Chinese Therapeutic Exercise: Qigong and Tai chi
Tai chi and Qigong are the main forms of therapeutic exercise used in Chinese Medicine. Qigong is a collective term covering over 4,000 different traditions of health exercise, meditation and martial arts power training which have evolved throughout China over the last 5,000 years. Qigong occupies a similar place in Chinese culture as Yoga does in Indian culture and is used as a hospital-based therapy in China. Tai chi is a martial art based on Qigong principles. The elementary stages of this martial art have become popular throughout the world as a gentle exercise for older people. Today over 100 million people practice Tai chi.
The slow gentle movements of Qigong and Tai chi enhance balance, co-ordination, strength and flexibility, without strain. Great attention is paid to principles of correct body alignment, which improves posture and can benefit many musculo-skeletal problems. The deep diaphragmatic breathing massages the internal organs and improves respiration and digestion. Tai chi is also very calming and can help with many stresses related problems.
Tai chi and Qigong have been extensively studied in both China and the West. Some of the benefits include:
■Reduced frailty and increased mobility of older people
■Increased bone density for osteoporosis sufferers
■Improved respiratory function for asthma sufferers
■Improved immune function in cancer victims
■Reduced stress-related behavior problems
Please contact us if you would like further information on Chinese therapeutic exercise.
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