Tai Chi vs. Qigong Exercises
If you know Tai Chi, you will quickly notice the similarities of the movements of Qigong exercises to Tai Chi. Between these two systems, Tai Chi was uniquely designed for martial application while Qigong was made by a physician solely for the purpose of improving the health of his patients. Some Qigong exercises were intended to target certain body organs. Others are for increasing Qi flow or for toning joints and muscles.
Both systems start with warm-up exercises. This is very important and should be followed every time Qigong or Tai Chi is practiced. Warm-up exercises will help release Qi and distribute such energy all over the limbs and trunks so the succeeding exercises can achieve a desirable effect.
The first Qigong warm-up exercise is Gathering Qi. Notice the position of the hands to the abdominal part, on the navel area. It is in the umbilical area that the fetus is connected to the mother’s womb, receiving nourishment and developing progressively throughout pregnancy. Chinese people spend considerable time understanding the concept of Qi stimulation and its primary reservoir – below the belly button. This is the body part that remains the main source of Qi, as it was before you were born.
Once “Qi is gathered” – that is, stimulate their energy, the next Qigong warm-up exercise is ‘Stimulating Qi’, which will bring the energy upwards all the way to the trunk, the arms and going to the fingertips. In ‘Spreading Qi’, the gentle slaps improves the spreading of qi energy and circulation on the far areas.
Qigong warm-up continues with ‘Lifting Your Qi’ where energy is pushed up through the abdomen, stimulating acupressure points of the soles. Like other Qigong exercises, every section will end in ‘Centering Qi’ to make sure energy returns to the lower Dan Tian.
Qigong Exercises Targeting Vital Organs
For the Kidney
There are three Qigong exercises that purposely target the kidneys. Found above the waist, the kidneys serve as a filter of the body for removal of excess fluids and wastes. Some of the kidney-specific Qigong exercises include ‘Touching Toes’, ‘Wash the Marrow with One Hand’, ‘Bending Backward’ and ‘Shooting the Bow’. Both ‘Bending Backward’ and ‘Touching Toes’ enhances the function of the kidney by the bending and curving of the lower back, stretching both the calves and hamstrings.
Wash the Arrow with One Hand is said to support the kidneys’ filtering function, including the adrenals. Adrenals serve as the reserve tank of the body, where energy is stored and is released only when needed. It is distributed all over the body when mental, physical, chemical and emotional stress set in. This exercise is ideal for patients expressing feelings of exhaustion or fatigue. It can also be used daily for proper Qi dissemination to battle day-to-day stressors.
Shooting the Arrow is another Qigong exercise for warming the kidneys. This specific exercise also stimulates all the meridians of the body and the activities of vital organs. This exercise works by tightening the muscles of the shoulders and arms that appear to be flabby over time.
For the Spleen & Liver
Balancing the Triple Warmer provides many benefits for many different organs. The term ‘Triple’ represents the basic functions of this exercises, that is – to target to lungs, stomach and the heart. But besides these three organs, it also offers wonderful benefits to the liver and spleen.
One of the most important organs in terms of disease resistance is the spleen. It is the biggest lymph organ of the body. When blood pass through the spleen, it comes in contact with the lymph cells whose main duty is to fight pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses) and other foreign invaders.
The liver is another vital organ needed for the synthesis, secretion and regulation of the different body chemicals vital in keeping the body normal and in healthy state. Aside from storing important minerals and nutrients, it also play a significant role in transformation, purification and removal of toxins, drugs and other waste products.
The exercise “Punching with a Steady Gaze” may help improve the liver function, destroy toxins and have speedy healing after an injury or illness. For extra stimulation and protection of spleen, include the exercise Raising Each Arm along with Balancing the Triple Warmer.
You can employ any of the Qigong exercises listed above when getting started. Once you allotted enough time to master all the exercises, you’ll be able to integrate them into your daily routine. Don’t forget to start every session with Qigong warm-up exercises. Start slowly, relax and keep your focus.
Latest posts by Bojan Zimmerman (see all)
- Harness the Ancient Anti-Aging Secrets of the Taoist Qigong Masters – October 8, 2014
- Revitalizing Qigong Exercises That Unlocks the Longevity Secret – October 1, 2014
- Dietary Recommendations to Prevent Qi Deficiency – September 24, 2014