Karen Fletcher is a cultural anthropologist, certified qigong instructor, and wilderness expedition leader who has taught qigong and Barefoot EarthWisdom for many years. As the founding Board President of the North American Zhong Yuan Qigong Association, Karen Fletcher is dedicated to bringing the teachings, wisdom, and mastery of the Chinese healing arts to people of all ages and cultures. She speaks and teaches qigong in nonprofit and cooperate settings, as well as at conferences such as the Seattle Bioneers, Women of Wisdom, and Oregon State University’s annual Gerontology Conference. In addition, she teaches qigong and dance (known as QiDancing) internationally.
She began her journey in the Chinese healing arts in 1995 with the study in tai chi, qigong, and Buddhist meditation. A private student of Zhong Yuan qigong grandmaster Xu Mingtang, she has trained intensively with Xu Mingtang at Shaolin Monastery in China, as well as traveling with him worldwide. Karen also studies with one of China's 85 top-level certified master Chinese Medicine doctors, Dr. Zhao Fuxue.
Inspired by her friendship and extensive training with Mick Dodge (the Barefoot Sensei), she takes her qigong into the mountains and trains in the wilderness. To give back and share the joy, vitality, and wisdom gained from connecting with nature, Karen created a variety of venues, including her weekly outdoor Qigong With Trees and Explore Your Earth Gym classes and citywide Earth Gym play dates at local parks. These events combine the fundamentals of qigong practice with Earth Gym training, using "natural gym" equipment, such as stones, staffs, and ropes with trees.
Karen Fletcher also leads regular qigong and wilderness events in the Pacific Northwest, and leads qigong and wilderness trekking trips in Western China.