Acupuncture Meridians ... the Flow of Qi
Acupuncture Meridians: The Flow of Qi
acupuncture meridians and their relationship to Tai Chi and qigong
On the Flow of Qi in Tai Chi and Qigong
Stress is the #1 factor in diminishing the healthful flow of Qi, or life energy. Tai Chi and Qigong are mind-body practices that combine full abdominal breathing, with visualization, and gentle movements to massage and loosen constrictions in the body. Stress is collected in the consciousness and physical structures of the body, not unlike the way bacteria collects around the gums and the teeth. When we floss our teeth, we do not remove all the bacteria, but what we do is we "disturb the bacteria" so that it does not calcify and become plaque.
Tai Chi and Qigong's combination of breath, visualization, and gentle movement, coming at the body, mind, and heart from different angles acts as a full body cellular floss that "disturbs the stress" before it calcifies into physical tension that constricts blood vessels and eventually results in dysfunction in our organs.
Dr. Herbert Benson, a Harvard researcher, and author of the renowned "The Relaxation Response" points out that between 60 and 90% of all health issues sending us to the doctor are best treated by mind-body practices, including Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, and Meditation (See video on the main page of Tai Chi Medical Research). His insight is reflected in a long term study by Kaiser who found that 70% of illnesses sending people to their doctors were caused by stress. When WorldTaiChiDay.org contacted Dr. David Sobel at Kaiser, following the release of that study, Dr. Sobel told us that that number could go as high as 85%, depending on how you looked at the data.
Tai Chi and Qigong, when taught as mindfulness relaxation therapies can help clear tension blocks, which facilitates a natural healthful flow of Qi or life energy, as well as blood and lymph circulation. Chinese Acupuncture involves 12 Main Meridians, such as the "liver meridian" the "lung meridian" the "kidney meridian" so the gentle massaging of the body, which sets Tai Chi and Qigong apart from other exercises, results also in "massaging the internal organs" and supporting their function and the flow of Qi, or life energy.
ON LYMPH MOVEMENT: Tai Chi is designed to move the lymph through the body. Tai Chi movements use the terms "opening" and "closing" such as when one reaches out to "Grasp the Bird's Tail" in Yang Style Tai Chi, which results in opening the body. The lymph glands are like sponges, so when Grasping the Bird's Tail, for example, under the arms the lymph glands open and draw in lymph. As the Tai Chi player draws the hands down to complete this movement, the body contracts gently, and this pushes the lymph through the lymph system.
ACUPUNCTURE POINTS IN THE FEET:
Acupuncturists can treat the entire bodies meridians through the feet, or the hands, or the ears. It is not uncommon for new students of Tai Chi to complain about tenderness in the feet. When one recieves Reflexology or Acupressure treatments on the feet, it is not uncommon to feel tenderness when a point that needs treatment is massaged. In Japanese Acumpuncture, these are referred to as the "Ashi!" points, because when the therapist massages them, the pationt exclaimes, "ASHI!" in response to the tenderness. When these points are treated with Acupuncture or massage, in time the Qi issue is resolved and the discomfort goes away, and the larger issue that acupuncture point was related to is positively affected. So, as new Tai Chi students continue to practice Tai Chi, the gentle movements massage points all over the feet as the weight is shifted slowly and gently from foot to foot during Tai Chi practice, and in time the discomfort goes away, as in Reflexology or Acupressure.
THE ELEGANT COMPLEXITY OF TAI CHI ...
As you are beginning to see, what looks like a simple practice when you watch a person playing Tai Chi or Qigong, there are a myriad of beneficial things happening throughout the mind and body, and we have only touched on a couple of them here. Tai Chi and Qigong are part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture, Tai Chi/Qigong, and Herbology, which includes the concept of "food as medicine") evolved over thousands of years of research, which is only beginning to be understood by Western Medicine.
* NOTE: World Tai Chi & Qigong Day advises consulting your physician before beginning any new exercise, herbal, diet, or health program. The resources provided here are meant only to be used to stimulate a discussion between you and your physician, health insurance carrier, etc., not as medical advise. The below mentioned books and resources on this site are hoped to stimulate a more robust discussion of powerful natural mind/body health tools in society and not as medical advice.
- To learn more about tai chi & qigong medical research,
see the below book,
"the complete idiot's guide to tai chi & qigong,", and also
"Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi," and
"The way of qigong: the art and science of chinese energy healing."
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Harvard Medical School Researchers Launch Tai Chi as Therapy Lecture to Commemorate World Tai Chi Day
The new Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi is a powerful
reference book for all tai chi and qigong advocates, teachers,
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Our efforts have exposed over ONE BILLION potential viewers/readers of mass media to Tai Chi and Qigong and its myriad health benefits, via our annual WTCQD worldwide events.