation specialist Michael Newman (D.Ac, LCSP (Phy), who created the Manzou Method, a holistic way of working with illness and injury.
I qualified with a Diploma in Traditional Chinese Injury Rehabilitation accredited by the Acupuncture Society, under Michael’s tuition, which included learning Eight Silk Brocade Qigong and Ba Gua Circle Walking as forms of rehabilitative exercise. Clinic practise was part of my training, where I treated people recovering from injuries.
In 2013 I began teaching the Eight Silk Brocade and practising as a physical therapist. Wanting to deepen my practice, I completed the Shiatsu College’s two-year Qigong Teacher Training in 2016.
I have worked at Helix House Natural Health Centre, the Acupuncture Ecohouse, Oxford Brookes Sport, the Complementary Health Centre in Abingdon, and the Oxford Community Health Hub. In my role as a therapist I have treated all kinds of injuries, from those sustained in professional sports or traumatic injury, to chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. I also offer a regenerative whole-body acupressure massage for stress relief and rebalancing.
In 2014 I undertook a two-year Qigong Teacher Training course with the Shiatsu College, including ongoing CPD in Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi with Sifu Wing Cheung and my former tutors.
My journey with healing
I sustained a severe (Grade 3) lumbar disc prolapse at L4-L5 in my late twenties, and over the next 10 years I gradually experimented with various therapies and exercise classes. I discovered Qigong in 2011 when I started training for my Diploma in Traditional Chinese Injury Rehabilitation. I was working in a desk-bound job and suffering the inevitable consequences, and I quickly realised I’d found the perfect practice for my recovery.
Joining the teacher training at the Shiatsu College and studying Qigong more deeply, I began to notice the effect on my energy levels and my body’s ability to support coordinated, fluid movement. I also noticed how much peace I felt from the slowing and softening of my breath as it synchronised with the dance-like movements I was learning, and the spaces that seemed to open up inside the body.
After attending Yoga classes for 9 years, I developed a personal practice combining Qigong and Yoga. With dedication over the past 6 years I have reached a place that I thought was impossible. By others’ standards it may not seem extraordinary, but for me it is miraculous. I can flex and extend my spine in ways I only dreamed I’d be able to after injuring my back. It’s never just my spine or my ribcage that opens when I practice, it is the whole of me: body, breath, mind, spirit. When that happens, I feel free. Of course the journey isn’t over, and there are many aspects of being human that involve healing! But I have regained the pleasure of freer movement, and I have more resources to support myself when times are challenging.
What works for me might not work for you. But if you are recovering from injury or working with a congenital condition that affects your health, I encourage you not to give up hope, to seek expert guidance, but most importantly to find your own way into a gentle and committed awareness of your body and your being in movement and stillness. It doesn’t have to take long. Just 5 or 10 minutes a day can start a transformation. Whether you do that through Alexander Technique, dance, Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, cranio-sacral therapy, Pilates or another form, I believe this is the first step in healing towards strength and vitality. Our bodies and souls often know how to heal; we just have to give them the chance.