Tai Chi vs. Qigong.
Qigong Decades ago there were not very many health studies on Tai chi and Qigong . Those that did exist were not highly controlled or validated. But slowly this has begun to change. In the last six years there have been hundreds of studies that explored the health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong . To achieve the goal of demonstrating clear evidence of the impact on the health and well being of human beings from Tai Chi and/or Qigong, first we must define what we mean by those terms. Qigong is an “integrative health exercise”, and is generally comprised of a series of repetitive movements practiced in combination with proper body alignment, coordinated deep breathing and focused attention (i.e. “intention”). Staying relaxed and moving in ways that are aligned while being able to enhance strength and flexibility are very much central to the practice. The “focused attention”, or “intention” is generally using either external imagery (i.e. Raising the Sun, Gazing at the Moon, Bring Heaven to Earth, etc.) or internal imagery (i.e. Imagine the light flowing down through your body, Pull in to the dantien (lower abdomen), etc.
Tai Chi is often considered a specific type of Qigong .Tai Chi is a practice that involves memorizing specific postures in sequence, known as a form, which was originally developed as a practice for self defense moves. In order to achieve advantage over their opponents, Tai Chi practitioners must remain balanced and in alignment at all times, breathing optimally, and remaining calm and clear headed. The Tai Chi practitioners must be able to “sense” or “listen” to the intention of the opponent. They must then be able to move with intention, while remaining completely relaxed, in such a way that whatever their opponent tries to do is neutralized. Movements require both strength and flexibility, and imagery is focused on the self defense of what the opponent is doing. Generally the movements of the form are practiced slowly, though they are done “at speed” in a martial or combat situation.