Taiji and qigong, sometimes seen spelled tai chi and chi kung or chi gung, have enjoyed enduring popularity in China as superb methods of restoring or improving health, increasing fitness and conditioning, promoting long life, and engendering spiritual awareness and enlightenment.
Taiji is perhaps still better known than qigong in the Western world.
Created over 800 years ago, it’s a martial art style of qigong. In its full name, taijiquan, the word “quan” means “fist”, clearly indicating its martial nature. However, today most people practice it for its many health benefits, or as a type of moving meditation.
Of the main taiji styles Chen, Yang, and Wu, the Chen style is the oldest. The Yang style as taught by Cheng Man-ch’ing was the first to be widely introduced in the U.S., and so has the largest  base of practitioners here.

The Wu style
is considered by many to be the best form to promote overall health, and is especially beneficial for healing back problems and various injuries. In his book, The Tao of Tai Chi Chuan, Jou Tsung Hwa states: “...the student seeking the highest achievement, whether in martial arts or healing, should turn to the Wu form...” That is the style that I practice and teach.

Qigong was created at least 3,000 years ago, and records indicate that some styles  may be 5,000 or more years old.

The five broad categories of qigong include Daoist, Buddhist, Confucian, Medical, and Martial, but each has literally hundreds of variations developed for very specific purposes.

Medical qigong, which is used both to heal specific illnesses as well as to improve overall health in a general way, is thought to be derived primarily from Daoist qigongs, which focus on preserving health and promoting longevity.

At deeper levels of practice, Daoist qigongs also increase spiritual awareness and harmony with all aspects of the natural world. The qigong classes
I teach are primarily Daoist and medical styles.
Since we breathe all day every day, learning to breathe properly may be the single most important thing we can do to improve our overall health.  Daoist breathing may be practiced on its own and become our natural way of breathing, as it was when we were very young.
Daoist Yoga combines movements similar to more familiar styles of yoga with breathing techniques and the induction of qi through acupuncture meridians used in qigong for healing, more energy, and inner peace.
Chinese self care exercises involve stretches, self-massage, vibration, patting and tapping techniques, movements similar to taiji or qigong, and other methods that address muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, organs, nerves, and glands. They may be used prescriptively and combined to help heal many types of medical problems, or to generally enhance the function of the whole body or targeted body part. They are also great adjuncts to taiji and qigong
Guideline for Beginning a Taiji or Qigong Practice For Health
A more detailed look at taiji and qigong and answers to some common questions when you are beginning a practice.
Prioritizing Your Practice
If you are new to these practices, this will give you a brief overview of some things you may want to consider, and introduce you to a few specific entry-level classes.
Finding the Right Teacher

It’s important to find a qualified teacher whose teaching style and focus match your needs. That can make a significant difference in how well you may learn. While there is no substitute for meeting a teacher directly, hearing what other students have to say may be helpful in making some preliminary choices. If you’re considering studying with me, look here for some comments from my previous and current students, and please feel free to contact me for further information.

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