Stress Relief with Tai Chi and Qigong
Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient Chinese exercises which have been around for about two thousand years. This ‘moving meditation’ is absolutely wonderful for relieving stress. The millions of Chinese who practise it every day can’t be wrong!
What makes stress relief with Tai Chi and Qigong so special? First of all we will look at what the definitions of Tai Chi and Qigong (Chi Kung) are.
Definition of Tai Chi
Tai Chi, also called Tai Chi Chuan, is a Chinese form of physical exercise which focuses on relaxation, balance and health. These slow meditative movements are a form of self-defence and meditation.
Tai Chi is designed to help condition the body and focus the mind with the slow flowing movements and controlled breathing. Stress relief with tai chi are perfect partners.
Tai Chi is also considered to be a martial art and resembles a slowed down form of Kung Fu.
Definition of Qigong (Chi Kung)
Qigong is split into two words. Qi means vital energy and Gong means work in relation to a discipline. Therefore Qigong means energy work or breath work.
The Chinese principle of Qi is the same as the Indian principle of Prana. Both traditions believe that the body is made up of a ‘life force’ energy. This life force energy is replenished by the breath.
Qigong exercises blend different breathing patterns with various postures.
The difference between Tai Chi and Qigong
Tai Chi has a set form of exercises and is more seen as a martial art.
Qigong on the other hand encompasses a broad range of exercise and practises. Qigong is also mainly taught for health purposes. Qigong exercises are focussed on increasing the Qi energy flow.
What are the Health Benefits of Tai Chi/ Qigong?
From a personal perspective, stress relief with Tai Chi and Qigong works every time. The benefits I have found myself are:
• They help with balance and coordination
• They are wonderful at settling the mind down after a really stressful day. It is sometimes easier to practise qigong or tai chi than meditation when feeling really stressed.
• Qigong and tai chi are both very good at toning muscles. Some of the postures can be held for long periods to work on different muscle groups.
• Qigong is called a ‘moving meditation’. People I have taught in my classes always find qigong to be easier to do than meditation itself.
• They are fun and having fun is a great stress reliever.
• You can do Qigong and Tai Chi anywhere in the world and wherever you want. I have done Qigong in the UK, Spain and Africa.
• You don’t need any equipment to do Qigong and Tai Chi
• Qigong especially makes me feel wonderful
• They are both so simple to learn
I could go on. I do love qigong especially because of its simplicity and the way it makes me feel so good.
I remember times when I was feeling really stressed and qigong always came to my rescue. By slowing the body and mind down, I always feel better after doing the exercises.
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