Tai Chi and Qi Gong
What is Tai Chi?
Most people are vaguely familiar with the concept of tai chi. Gently flowing and carefully choreographed movements that resemble a very slow-movingmartial art. Tai Chi very roughly translates as shadow boxing. The aim of Tai Chi is to move with subtlety and grace in order to express the natural flow of Qi (energy) in the body in order to promote health. Tai Chi both requires and cultivates patience. In order to make the movements flow seamlessly it requires long hours of training and repetition.
What are the benefits of Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is the outward expression of Qi. Through the specially choreographed movements we encourage the Qi to flow through muscle, bone and joints, releasing stagnation and promoting health. Tai Chi is like a form of meditative movement and mindfulness. We focus on subtle conscious awareness and intention on the flow of Qi, we co-ordinate our breath and we let go of all distractions, surrendering to the moment and profound sense of peace within.
What is Qi Gong?
If Tai Chi is the base of the tree, Qi Gong is the roots. Qi Gong roughly translates as energy work. Tai Chi is a dynamic form of Qi Gong. Qi Gong is an even more subtle form of exercise than Tai Chi. It resembles a form of standing meditation in which we co-ordinate gentle movements of the hands and body with the breath. In many ways Qi Gong is a more physically gentle form of exercise than Tai Chi and is suitable for practice by more elderly or incapacitated participants. That’s not to say those who are young, energetic and healthy can’t benefit from it. It’s like a more internal form of cultivation and movement of energy than Tai Chi. Qi Gong potentises the Tai Chi practice making it more powerful. Speaking as an acupuncturist Qi Gong also enhances an acupuncturists ability to manipulate and move Qi in the body making the physical aspect of treatment more effective.
What are the Benefits of Qi Gong?
Like Tai Chi, Qi gong is a health promoting practice. It moves Qi through the muscle, bone and joints but through intention it also works on a deeper level to energise and vitalise the organs. That’s not to say Tai Chi doesn’t benefit the organs but Qi Gong enhances in a much more concentrated way. Like Tai Chi it also calms the mind and promotes a state of meditative mindfulness. I always begin a Tai Chi class with a Qi Gong practice in order to awaken and invigorate the Qi before moving and releasing it with Tai Chi.
Tai Chi and Qi Gong
Michael has been practicing Qi Gong since 2002 and qualified as a Tai Chi and Qi Gong instructor with the Jade Sun School under the tutelage of his mentor, Gary Collins, in 2012. Michael is available for bespoke one on one and group classes and facilitation upon request.