For millennia the breath has been the foundation of not only good health but a calm mind too in Asia.
It is only in recent times that Western medicine has begun to take interest in the mind body connection. It is being called “Energy Medicine” which is not a bad description of Tai Chi and Qigong.
Chinese Medicine and Tai Chi and Qigong.
The very basis of Tai Chi and Qigong is very similar to traditional Asian medicine. The idea that our bodies are filled with energy pathways that nourish our organs and bodies. Those energy pathways carry vital energy called “Chi or Qi”. That the more of the Qi you have the healthier you get. Or put another way by using these practises you can return to health.
Just to note that I got into Chinese medicine and qualified as a practitioner due to Tai Chi and Qigong. My Chinese medicine tutor was looking for a good teacher to coach his patients in Tai Chi and Qigong. He was very precise with who he wanted and apparently, I was it. Long story short, I studied Chinese medicine for three years and eventually set up a practise.
Tai Chi, why it works.
One of the most important aspects in learning good Tai Chi is posture. Get your posture right and a lot of chronic conditions either ease or disappear completely. By getting your posture right allows your energy to flow smoothly and your body to begin to heal.
The slow smooth exercises of Tai Chi and Qigong allow your mind to be at ease. As it is believed that up to 90% of all conditions have a component of stress it is no surprise that Tai Chi and Qigong have found favour. Many institutions, especially in the US, have researched the benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong.
The natural breathing of Tai Chi engenders calm relaxation. This quietens both the mind and body. This allows the body to endeavour to begin to heal itself.
Many of the Qigong routines teach a specific way of breathing to enhance your wellbeing. It is better to learn these sorts of breathing exercises in a class with a qualified teacher.