A quiet place aids peace and serenity
Gentle Tai Chi Practice
Tai Chi is a gentle practice that helps to ease aches and pains. It is a gentle form of exercise. Because of its gentle movements it is especially suited to the elderly although it can be done by anyone, from children to adults. Children often prefer the more active form of tai chi - Kung Fu. They are also familiar with this through the popular film of the same name.
Qi Gong is another form of Tai Chi. It focuses more on breathing and slow movement. Its movements focus more on the arms than combining legs and arms as in tai chi.
How does Tai Chi Work?
The slow movements of tai chi and qi gong are designed to open up the meridians, the energy channels of the body. When these channels are open, the energy can flow easily, thus clearing any blockages or stagnant energy. When there is blocked energy we get aches and pains and other symptoms of ill health.
The mind is part of the whole person. Remembering the sequence of moves of tai chi also helps the mind. People look at others doing tai chi and qi gong. It looks so easy and simple. However trying to remember all the moves can be challenging.
It is a much better idea to be able to remember the sequence of moves because then you can do tai chi and qi gong wherever you are and at any time in your life. If you rely only on 'follow the leader' type classes, you have to be in the class to do the moves, otherwise you cannot remember them for yourself.
Scientific Studies to Prove the Health Benefits
These gentle Chinese forms of exercise have been proven to help the body and the mind. Much study has been done on them at universities both in China and in the West to scientifically prove the health benefits. Because Tai chi challenges the memory, it is good exercise for the brain. Any exercise for the brain helps to ward off Alzheimer's Disease. There are forms of tai chi developed especially for Diabetes and Arthritis although any form of tai chi or qi gong will benefit the body. There are also specific forms of medical qi gong.
When Annie started doing tai chi she had great difficulty with her shoulders as well as lots of other parts of her. She had been ill for some time. It was hard to lift her arms very far and her shoulders hurt with the movement. She used to get angry at having to be shown how to do the exercises all the time. She used to get angry at herself because she could not remember, even immediately after she had been shown.
However, Annie turned up to classes each week. Sometimes she would not appear when things got too much for her. But then she was there again, ready to learn the next movement.
Gradually her shoulders loosened up and did not hurt anymore. Slowly her mind began to work and she found she could remember some of the moves. After each achievement, the next one was not so far away.
It became easier and easier. Her body loosened up, she lost her anger. and she was so happy that she had achieved. Now she can do tai chi every day at home or wherever she is. She found that it was a good idea to do the movements regularly to keep her body supple as it warded off most of her aches and pains.
Annie found that when she started the class each week she was not feeling well but as she performed the exercises her mood changed and by the end of the class she was feeling great. When this happened Annie became to come to classes more regularly because she knew that, even though she didn't feel great at the start, she soon would.
Finding a Good Teacher
It is worth finding someone who can guide you through tai chi. You will get so much more information about how to do the movements and why they are done in a particular sequence.
If you are in pain you should adjust the movements so that they are comfortable for you. If you find a considerate teacher, he/she will help you to do this so that they do not cause you extra pain. Tai chi exercises can also be adjusted for people in wheelchairs.
Have a great day!
The regular practice of Qi Gong brings serenity and health
Qi Gong for Health
The benefits of Tai Chi are becoming known around the world. People are beginning to practice it more often in the western society. Millions of people in China have benefited from its health promoting exercise for centuries. It is common to see people gather together in China to do their regular exercise, especially early in the morning before their work day begins.
Qi gong and the Meridians
Qi Gong is a lesser known form of tai chi in the Western society. Some say Tai chi is a form of Qi Gong. Qi means energy or life force. I have talked about the energy flowing through the meridians in our body before. Meridians are invisible channels through which this energy travels. Qi is the name the Chinese give to describe this energy.
Qi travels around the whole body, not just a part of it. It affects the whole person. Therefore when some part of our body is blocked with emotions, the energy to this area is blocked and becomes stagnant. Think of the example when someone is blocked with grief and cannot express themselves - the throat is blocked and the words will not come out.
The practising of qi gong helps to unblock these areas, opening up the channels for the energy to flow again.
'The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.' (See link below)
Qi Gong and the Emotions
Our emotions as well as our physical health and the state of our mind can all be influenced for the better by the regular practice of Tai chi or Qi Gong.
The Chinese medicine system treats the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts of our systen as a whole. Illness is a result of blockages of the energy or imbalances in the whole person.
Qi gong helps calm the mind. It is a set of simple, meditative exercises combined with the breath and a focus of intention. It helps us to keep healthy or become healthy. It helps reduce stress when practised regularly.
Qi gong and Tai chi are especially good for seniors. It improves the balance, strengthens the legs and the breathing. Regular practice has a benefit for the elderly helping to lessen the number of falls they have.
Tai Chi in China
We have been priviledged to spend a few hours watching the best people in Tai Chi in the world practising their routines. They practice 8 hous a day every day and are the fittest people and most energetic, all from tai chi.
I encourage you to seek out a class near you to get you started. Usually the people involved in Tai chi and Qi gong are lovely people.
Our Immune System
Our immune system is very important. It helps us ward off 'bacteria, toxic chemicals, and viruses that cause conditions like the common cold and flu.' (from altmedicine.about.com see reference below)
We can support out immune system by paying particular attention to out diet, exercise, the stressors in our life, sleep and hygiene. We can also support our immune system by taking herbal supplements, flower essences and homeopathy.
A diet rich in antioxidants will help our immune system These antioxidants kill off free radicals. Free radicals damage our DNA and suppress our immune system. Antioxidants are found in fruit and vegetables.
Drink lots of water to flush out the waste from your system. Keep away from sugary foods or drinks.
When we exercise it stimulates the T cells in our blood. These guard against infections. Walking regularly is a great exercise.
Prolonged stress wears down the immune system. Meditation, Tai chi or Qi Gong are good ways to relieve stress.
Tip: When learning Tai Chi or Qi Gong, find a teacher who will teach you step by step. This way you will remember the movements and be able to replicate them on your own wherever you are in life. When people attend 'Follow the leader' classes, that is just what they are doing. When they get home after the class, very often they cannot remember the movements on their own.
Our body and mind needs to rejuvenate and process the events of the day. We need about 8 hours of sleep to do this properly. Go easy on the caffeine. This is in coffee, milk coffee drinks, colas and chocolate.
Tip: Herbs like Valerian and Kava can help with this.
Keeping our hands clean is very important. We tend to neglect this because things around us appear clean. However we cannot see the germs lurking on our skin.
Tip: Good times to wash your hands are
before preparing food
after coughing or sneezing
after wiping your child's nose
after going to the toilet
after changing your child's nappy
Magnesium is a natural sedative. It is found in legumes, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, almonds and cashews. It is also good to take as a supplement.
We only have one body for our lifetime. If we look after it by following the steps above we will improve our immune system and banish those niggling allergies.
Tell us your secret to good health.
Link for more info
Tai Chi has been proven to be good for your health.
In a recent study the practice by older adults was shown to increase the size of the brain.
Tai Chi has also been proven to benefit people with Arthritis and Diabetes. It can also help people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Tai Chi is a low impact form of movement that people practice to their ability. Tai Chi can also be practised by people confined to a chair.
Tai Chi opens up the meridians or energy channels of the body and allows the energy in the body to flow more easily. When we are unwell the energy channels are blocked. With daily practice these energy channels can open and we feel more open, more flowing, more free from pain.
8 Reasons people do Tai Chi
Tai Chi students come from all walks of life. They come for all sorts of reasons.
They want to :-
be more flexible physically
improve their body so that they are free of pain
learn to walk again
get help with Parkinson's disease
learn to relax
meet like minded people
improve their co-ordination
Daily practice of Tai Chi improves our health. Have you thought of doing Tai Chi?
I am a trained Natural Therapist, Teacher, published Author and Artist who lives on the south eastern coast of Australia.
Click here to see info on my book about Allergies and Chronic Fatigue
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The topics on this site are the opinion of the author and as such are only for research and educational purposes. Any products used or statements made are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always use your own best judgment and consult a medical professional when making important health care choices.