T’ai Chi in a Chair: 15-Minute Routines for Beginners is now available at Barnes and Noble
Find great deals on home exercise equipment at Exercise Equipment Super Store
HEALING T’AI CHI
Tao Te Ching, #6, Translated by S. Mitchell
Students often ask me about the difference between Qigong and T’ai Chi Chuan. Many of the movements are similar, their names often refer to animals and the emphasis on deep and conscious breathing is the same for both systems.
However,T’ai Chi is a martial art. T’ai Chi Chuan means “grand ultimate fist.” Most Chinese historians believe that Zhangsanfeng, a 13th century Daoist monk, created this fighting form. The fact that T’ai Chi also provides a great overall exercise program for people of all ages and levels of fitness is something that was discovered more recently.
Qigong, on the other hand, means “energizing exercise” and was developed by a doctor named Hua To who lived in the 6th century. Dr. To’s purpose in creating this energizing exercise was to provide his patients with a fitness program that would keep them healthy, flexible and strong. It is the first formal fitness program that we know of in the history of the world.
Below is a Qigong exercise more complex than Dr. To’s originals but one that I think you will find helpful.
Exercise #11 – Qigong, 1st Crow of the Rooster
Benefits – The depth of your breathing will improve. Arms, shoulders and thighs will be strengthened through regular practice of this exercise.
Posture – Your posture is the same when practicing Qigong as it is for the T’ai Chi exercises. Begin with your feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder-width apart. Sit up straight with your back against the back of your chair.
Begin by breathing in through your nose. Bring both arms out to the side to shoulder height.
Begin to breathe out through your mouth as you bring your arms overhead and lift your right leg.
Hold your position for no less than 15 seconds then bring your arms down in line with your shoulders and return your foot to the floor.
Breathe in again holding your arms at shoulder height and lift your left foot off the floor. Hold your left foot up for as long as you held up your right foot. (Don’t forget to keep all your alternating movements equal in number and amount of time.)
Blow out as your press your hands toward each other in front of your chest. Tense your arm muscles as though you were squeezing a ball between your hands.
Begin breathing in, then press your arms down toward your lap, palms facing downward.
Return your hands to the starting position i.e., resting on your thighs as you breathe out again.
Repeat for at least 3 sets.
Most of us are feeling the fever – spring fever, that is. Unfortunately, many of us are also sneezing, coughing and wiping our runny eyes. The acupressure points below are designed to relieve the symptoms of allergies and the miseries of congested sinuses.
Outer Gate – This pressure point can be found on the top of your forearm. Press your index or middle finger between the 2 arm bones about two and a half finger widths above your wrist crease for at least 30 seconds and breathe slowly and deeply.
Heavenly Pillar – Use this pressure point to relieve sinus headaches and swollen eyes. This point is located about one-half inch below the base of the skull on the ropy muscle. This muscle is about half an inch from the spine on either side. You can press on them both at once or one at a time for no less than 30 seconds. Use as often as necessary throughout the day.
Drilling Bamboo – Find this point at the place where the bridge of the nose meets the ridge of your eyebrow. There is a small indentation on each side of your nose. Use your thumbs and press firmly on the two spots for 30 to 60 seconds while you breathe slowly and deeply.
~~~The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not not intended to replace the advice of a physician or medical practitioner. Please see your health care provider before beginning any new program.~~~