About Tai Chi - Qi Gong
History and Philosophy of Tai Chi & Qi Gong
Tai Chi is an ancient discipline that derived from the system of Chinese Martial Arts influenced by the philosophies of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism teachings. The historical meaning of Tai Chi (or in formal name T´ai Chi Ch´uan) translates into "Supreme Ultimate Fist", "Boundless Fist" or "Internal Martial Art" and its modern day practice is generally taught in a soft martial art style rather than the traditional known self-defense training. Tai Chi is also well known for its related core concept of Yin Yang which engulfs the principle thought, "balance of the opposing forces of nature", which coexist in the universe, nature, animals, and the human body. These elements are sometimes referred to as associated opposites that are complementary to one another such as dark-light, fire-water, feminine-masculine, etc. Tai Chi has also been noted for its transitional movement exercises imitating the natural stances and poses of animals. Learning and practicing Tai Chi has many health benefits in contributing to a healthy style of living.
Qi Gong roots have been engrained in the ancient medicine culture of the Chinese health care system influenced by the philosophies of Doaism, Buddhism, and Confucianism teachings with its medicinal use focusing on body wellness through movement, breathing, and meditation. The historic meaning of Qi Gong is associated to "Energy Cultivation", "Life Energy" or "Life Force" and its modern day practice is generally taught as an internal-use style focusing on self cultivation verses external-use treatment using therapist intervention. Qi Gong practices slow meditative movements that can address treating the mental and physical aspects of the body through its use of martial arts, medicinal healing, and spiritual wellness.
Both Tai Chi & Qi Gong have many health benefits in common and their associated form techniques contribute to overall body wellness while harmonizing with oneself and the surrounding environment. In short, they are considered gentle meditative exercises for the mind and body while improving energy flow and increasing a healthy way of living.
Qi Gong Health Benefits
- Effectively helps deal with stress by calming the body and mind through meditational focus techniques.
- Trains the mind and helps increase focus by directing the ‘chi’ energy flow to any part of the body while achieving a natural state of balance.
- Helps regulate breathing and increases meditative focus to relax the mind, muscles, and inner organs to improve circulation, relieve pain, and restore health.
- Is believed to have healing power for certain medical effects on the body such as lowering blood pressure, enhancing the immune system, strengthening the heart, lungs and nervous system, increasing concentration and awareness.
- Strengthens body with increased stamina and decreases risk of falling by improving balance and preventing joint injuries while building strength and flexibility.
Tai Chi and Stress Relief Benefits
- Swordplay, breathing, relaxation, toning, stretching, increased balance, and muscle
tone, flow, and reducing stress, - this is Tai Chi
- Tai Chi is a form of exercise through movement meditation. The movements are performed is a slow and gentle fashion designed to promote health, vigor and inner peace.
- Tai Chi is a 3,000 year-old ancient Chinese art. In ancient China it had its beginnings in the martial arts, but now is taught for mostly health benefits and harmony with life.
- Tai Chi means, "Ultimate Energy". It is similar to Yoga combining the some of the familiar stretches associated with Yoga, but offers a different element of achieving relaxation, flow, harmony, and inner calmness. In both arts, Yoga and Tai Chi, the exercise opens the joints while building and toning the body.
- Studies have shown that the practice of Tai Chi, along with the elimination of an unhealthy lifestyle can slow down the heart rate, improve respiration, balance stress, relax and restore proper posture, promote deep breathing, aid in digestion, and the function of internal organs and promote better blood circulation. In addition, studies show that it strengthens the immune system and helps to lower high blood pressure.
Tai Chi is performed at your own skill level - no pressure or competition. It is important to keep it fun - otherwise you won't do it! You have to laugh at yourself when you are learning something new for the first time - it's like a game and in the process of playing, you over time acquire the skills to perform the art. The art of Tai Chi allows you to experience yourself in the moment - it is often described as,
the "art of letting go", or "investing in loss". Ah…, There you are Hidden!
Tai Chi Zen Things
- Do one thing at a time.
- Do it slowly and deliberately.
- Do it completely.
- Do less.
- Put space between things.
- Develop rituals.
"The body is like the hinges of a door;
if the hinges are not utilized, they will eventually rust."