Health Benefits of Tai chi and Qi Gong

Today we live increasingly hectic lives. Many of us suffer from feelings of physical and emotional stress and tiredness. We can sometimes feel that we are overwhelmed by the pace of modern life and the constant onslaught of information we receive on a daily basis. We also spend much of our lives sitting or standing in positions which create a poor body posture. The WHO estimates that 60 – 80% of people lead sedentary lifestyles, and this is now considered to be a key cause of a range of diseases.[1]

Although Tai Chi began as a Martial Art, both this and Qi Gong are now practised for health and wellbeing. Many people find Tai Chi to be of benefit to their mental and physical health, and the practice is said to alleviate a range of chronic health problems. Historically there has been a lack of research in the western world into the health benefits of Tai Chi & Qi Gong. However, there is now more and more interest in researching and testing the impacts, and a growing body of evidence to support this. WHO, the NHS and the British Lung Foundation all now recommend Tai Chi for its health benefits.  Mind recommends physical activity, including Tai chi, to improve mental health.  Further information on health benefits and research evidence can be found here.

The theory behind the practice of Taijiwuxigong (and indeed the Buqi healing system) is that poor body posture and negative emotional feelings or stress can combine together in a ‘double vicious circle’ to create tension, energetic blockages, and in the longer term, illness in both mind and body. The aim is to break the circle and improve mental and physical health and well being by opening up the body both physically and energetically; physically by stretching and opening the spine and all the body’s joints, and energetically through the energy channels and meridians.  In this way we aim to clear negative emotional information (binqi), and improve posture to ensure a healthy body and quieter mind. I have found that practising Taijiwuxigong can immediately relieve the pain from aching back and joints and make one feel more open, taller, lighter, brighter, calmer, happier and full of energy.

[1] Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety. According to WHO, 60 to 85% of people in the world—from both developed and developing countries—lead sedentary lifestyles, making it one of the more serious yet insufficiently addressed public health problems of our time. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of children are also insufficiently active, with serious implications for their future health.