The ancient Chinese were very attuned to their environment and their health. They understood that they should follow the cycles evident in the natural world to maintain good health and a long life. Over centuries they developed many systems for health and medicine. These included acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, cupping, scraping, bloodletting, dietary guidelines, kung fu, dao yin, qigong, and tai chi chuan.
Tai Chi Chuan is a soft martial art based on the harmony of Yin and Yang and the Tao. The training is internal, benefiting our heart, lungs, other internal organs, joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, Qi and blood. This is achieved via continual, strong yet gentle movements and ideas. Such training improves health, calms emotions, quiets and focuses the mind, increases longevity, and invites growth and evolution of the self. Tai Chi Chuan is a bottomless well of study and insight, one of the greatest gifts given to man. It is considered a national treasure in China.
Tai Chi Chuan Qigong
Qigong translates to energy work or breath work. Many forms of Qigong exist - religious, medical, scholarly, and martial. Traditionally, Qigong was taught before any Tai Chi forms were learned.
How does Qigong benefit us?
Used to increase the students internal energy.
Increases the strength of the waist and legs.
Helps the student quiet the mind, focus the spirit, and raise their vitality.
Enhances respiratory control and function, benefits the gastrointestinal system.
Enables the student to begin to feel their Qi and to move it around their body.
Why warm up?
The joints are complex structures of bone, cartilage, bursa, synovial fluid, ligaments, and tendons. The Chinese understand that the joints are also close to the surface, so they are less protected. The joints are prone to injury and degeneration. Warming them up mobilises and lubricates them, infuses them with Qi and blood, and prepares them for work. In the Chen village they do 40 repetitions of every warm up, every time they prepare for the practice of Tai Chi Chuan. This enables them to maintain good joint flexibility and mobility into their old age. We would benefit from doing our joint warm ups daily, even if we did nothing else."If you don't use it, you will lose it."