Chi Gung or Tai Chi


Recently, I received an email from a person who is sick. This person has hypertension and diabetes, and these conditions have affected the person’s body internally. 

This person asked if I taught Chi Gung for health and healing. I responded to the email by stating that I teach Tai Chi, which is a type of Chi Gung, and that Tai Chi can be used for healing.

Unfortunately, the conversation did not go very far because this person wanted to learn Chi Gung and I teach Tai Chi.

Why would a person want to learn Tai Chi instead?

Well, we all know that Tai Chi’s very good for you, and so is Chi Gung. Many studies have shown that Tai Chi will lower your high blood pressure, which is hypertension. It’s well known today that Tai Chi lowers your blood pressure and some studies reported improvements in blood sugar control. A regular Tai Chi exercise program may help lower blood glucose levels, allowing people with diabetes to better control their disease.

Sometimes you look specifically for one thing, not knowing you may have found something else that works just as well. 

It’s important to understand the differences and similarities between Tai Chi and Chi Gung.

1. Tai Chi is a type of Chi Gung. Tai Chi falls under this big umbrella of hundreds of styles of Chi Gung that are practiced. The internal power aspects or Chi within Tai Chi training are derived from one branch of the 3,000-year-old Taoist Chi Gung tradition. Both Tai Chi and Chi Gung work with Chi energy and have similar benefits.

2. Tai Chi is primarily used as a martial art while Chi Gung is purely used for healing. 

This is the biggest differentiator between the two. Chi Gung has specific techniques that are particularly effective for specific diseases. There are specific Chi Gung methods for helping those with cancer and mitigating the effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

Tai Chi, on the other hand, can heal and help you maintain good health in general.  It concerns your overall well-being and is used as preventive care.

From a purely physical viewpoint, your body needs to move and exercise to prevent problems. Tai Chi forms are designed to specifically promote the flow of Chi within you. Tai Chi forms are also designed to make self-defense or fighting techniques, but that is not what we are talking about today.

Tai Chi is about moving.  

3. While there are many body movements you can do, Chi Gung by contrast also has primary methods that specialize in standing alone and sitting in meditation, whether that be in a chair or in a lotus position on the floor. You can even do Chi Gung while lying down on the floor. 

Tai Chi and Chi Gung use both slow-motion movements for health, longevity and stress management. Most importantly, they cultivate, move and help manage your Chi.

Chi is referred to as this vital energy, which is essentially information we have in our bodies about our bodies and the universe. It is also referred to as breath or spirit, something that gives life. Chi Gung translates as the cultivation or mastery of Chi.

Tai Chi translates into the Great Source, a representation of the entire Cosmos with its play of yin and yang energies.Tai Chi is a mind-body practice using Chi to move the body physically, and mentally in a manner that calms your nerves. Similarly, some styles of Chi Gung are oriented more towards health and spirituality in which you sit and do breathing and meditative exercises. Other styles are more vigorous and are designed to enhance your martial art skills.

Yang Energy & Yin Energy

Tai Chi emphasizes a natural balance between two forces called yin and yang. For instance, yang is your mind because it’s always active. It’s cerebral, it’s always thinking. Yin is your body, which is bound by physical matter.  Your body is tangible, of a material which is just right there for practicing Tai Chi. 

You connect these two parts (the mind and body) and you balance yang energy with yin energy. When you are in balance, then the Chi is flowing. 

When Chi flows in your body, it can address the body’s injuries and heals.

Let’s do some Tai Chi and start healing today:

1. Start by sinking into your right foot.

2. Step with the left.

3. Shift the weight.

4. Turn in, exhale, relax. Let everything go.

5. Energize, expand out. Exhale, sink back down.

6. Energize the fingers up. Relax back down, exhale all the way.

8. Then, energize again and turn to shift the weight.

9. Step and exhale while shifting your weight. Energize into the shape. 

10. One hand faces the other. Heel up, turn, and step. Exhale all the way and energize.

11. Then, turn, shift the weight back, and exhale all the way. 

12. Energize, one hand follows the other. 

13. Then, shift the weight, and exhale.

14. Energize and press.  The two hands meet.

15. Shift your weight back, open your arms, and exhale into your right foot. 

16. Energize and push.

17. Shift the weight back, wind up and exhale.

18. Then, unwind open.

19. Drop down, exhale.  Then energize, cross your hands.

20. Exhale, relax back down. Let everything go. Let everything fall to your feet.

Now all this talk of Chi sounds very mystical, right?

Yet, science has proven and shown in studies that Tai Chi improves your health.

What if Tai Chi can improve your bone mineral density? What if Tai Chi can reduce your cholesterol levels? What if it can reduce disease-causing inflammation in your body?

Tai Chi is very calming and you get into this meditative trance, but how do you get to that place of tranquility?

Let’s find out. We’ll continue to explore these ideas. Follow me on Twitter for more tips.

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