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Qigong and Tai chi for health and relaxation

Tai chi and Qigong

- an introduction to the moving energy arts

These are both excellent movement therapies which can help you to learn how to relax and de-stress your mind and body at a very deep level, in order to gain a deeper understanding of your body and help to heal or manage many medical conditions.

Practicing these slow, meditative, healing movements will help you to begin to let go of any tensions and to feel comfortable in your own skin. And with the emphasis on mindful movement, you will be taught to gently exercise every part of your being, treating each form (set of movements) as a moving meditation however you practice, whether standing, sitting, lying down or gently moving across your practice area.

And best of all, these gentle set of movements can be practiced by anyone of any age, no matter what your personal fitness levels are.

How can I benefit from Qigong and Tai Chi

There are many positive benefits from maintaining a daily personal practice, such as:-

  • better breathing - which can help to overcome any breathing disorders such as asthma
  • normalise your blood pressure - by reducing high blood pressure and bringing low blood pressure back into balance
  • greater relaxation - bring a sense of balance back into your life
  • improved balance and muscle control – help to prevent falls
  • reduce headaches and migraines - without the need for medication
  • improve the quality of your sleep
  • improve your blood circulation – no more cold hands and feet
  • improve the movement of lymph throughout your body – allowing the body to remove toxins more naturally
  • help to manage diabetes – by stabilising your blood sugar levels
  • gain greater flexibility and improve arthritic joints
  • alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain
  • increase stamina - so that you can get more out of life
  • strengthen your immune system - and reduce any tendency to coughs and colds

What is Tai chi

Tai chi is the practice of a set series of flowing movements involving the whole body in a choreographed pattern devised to exercise, energise and revitalise the body and mind. Whilst it can look like a slow-moving dance form, it is a martial art, with each of the movements representing a fighting technique, often derived from the study of animal movements. However, my emphasis is on teaching these movements in order to heal the mind and body and therefore I do not teach the fighting applications; although I may demonstrate some of these in order to help you to understand and learn a particular movement.

These movements are linked to your body’s breathing pattern, so that you are encouraged to feel and move the whole body as one entity, pulsing energy through the body and experiencing a sense of wholeness as the body gently contracts and expands with each breath.

The pulsing nature of the movements will help you to open up your body and release tensions at a very deep level, helping you to massage the internal organs, to contract and release through the muscles, and ultimately to cleanse and regenerate the marrow deep inside the bones.

What is Qigong

Qigong exercises tend to be more focused on working with specific areas of the body, or with particular meridians or energy channels within the body. They can be the warm-up sequence to a particular tai chi form, or be practised in their own right for the particular health benefits they confer.

These movements will often be practiced standing, sitting or lying down and so can be performed in very little space. The movements are often repetitive, but the flowing transitions between each movement help to maintain a sense of relaxation as you move to work on the next area of your body, or meridian channel.

The qigong exercises are as ancient as, if not older than, some of the tai chi forms. Many were created as health routines for those seeking to deepen their spiritual connections by engaging in meditation practices, which might go on for years and, which could be severely damaging to the body. In more recent times, qigong masters were encouraged to teach these movements and skills to the general Chinese population, in order to maintain the health of the population following the cultural revolution and the lack of skilled doctors. Some qigong exercises have even been credited with helping people heal and recover from cancer.

Private day-time and weekend classes in Qigong and Tai Chi

Due to popular demand, I’m currently offering private hour-long classes for individuals or couples who wish to learn these gentle movement techniques, and who might prefer to be taught on a focused one-to-one basis rather than in a larger class.

I’ve been teaching these exercises and forms for over 12 years now, and during this time have built up considerable practical experience and knowledge on how to help you to bring these into your daily routine, in order to help to manage and minimise any chronic health conditions, relieve any stress-related problems and generate a feeling of well-being in both the body and mind.

You are welcome to choose to attend on a regular weekly basis, or just book for when you can find the time on an ad hoc basis. Due to space constraints I can only work with a maximum of one or two people in a class, but this means you get the added benefit of my full attention. Also, you are welcome to attend with a friend or a partner – you won’t be charged any extra.

Do I need special clothing

No. Just comfortable stretchy exercise-type clothing. Tracksuit or running trousers/leggings are ideal, with a comfortable t-shirt top. You will be asked to remove any footwear, but can keep your socks on or exercise in bare feet – the floor is carpeted.

Are there any other things I need to know

  • Please allow at least an hour after eating before your exercise class
  • Qigong exercises are not always suitable for pregnant women
  • If you are menstruating these movements will cause increased blood flow and therefore potentially increased blood loss

If you have any further queries, or would like to book a class, please feel free to email me.