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.
If you have more question, please contact me from website:
Tai Chi and Qi Gong Testimonals
I had suffered with depression for over 42 years. It started when I was a preteen, about age 12. I thought it was normal. At age 27, after my 2nd child, I finally went to a doctor is seek some relief. After about 15 minutes answering questions I was told that my depression was caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain and was put on an antidepressant. The medicine provided relief for a time. Unfortunately the relief didn’t last long before adjustments needed to be made. The dosage kept increasing and increasing until I was maxed out on the two medicines I was on.
Because of a necessary change in insurance, the cost of the medicines skyrocketed. Additionally, I knew this much medicine was not good for my body. It was at this time that I decided to go off the medicine. For a while, I was okay. Eventually however, the depression spiraled out of control and I was left in utter darkness. Additionally, I started having anxiety attacks, which made life even more difficult. I was a mess.
It was at this low point that a friend gave me some information about Dr. Aihan Kuhn’s Healing Retreat. I contacted Dr. Kuhn and was advised to book 4 days. I was skeptical – how could I possibly feel better after only 4 days? At the urging of my friend and my husband, I contacted Dr. Kuhn and set up a 4 day retreat.
This retreat is an absolute MIRACLE. While I was there, I received several types of treatments –
Daily Qi Gong and Tai Chi practice
Daily natural healing treatments, including Qi-Puncture and Qi Gong massage
3 delicious meals daily, with lessons on how to use food to heal
Bike rides and walks
Daily reflection time to plan implementation of new tools
Instruction in Daoist principles
I started feeling better after the first day and this continued as each day went by. I left the retreat a totally new person. I feel so much better. The darkness is gone and the anxiety is manageable. I am now equipped with tools to help finish my healing journey. And yes, it only took 4 days.
Thank you very much for your Qigong teachers' training program. I learnt so much within such a short period of time. It's really amazing! The deepest knowledge was transferred without words, though. I feel confident now in practice and teaching Qigong, and remembering you and your encouraging words. Yesterday while I was working in office, I felt a lot of energy, and it lasted all day, and felt so great.
Thank you for everything.
Wishing you Health and Happiness and Prosperity to your business,
-Mandy J, from MN
Dear Dr. Kuhn,
I’ve been taking Tai Chi at your school for a few years now. I love it and look forward to continuing.
Recently, I shared with you that I have Scoliosis (curvature of the spine). This condition has always limited me and made exercise extremely difficult. You advised me to add Qi Gong to my practice because Qi Gong is very beneficial for many conditions, including Scoliosis.
Well, last night was my first Qi Gong class. I’m writing to tell you that I felt better afterward than I ever have in my life! I can’t believe how easy Qi Gong is to do, even with my severe orthopedic problems! After doing Qi Gong for the first time, my body felt opened up, full of energy and pain-free! I still feel that way this morning. I didn’t expect to get such immediate, dramatic results from Qi Gong, but I’m extremely grateful.
Thank you so much for your advice. I’m really glad I decided to take it!
Hello Dr. Kuhn,
Thank you so much! My dizziness has nearly gone nearly all the time and the tingling/electrical surges all down my body are nearly gone all the time. After 6 years and all different types of doctors and therapies, it's like a miracle! I have started doing the Qi Gong exercises from your DVD and I have great hopes that the ringing in my ears will go away along with the other symptoms. See you next week.
Hi Dr. Kuhn-
I wanted you to know how well I have been feeling since beginning the Qi Gong classes, and my treatments. I have had acupuncture done prior to seeing you, but have found that your treatments are powerful and intuitive- you know exactly what hurts before I even tell you- the treatments have given me complete relief around the aching and stiffness I felt in my hips. As you know, I have been an active walker for many years, and now at 50, my muscles are still strong, but my joints needed a bit of support!
My entire experience at your clinic is always a pleasure. I really enjoy seeing ALL of you, everybody there goes out of their way to offer generous care and kindness.
You are really worth the drive for me, I truly appreciate all of the wonderful healing I have received. Thank you so much, and please feel free to use me as a reference for clients.
Wishing you great peace and every blessing!
When I first came to see Dr. Aihan Kuhn I was very sick. I had been sick for two years. Recovering from a hysterectomy I had many complications, anxiety, depression, urinary tract infections, yeast and bacteria infections. Eight months before that I had a breast biopsy. Headaches and fatigue were horrible. I felt terrible from constant panic attaches. I didn’t know what else to do and my doctors were going no where with me, but giving me more antibiotics, which made me worse.
Dr. Aihan Kuhn explained to me Chinese medicine. I was very skeptical and frightened. I recall her words “don’t worry”, “don’t worry”, she said. That day she did Acupressure on my ear immediately I felt better. She sent me home with tea to make and drink for a wee. After that week I felt better.
Weeks later she did acupuncture on my bladder and I am doing quite well. I have also had acupuncture on my back for arthritis and the pain and swelling are almost gone. It has now been nine months and I think my progress has been very good. I have also learned Tai Chi and Chi Gong. These classes are a lot of hard work because you must practice a lot but it is a lot of fun and very rewarding.
I never dreamed I could learn Tai Chi, but everyone in the classes I took were so helpful and gave me so much encouragement. My first class was so stressful because I was so scared. My hands and knees were shaking so hard I remember saying to myself“ I am so nervous, how can I even learn this, this is impossible”. But everyone in the class said to me “don’t stop trying, you’ll get it, it takes time and practice”. Okay I said and I practiced every day, every week for weeks and finally one week I got it. It just clicked in and I did it I did Tai Chi! I was so proud of myself and so thankful for meeting such wonderful people who helped me and gave me all this encouragement.
Now I do Tai Chi and Chi Gong morning and night. It keeps me in balance and very healthy. I have more energy and less paid and disease. Dr. Aihan Kuhn is a remarkable person. I listen to everything she tells me and teaches me. She takes the time to talk to you no matter how busy she is. She cares about people, she is very honest and strict she expects nothing but the best you can do and she always has your best interest in mind. I respect her so much as a person, teacher, philosopher and Doctor of medicine. Alternative medicine, Dr. Aihan Kuhn and many people in her classes have helped me tremendously in my healing. I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.
I just wanted to write and tell you how great and happy that I’ve been feeling since I’ve been coming to you, even though it’s only been a few short weeks. I already feel like a new person inside and out. I know the Chi Gong exercises have also kept me pretty healthy too!! I have to say this is the first time in years that I haven’t gotten one cold, and I know its from doing the Chi Gong exercises. I am so happy & grateful just to know you Aihan, because I truly feel that you do care about people and want to help them. I also love your bubbly personality and always look to the positive side of things. I know myself I’ve always tried to be positive, because the way I see, it, things go better from you when your positive, your body feels lighter. When your negative things don’t go as well and your body feels much heavier. It takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. When you feel good about yourself, you can make the people around you feel good too. A little smile goes a long way. I know the Chi Gong exercises have made
me so far a calmer person not so nervous. Aihan I also want to tell you that I think you’re a wonderful, kind, caring and sincere person. I enjoy the Chi Gong classes and plan on taking more. I enjoy the meetings I think I can learn a lot from them and its nice just to be around such nice people. I know if I keep doing the Chi Gong exercises I can stay healthy & grow old gracefully & happy. Any way Aihan I thank you a thousand times & more from making my life better and keeping me healthy.
I am 84 years old and Chi Gong is part of my life. I tell everyone about it and most people don’t know what it is. For many years I have watched the people of China do their exercises out in the parks and many of them are old people. I think of myself and how good I feel. Some mornings I don’t feel too well and I feel like skipping them but I talk myself out of feeling sorry for myself and I put in the tape. The music calms me and I get to work. I have not mastered the deep breathing yet. I know that when you breathe deeply your brain gets more oxygen and that helps you think more clearly.
I think that if you do your exercises in the open air like on the town common people will take notice and become interested. People are curious and when they hear the music they will stop and see what is going on.
We in America are all out of shape. Most workers just sit at a desk all day. I myself, when I worked as a welder for General Electric just sat at my machine all day. The only exercise I got was working my hands.
I think industry should lay aside some time for a little workout to change the positions and breath new life into our robotic souls.
Chi Gong could be taught in schools in the Gym class. When I think of it I looked forward to Gym and I always got an “A”. One of the very few that I got.
Now I am busy nearly every day and I tell my friends that I keep moving so the Grim Reaper won’t know where I am
These are my thoughts that are written here, they may not be of any value but just a few words to let you know how I feel and to thank you for giving me the privilege to strengthen my body.
Since my introduction to Therapeutic Qi Gong in 1998 I have become convinced that it is an outstanding form of exercise for improving and maintaining general health and well being. The benefits of its practice experienced personally included immune system function, greater flexibility and range of motion, breathing capacity, and balance. With regular and diligent practice I have found this form can help to increase the quality of sleep and elevate the spirit. I have also used it both before and after hard physical exertion to help prevent damage to muscle and joints. As an instructor I see on a regular basis the progress in these area made by students who learn and do this form.