Qigong & Tai Chi

Definition

Qigong: an ancient Chinese exercise and healing technique that involves meditation, controlled breathing, and movement exercises.

  • There are thousands of qigong styles, each with practical applications and different theories about Qi (“subtle breath” or “vital energy”) and Gong (“skill cultivated through steady practice”).

Tai Chi: an ancient Chinese discipline of meditative movements practiced as a system of exercises.

  • A type of Qigong.
  • The philosophy of tai chi is that everything consists of two opposing forces that harmonize with each other to create a whole.
    •  It was created by applying the concept of Tai Chi to very natural movements using relaxation and breathing to generate health, longevity, and internal strength and power.
  • The words tai chi chuan in Chinese means “supreme ultimate boxing”.

Common Questions

What is the difference between Qigong and Tai Chi?

Qigong:

  • Usually, a single move repeated over and over, and sometimes does not involve movement at all, but will focus only on breathing
  • Considered a free form practice
  • System of wellness

Tai Chi:

  • A series of multiple movements
  • Requires discipline to form and posture
  • Martial Art

What are the health benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi?

  • Improves balance
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces heart rate
  • Increasing heart variability
  • Eases depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Increased bone density in post-menopausal women
  • Improves the quality of life
  • Increases endurance
  • Improves immunity
  • Assists to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight

History

Qigong

  • Its origins date back over 2,000 years.
  • Origin attributed to the Yellow Emperor (2696–2598 BC) and the classic Huangdi Neijing book of internal medicine.
  • Confucius (551-479 BC) and Mencius (385-302 BC) are considered the founders of the Qigong scholar tradition through their writings.
  • The Taoist monks Lao Tzu (400 BC) and Chuang Tzu (300 BC) both discussed the principles of Qigong in their writings.

Tai Chi

  • Its origins date back over 700 years.
  • A Taoist monk named Zhang San Feng created it.

Resources

Qigong and Tai Chi are often offered at community centers, hospital networks, spiritual centers, and gyms.

  • If there are no classes in your area YouTube and media through your library are free resources!

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