Tai Chi and Qigong practice provide a gentle physical exercise which medical studies have shown to be beneficial for the health of the heart, bones, nerves, muscles, and immune system. Regular practice has also been shown to lead to improved balance, vigour, and flexibility. Within the exercises there is a strong emphasis on the health of the spine, meaning that regular practice can also provide great relief for those suffering with back pain. The exercises practiced at our school are appropriate for people of all ages, and can be varied in terms of intensity according to each individuals needs.
Traditional Chinese medical theory does not draw a definite distinction between the mind and the body, preferring instead a holistic approach which accepts an interconnectedness in all aspects of our being. According to this theory, many people carry negative emotional states coded into the postures they assume in daily life. Tai Chi and Qigong practice helps to correct these postural problems and in so doing help to clear the underlying emotional states which accompany them.
On a very fundamental level, Tai Chi and Qigong practice help bring the practitioners mind back into their body, helping them to develop an awareness of their current physical state. This kind of awareness has recently entered public consciousness under the term “mindfulness”, research into which has shown it to benefit people’s emotional state, to reduce stress, and to alleviate symptoms of depression. In addition to this physical awareness, Tai Chi and Qigong practice also place great emphasis on developing a strong mental intention which can lead to a more lively and spirited state of mind.