|Tai Chi & Qigong in
Ending the myth of Tai Chi vs. Religion
"I have found that the children with training in [tai chi] and ballet show a much greater presence physically during church services. They are much more capable of physical reverence, focus and attention."
-- Rev. Thomas Gorman of St. John the
Evangelist Catholic Church
Scroll down to read why Tai Chi & Qigong are "perfect" compliments to any Church, Mosque, or Synagogue!
|In the past there has been some erroneous interpretation of Tai Chi & Qigong as somehow competing with individuals religious beliefs.
However now, very few ministers are confused on the fact that Tai Chi and Qigong are health sciences that in no way compete or conflict with anyone's religious practices. In fact, many churches and synagogues now offer Tai Chi and Qigong (Chi Kung) classes as part of their activities programs.
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day founder, Bill Douglas, for example has taught Tai Chi & Qigong for such wide ranging institutions as the National Catholic Youth Conference, and various other churches, and many synagogues are now offering Tai Chi & Qigong classes as well.
|Above is a listing of religious institutions who've incorporated Tai Chi & Qigong into their activities offerings. This is not a class promotion, but rather a record of examples that can be used by individuals or teachers to share with your local place of worship to encourage them to take advantage of the many benefits Tai Chi & Qigong can offer their worshippers and community.
Is your church, etc. offering Tai Chi or Qigong classes?
If so, send us a link, and we'll post it for others to view!
|Those who've experienced the quiet contemplative states of mind that Tai Chi & Qigong cultivate, realize that they can only support anyones practices of faith. Also, modern medicine is now beginning to realize that as human's we were born with rather remarkable abilities to heal from various ailments. These God given abilities are supported by Tai Chi & Qigong's natural health practices.
Recent research indicating Tai Chi practice can profoundly boost the immune system is a clear indication of how these ancient health practices can support our God given natural healing abilities. Most ministers and rabbis, etc. now understand that to support our natural healing abilities is much preferable to leaping unconsciously to drug solutions that artificially manipulate our mind and bodies. (WTCQD does NOT recommend self-diagnosis, or self-treatment without engaging your physician in your health choices. However, increasingly physicians are recommending Tai Chi & Qigong as therapeutic supplements for many conditions).
Tai Chi & Qigong's calming effects are ones that can be enjoyed by anyone of any faith equally, with great benefit, that often results in helping people realize their spiritual goals. But, again, there is no religion or spiritual instruction involved with Tai Chi & Qigong, just good solid health science.
Tai Chi & Qigong are often described as "meditation" techniques, and a few ministers have confused the word "meditation" with "prayer." However, meditation is actually a science based exercise to free the mind from the worries and fears that cause our mind and body to be exhausted. Recent Harvard, Yale, MIT research has found that meditation increases brain size in certain cognitive centers of the mind. AND, that meditation appears to stimulate a "compassion response" in practitioners, by activating their action centers when exposed to information of other people's distress.
These benefits show clearly that Tai Chi & Qigong are supportive techniques to people of faith by:
A) Relaxing practitioners to open up more to their natural God given healing abilities rather than relying exclusively on administering foriegn agents like drugs for every ailment (see above recommendation of consulting your physician).
B) Supports and exercises the "compassion centers" of the physicial brain which works in conjunction with major religion's focus on compassion as a central tenat of their faith.
C) Tai Chi & Qigong offer no religious dogma or spiritual teaching. They are health sciences that help practitioners let go of unrealistic and unnecessary fears and strains. Given that "faith in the goodness and will of God" is a central tenat to major religions, this benefit of "releasing fear and tension" that Tai Chi & Qigong produce, can only be a supportive addition to any church, synagogue, mosque, etc.'s activities calendar offerings.
- Shanghai Mental Health Centre, Shanghai, China//Shanghai Qigong Research Institute, Shanghai, China 1989
The subjects were 8 patients (3 males, 5 females, aged from 21 to 57) who met the criteria for anxiety in DSM-3. The major clinical manifestations of these patients were anxiety, panic, nervousness, restlessness, fear, headache, dizziness, sleeping disorder, sweaty and palpitations. The illness course varied from three months to six years.
All the patients were tested by the physiological instruments of multiple frequency for Electroencephalogram (EEG), galvanic skin response (GSB) and rate of respiration, heart beat, and oxygen consumption before and after the relaxation exercise.
The mental state of the patients were also evaluated by Hamilton Rating Scale (HAMA and HAMD).
3. The program of relaxation exercise:
The methods of exercise were adopted from the book of "Inner meditation six combination Gong" which was written by the author. There were three basic programs: (1) exercise of adjustment energy (Qi): the patients adjust their movement of regularly through shaking of limb, meditation under controlling of thinking. (2) relaxation exercise: The body of patients were gradually relaxed under inducement of thinking. (3) meditation exercise: The patients should be paid attention to his point of "DAN TIAN" and abdominal respiration in order to suppress their brain and improve their mental state.
4. Training schedule:
The training group id the form of collecting in help of Qigong doctor . One time diebus alternis, every time is fifteen minutes course of treatment is one month.
1. Rate of electroencephalogram was significant difference between, during and after training (p<O.0l). (See table II)
2. The results showed that GSR, rate of respiration, heart beat, oxygen consumption were decreased. (See table II)
3. The results of Hamilton Rating Scale showed significant differences between before and after Qigong exercise.
4. Analysis of therapeutic effect:
The five patients were cured and two cases were improved after training for one month, but one patient failed to respond to the Qigong exercise. The effective rate was about 87.5%.
* for more research on Tai Chi, Qigong, Anxiety, and thousands of other studies, refer to the "Products Menu" at www.worldtaichiday.org for the "Qigong Database"
ATTENTION DEFICIT AND HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER & T'AI CHI:
Excerpt from Tai Chi Benefits ADHD, by Massage Magazine
-- Source: Touch Research Institute. Authors: Maria Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., Tiffany Field, Ph.D.,
and Eric Thimas. Originally published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies,
April 2001, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 120-123
. . . During and after five weeks of tai chi lessons, adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) showed less anxiety, daydreaming, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity,
according to a study by the Touch Research Institute (TRI).
"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: benefits from Tai Chi" was conducted by Maria
Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., Tiffany Field, Ph.D., and Eric Thimas.
ADHD, often treated by drugs such as Ritalin, is characterized by inattention, impulsivity and
hyperactivity. A 1998 TRI study showed that massage was effective in increasing focus, improving mood,
reducing fidgeting and lowering hyperactivity in adolescents with ADHD. This study examined whether
tai chi, the Chinese martial art of slow-moving, meditative exercise, would have similar effects . . .
For the complete article, go to Massage Magazine's article at:
ADD and ADHD. Research at the University of Miami School of Medicine has shown that adolescents with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) displayed less anxiety, daydreaming behaviors, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity, and greater improved conduct, after a five week, two day per week class. T’ai Chi meets many of the criteria for mood management techniques recommended for ADD (see the “Treating Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD]” section earlier in this chapter).
[Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T.M., & Thimas, E. (2001). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: benefits from Tai Chi. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 5(2):120-3, 2001 Apr, 5(23 ref), 120-123.]
Treating Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
ADD is a growing problem not only with children, but adults as well. T’ai Chi may is a wonderful adjunct therapy for treating ADD because it augments many of the mood management techniques recommended for ADD sufferers. A University of Miami School of Medicine study shows T’ai Chi is a powerful therapy for ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder). The children participating in the study saw a drop in ADD symptoms, and an enhanced ability to focus, concentrate, and perform tasks.
Check with your child’s therapist or physician before beginning T’ai Chi. Also, find an effective, understanding
T’ai Chi instructor who has experience teaching children.
Drs. Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D., experts on the management of ADD wrote, “Exercise is positively one of the best treatments for ADD. It helps work off excess energy and aggression in a positive way, it allows for noise-reduction within the mind, it stimulates the hormonal and neurochemical systems in a most therapeutic way, and it soothes and calms the body.”
The slow mindful movements of T’ai Chi have much to offer people who suffer from ADD. The following table explains why T’ai Chi may be a perfect ADD therapy.
T'ai Chi and ADD
What Experts Suggest What T'ai Chi Offers Set aside time for recharging batteries,
something calm and restful, like meditation.
T’ai Chi is a mini-vacation.
Daily exercise that is readily available and
needs little preparation can help with the
blahs that occur and with overall outlook.
T’ai Chi is easy, requires no preparation,
and is a daily mood elevator.
Observe mood swings; learn to accept
them by realizing they will pass. Learn
strategies that might help bad moods
T’ai Chi is a tool for self-observation of
feelings and for letting those feelings go.
Use “time-outs” when you are upset or overstimulated; take
a time-out; go away, calm down.
T’ai Chi can be performed in the bathroom
at school or work, giving you a break from
Let go of the urgency to always finish things quickly by learning to enjoy the process. T’ai Chi’s slow flowing routine is about
letting go of outcome and learning to love
ADD usually includes a tendency to overfocusor hyperfocus at times, to obsess or ruminate over
some imagined problem without being able
to let it go.
T’ai Chi teaches the practice of letting
go on a mental, emotional, and physical
level with each exhale.
Sage Sifu Says
T'ai Chi teachers should realize that
T’ai Chi for kids with ADD will not look
like T’ai Chi for adults. It will be faster
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