Tai Chi & Qigong

Welcome to Kirtlington Tai Chi and Qigong!

Beginners Group: 6.30-7.25pm, Tuesdays, Oak Room, Kirtlington Village Hall, £3

Advanced Group: 7.30-8.30pm, Oak Room, Kirtlington Village Hall, £3

If you would like to get more information or consider joining, please email Didi on:

spencer.dimitrina@gmail.com or tel. 07590613752.

All ages and experience welcome!

About Tai Chi and Qigong:

We practice Chi Gung and the Wu Style Tai Chi as taught by Bruce Frantzis:

http://www.energyarts.com/

And, in the UK, by Paul Cavel:

http://www.paulcavel.com/

The Benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong

by Didi Spencer

 Tai Qi Chuan (often shortened to Tai Chi) and Qigong are ancient Chinese practices suitable for all ages. The former is a martial art, the latter – a system of physical exercises, breathing and meditation used for healing. Today, Tai Chi is also practiced as a form of physical exercise, like Qigong, and it is often learned in combination with various Qigong exercises. This form of physical activity builds strength, stimulates the flow of blood, lymph and water through the body, oils the joints, stretches ligaments, muscles and the fascia, detoxes, and relaxes. It is meant to increase health and strength by balancing both body and mind. Thus, it includes also special breathing and meditation (in fact, Tai Chi has sometimes been called a ‘walking meditation’). People around the world use Tai Chi and Qigong for daily fitness, to improve general wellbeing and to prevent or recover from illnesses (that may result from stagnation, irregular posture, overstressing body and mind or blocking parts of the body through injury or operation).

The first step in learning Tai Chi and Qigong is to adopt the correct posture – this allows for gradual physical re-alignment and it could lessen, for example, stress in the back, lungs, diaphragm or in the digestive system. Such realignment may also release long-held tensions in the body (arising from bad habits in sitting, standing or moving). The next step includes learning a variety of gentle movements, which move all parts of the body, including the internal organs, in harmony. The key aspect of this movement is stretching the body tissues with the aim of moving fluids throughout the whole body. An additional feature is applying different pressure to the joints – this is meant to increase the flow of nutrients and to lubricate – it allows more freedom of movement. Another element of the movements is rotation and twisting – this increases further the flexibility of joints and muscles, and builds strength in those ligaments, tendons and muscles that support the joints. The rhythm and pulsation of this movement relaxes the nervous system. The focus and concentration on the movement itself is a form of meditation – leading to deeper relaxation of the mind. There are many more benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong and, in Kirtlington, we also have the added benefit of joy and fun from practicing together in a friendly environment!

Special benefits for the over 50s described by Bruce Frantzis:

Increases physical balance

Regulates and lowers blood pressure

Improves circulation

Promotes a good night’s sleep

Re-establishes biomechanical alignments

Restores sexual vitality

Additional Links:

An article in the Telegraph reports on a study, according to which ‘people who did the gentle martial art of tai chi were 35 per cent less likely to fall than those who did not’, see: 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9511324/Tai-chi-can-prevent-falls-in-the-elderly-guidance.html

Another Telegraph article cites research suggesting that regular Tai Chi practice ‘boosts brain volume and improves memory and thinking’:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9348795/Tai-Chi-makes-your-brain-bigger-and-improves-memory.html

And yet another article argues that a regular Tai Chi practice may also be related to good blood pressure, heart function and physical strength:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9187133/Tai-Chi-named-as-perfect-exercise-for-the-elderly.html

See also:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/06/healthandwellbeing.relaxation20?INTCMP=SRCH

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/may/24/luisa-dillner-tai-chi?INTCMP=SRCH

An article in the Daily Mail informs on how the introduction of Tai Chi in a failing primary school has turned the school round by helping pupils to concentrate and improve their behaviour:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-78505/How-tai-chi-help-children-concentrate.html