About Tai Chi & Qi Gong
What Is Qi Gong?
What Is Tai Chi?
Qi Gong is an exercise that was developed in China over 4000 years ago. It is used as a natural medicine to prevent illness, sickness and disease and used as an ant-aging method. It is a series of slow, methodical movements that incorporates breathing and mindfulness. It is said to be a form of moving meditation. There are many types and different forms of Qi Gong. For Example, the video to the left shows Dr. Kuhn performing what is called "Eight Brocade" Qi Gong. These Qi Gong forms differ in movements, however any Qi Gong form has the same benefits.
Tai Chi Chuan (shortened to Tai Chi) is an internal martial art that dates as far back as 400 years ago. As an internal martial art, it has many practical applications. However, unlike kung fu or wushu, it involves a series of slow, meditative body movements that were originally designed for self-defense and now to use for promoting healthy, inner peace, healing, relaxation and disease prevention.
"Tai Chi Masters use internal energy and movements too subtle for most people to observe, reflected in the notion that "four ounces can deflect a thousand pounds." At this high level of skill, a defender can use a small amount of energy to neutralize the far greater external force of an attacker."
Today, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are both mainly used for its health benefits. It can be performed in groups or in solitude. It requires focus and mindfulness, including correct breathing and posture. When done correctly, Tai Chi and Qi Gong can have enormous health benefits like those listed above. We strongly encourage you to try Tai Chi or Qi Gong, regardless of joining our organization.
Q&A With Dr. Aihan Kuhn
Q: What is Tai Chi and Qi Gong?
A: Tai Chi and Qi Gong are gentle exercises that features slow, circular, meditation in motion that comes from an internal energy and is manifested externally.
Q: What is the difference between Tai Chi and Qi Gong?
A: Qi Gong is much easier than Tai Chi and easy to see the results. Tai Chi is a higher level of Qi Gong, and needs to be learned correctly and practiced correctly. The benefits are similar but Tai Chi is much deeper and requires more discipline. Since Tai Chi has a bigger name and most people have heard of Tai Chi more than Qi Gong, therefore people ask for Tai Chi class more often than Qi Gong class. But I recommend people who have medical condition to do Qi Gong first.
You can find information from my book “Natural Healing with Qi Gong”.
Q: How does Tai Chi and Qi Gong help healing and prevention?
A: Tai Chi and Qi Gong is like moving meditation and an internal practice, it involves very controlled movements and produces intrinsic energy and promotes energy flow in the body. This smooth flow of energy balances organ systems, the Autonomic nervous system, and opens the body's meridian pathways. (Meridian pathways are like energy pathways that when is restricted, can lead to negative side effects.) Therefore, it assists healing, enhances immune function and helps to prevent illness
Q: I am a busy person, how do I find the time to do Tai Chi or Qi Gong?
A: We are all busy in this fast paced world. But if we don’t make time for ourselves, our health will indeed degenerate. In the 24 hours of the day, you don’t need to be busy every hour. You just need 30 minutes a day for yourself to practice self-healing and this ancient wellness exercise. I am also very busy but I make sure to have my wellness exercise routines, such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong, or other internal martial arts.
Q: I heard that Tai Chi and Qi Gong is very hard to learn and requires 10 years or more in order to learn it well, is this true?
A: Tai Chi is not easy but it is not that difficult if you want to learn. It depends on what level and what purpose you want to reach. For healing, prevention, wellness, you can learn in an easy way. For using Tai Chi to fight or self-defense, you will need to learn more Tai Chi skill and will take more time. However, Qi Gong is applicable and beneficial to anyone, at any age. Qi Gong's movements are much less complex than Tai Chi.
Q: People think Tai Chi and Qi Gong is for old people, I am not old therefore I don’t need Tai Chi or Qi Gong, right?
A: Tai Chi and Qi Gong appears to be suitable for older people because it involves slow body movements that older people can do. Tai Chi is really suitable for all ages including children. Moreover, when people cannot do strenuous exercise, they can do Tai Chi and Qi Gong to obtain the benefits. For people who have no health issues, they can get benefits of relaxation, better coordination and balance, better energy, better focus, and better emotion.
Q: How long should I practice each day?
A: If you have time, you can practice 45 minutes to 60 minutes. If you don’t have time, even 20 minutes is still beneficial.
Q: Can my children learn Tai Chi and Qi Gong?
A: Yes, if they want to learn. If you want them to learn but they don’t want to learn, it is not going to work. But at least you can have them try. I taught a special form “Tai Chi for Youth” and the Children liked it. They may not like the traditional form because it is too slow, but they most likely will enjoy the Tai Chi for Youth form. I plan to get this video on DVD soon.
Q: Tai Chi and Qigong is too slow and does not look like it has any benefits, how is it called fitness?
A: Tai Chi and Qi Gong not only is fitness, but has much more benefits than “fitness”. It is the fitness of mind, body, emotion, and brain.
Q: How long should I learn Tai Chi or Qi Gong before I can teach other people?
A: First, you need to go through training. After training you will need to find a way to teach people either as a volunteer or paid. This way you will gain some teaching experience. When you feel comfortable and get good feed-back from your students, you can start to advertise your class. When you start to teach, you start to learn and you will learn so much from teaching. You may want to advance your Tai Chi and Qi Gong training too. Once you start this learning/teaching journey, your life improve every year.
Q: I am not in good shape, how can I start to learn Tai Chi or Qi Gong?
A: You can start any time, but in a gentle way and every day. After a while you will feel better and stronger, you then can practice longer and deeper.
Q: Why do people do Tai Chi different?
A: There are five traditional style of Tai Chi and each style has different feature. There are some other nontraditional Tai Chi forms too. Therefore, you see them practice differently. Some instructors, after learning Tai Chi & Qi Gong deviate from the original form, therefore it appears differently.
Q: I am busy during the day; can I practice Tai Chi or Qi Gong in the evening? Would evening practice affect my sleep?
A: Yes, you can practice Tai Chi and Qi Gong in the evening. Actually, evening practice calms you and energize you but does not affect your sleep unless you have sleeping problems. Or if you have a tendency of getting excited or anxious.
Q: How do I breathe during my Tai Chi and Qi Gong practice?
A: Tai Chi and Qi Gong is difficult to learn in the beginning; therefore the breathing is not emphasized for beginners. For advance practitioner, you absolutely need to pay attention to your breath. In general, you inhale coordinate with inward energy, exhale coordinate with outward energy. You will learn during the advanced class.
Q: I like to practice Tai Chi and Qi Gong outdoors; but winter time in the place I live is not practical to do it outdoors. How can I practice during winter time?
A: During the winter months you can practice Tai Chi Basics and Tai Chi Qi Gong indoors. It does not require much space; it is pretty much a stationary practice of Tai Chi and building Tai Chi foundation which is very important that helps to learn Tai Chi well.
Q: If I am not sure that I am doing Tai Chi or Qi Gong correctly, am I still gaining benefits from practicing?
A: Yes you will still get benefits from practicing as long as you can relax during your practice. The total relaxation is easier said than done. It takes a lot of practice. It is still better to do Tai Chi correctly if you have the chance to learn from well-trained teachers, or pay attention to Fundamental practice, such as Tai Chi Basics, Cat Walk 1 to 4 (Tai Chi walk), Horse Stance, etc. I have video (DVD) Tai Chi basics which helps people to build foundation for learning Tai Chi correctly.
Q: What should I wear when I practice Tai Chi and Qi Gong?
A: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. To find out if it is truly comfortable, put the shoes on, stand straight on the floor, rock your feet forward and backward to see if you are still comfortable or able to keep balance.
Q: How can I use Tai Chi for self-defense?
A: If you learn from well-trained teacher and practice Tai Chi diligently, you will know how to use Tai Chi for self-defense. Because every Tai Chi movement has techniques of self-defense.
Q: I have a medical condition; do I still get benefits of doing Tai Chi and Qi Gong?
A: Absolutely! As long as you practice daily, you will see immense benefits.
Q: I watched Tai Chi and Qi Gong clips on youtube and I saw the person bend their legs very low during his performance, it scared me because I can never do that. Do I still get benefits of Doing Tai Chi?
A: You don’t need to be scared. Some of these people are professional martial arts practitioner or teacher. They have been doing this for a life time. Tai Chi is not about competition, it is about self-discipline. You only do it within your ability.
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