Posts Tagged ‘Tai Chi’

T’ai Chi and Your Immune System

Friday, February 21st, 2014

T’ai Chi and Your Immune System

T’ai Chi practitioners know that they experience better overall health, but what are the mechanisms involved?  Dr. Peter Wayne, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School is inclined to believe that movement, breathing, attention, visualization, and rich psychosocial interactions, make Tai Chi a powerful, multidimensional tool for improving  one’s health.*

T'ai Chi, Immunity, Immune system,shingles,T Cells,diabetes,qigong, tantric qigongAccording to a recently published article in Asian Fortune Magazine, T’ai Chi can be a powerful force for improving the functioning of your immune system.** Tai Chi can create more efficient, deeper breathing and better blood circulation, allowing antibodies and cellular components of the immune system to better reach marauding pathogens and neutralize them.

 Shingles  The University of California – Los Angeles conducted a research study that found that 25 weeks of consistent T’ai Chi practice improved immune response to the shingles virus compared to people who received shingles vaccinations but did not practice Tai Chi.  When Tai Chi practice was combined with vaccination, the seniors’ immune response was twice as high as vaccination alone.*** This level of immune response would be comparable to a person thirty years younger, thus T’ai Chi can lead to a kind of “re-youthing” effect.

Improving T Cell Function and WBC Counts  Chang Kung University in Taiwan found that the regular practice of Tai Chi Chuan enhances T cells function in the immune system. This is of particular importance to the T cell function of patients with type 2 diabetes.****  The Chinese Culture University in Taiwan found that Tai Chi Chuan helped increase circulating myeloid dendritic cells, whose main function is to process antigens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) and help the T cells of the immune system to recognize the invaders.  They kind of “out” the invaders so the T Cells can find and attack them. The researchers also noted that “white blood cell (WBC) count in the entire TCC group was greater than that of the controls.”*****

Preserving DNA Integrity A study at the University of Kebangsaan in Malaysia suggests that the regular practice of t’ai chi chuan can reduce damage to one’s DNA. 35 adults over the age of 45 who had practiced tai chi at least 7 years were compared to 35 individuals who did not practice T’ai Chi The individuals practicing T’ai chi had increased levels of normal DNA and lesser levels of damaged DNA compared to the control group who did not practice T’ai Chi.******

 The weak can overpower the strong; the flexible can overcome the rigid, the whole world can perceive this, but does not put it into practice. Tao Te ChingLao Tze

The consistent and steadfast practice of T’ai Chi Chuan promotes increased vitality, flexibility, improved mobility in the elderly and those recovering from illness or accidents, better emotional balance, and a greater sense of overall well-being. © 2014 Keith E. Hall and Inner-Tranquility.com  All rights reserved.

*Wayne, P The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind Harvard Health Publications and Shambhala; April 9, 2013

 **Can Tai Chi Boost Your Immune System?  Asian Fortune Magazine Dec. 23 2013

 ***Irwin, M.R., et al. Augmenting immune responses to varicella zoster virus in older adults: A randomized, controlled trial of Tai Chi. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2007), 55(4):511-517

 ****Yeh, et al, Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise improves T cell helper function of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with an increase in T-bet transcription factor and IL-12 production  Br J Sports Med 2009;43:845-850 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.043562

*****Chiang J, et al, Tai Chi Chuan increases circulating myeloid dendritic cells. Immunol Invest. 2010;39(8):863-73. doi: 10.3109/08820139.2010.503766. Epub 2010 Aug 18.

******Med J Malaysia. 2008 Oct;63(4):319-24.

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CBS T’ai Chi Interview

Friday, October 18th, 2013

See the CBS WUSA TV 9  interview with Keith Hall, Andrea Roane, and Jeff Besougloff about T’ai Chi for stress reduction and self-mastery.

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T’ai Chi and Longevity

Monday, August 12th, 2013

T’ai Chi and Longevity

A five year study of mortality in 61,000 men has determined that practitioners  of T’ai Chi were less likely to die than non-practitioners.

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Dr. Zhang noted that the findings are consistent with other studies that found health benefits related to this form of qigong (chi kung, chi gong) exercise.  “It combines slow motion exercise and mind concentration to focus on movement. That itself can reduce your stress and, of course, it will increase your flexibility and endurance,” said Dr. Zhang.  Zhang said the findings support tai chi as a healthy activity, “I think for the elderly people, especially to maintain flexibility and balance, this is a good option for people to consider.”**

Research has shown T’ai Chi can be performed in as little as 10 minutes a day,  is beneficial for persons with many chronic conditions, including, but not limited to fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, menopause, insomnia, stress and mental health in students, and by improving balance among the elderly.

Dr. Chenchen Wang, director of the Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, told Reuters that the results are interesting, and “they provide a very important foundation for future research.” © 2013 Keith E. Hall Inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

*American Journal of Epidemiology, doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt050  online June 27, 2013.

**Reuters online editon, Thursday July 18, 2013

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Can T’ai Chi Keep You From Going Crazy?

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
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Can T’ai Chi Keep You From Going Crazy: T’ai Chi and the Physical and Mental Health of College Students

A group of several scientists from the Department of Physical Therapy of Georgia State University conducted a study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine* and Medicine and Sport Science** to assess the mental and physical health in college students and whether the practice of T’ai Chi could improve their overall health.

Tantric QigongStudents attended an hour long T’ai Chi class twice a week for 3 months that included 10 minutes of warm up exercises followed by 50 minutes of T’ai Chi instruction and practice.  Their levels of physical and mental health were measured using a health survey questionnaire (SF-36v2) before and after the intervention.

Assessed physical parameters included physical function, body pain, and general health. The mental assessment included perceptions of one’s vitality, mental, emotional, and social functioning.  What the researchers found was that both physical and mental balance improved over just 3 months or 24 T’ai Chi class sessions. This was particularly noticeable in the mental health arena.

College age students, being younger, tend to be somewhat healthier physically than older adults. Mental health can be a different deal though. The stresses surrounding college life can be quite significant, and students tend to be less experienced in healthy mechanisms to cope with this. The findings that T’ai Chi noticeably improved the students’ perception of their mental balance is therefore quite significant. My own experience as a college student learning T’ai Chi was that the practice was quite calming and balancing, in fact, an emotional lifesaver!

The scientists concluded their research paper by recommending that colleges offer “Tai Chi as a component of their ongoing physical activity programs available to students.” So, yes, T’ai Chi can perhaps keep you from going crazy. Even if you are A College Student Gone Wild!  © 2013 Keith E. Hall and www.Inner-Tranquility.com  All rights reserved.

*Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(3):453-9

**Med Sport Sci. 2008;52:135-45

Tai Chi and College Students

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T’ai Chi, Tantric Qigong and Sleep

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

T’ai Chi, Tantric Qigong, Meditation, and Sleep

Good, deep, restful sleep is like a cool draught of spring water to someone wandering in a baking desert. Our stressful, harried lives require good quality sleep, yet our ability to achieve these deep states seems to be slipping.

In the UK, one third of the population report that they suffer from insomnia and, according to a 2002 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 58% of adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of insomnia for at least a few nights each week.*

Prevalence and Etiology  Insomnia appears to be more common in women; however the quality of sleep often deteriorates with age in both men and women. Additionally, insomniacs often experience fatigue during the day, fall asleep at work or have difficulty concentrating, poor memory, and can experience irritability. Persons suffering from insomnia can also wake up frequently during the night, have problems going back to sleep, wake up too early, and often feel tired following sleep.

Health conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and menopause; medications, drugs, poor nutrition, bad habits such as over-consumption of caffeine and alcohol, pain or other physical discomfort, shift work, negative emotional states such as anger, OCD, and depression, even the anxiety about sleeping well itself can contribute significantly to the degradation of your sleep quality.

T’ai Chi Can Improve Sleep   In research conducted by Li F, et al. of the Oregon Research Institute and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the ability of T’ai t'ai-pul-innertranqChi to improve the quality of sleep was studied in a group of older adults. 118 men and women, ranging in age from 60 to 92, were randomly delegated to either a T’ai Chi or a low impact exercise class meeting for one hour, three times a week for six months. The two groups exhibited the same sleep duration at the beginning of the study. At the conclusion of the trial, the T’ai Chi practitioners showed significant improvement in sleep quality compared to the low impact exercise group as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The T’ai Chi-ists were able to fall asleep 18 minutes faster each night and slept 48 minutes more than the exercise group. The researchers concluded that “Tai chi appears to be effective as a nonpharmacological approach to sleep enhancement for sleep-disturbed elderly individuals.”**

How does this work?  The researchers did not postulate the mechanisms involved in the improvement of sleep quality through the practice of T’ai Chi. However, with several decades of practice and teaching under my belt, I am willing to hazard a few guesses about this:

1. T’ai Chi (and Tantric Qigong) reduces pain and physical discomfort through gentle movements that improve blood flow, circulating out toxins while presenting no physical stress to the body.

2. T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong increase oxygenation and vital energy (qi, chi) while at the same time balancing the active and receptive or quiescent aspects of this energy (yin and yang).

3. The gentle stretching characteristic of T’ai Chi reduces muscle spasticity and joint compaction that can lead to pain.

4. Like meditation, Tantric Qigong and T’ai Chi’s conscious breath patterns unite the frontal cortical centers with brain stem and limbic functions resulting in more self mastery and a concomitant decrease in negative emotional states.  Training the brain to attain deep Theta states will also relax a person so deeply as to bring them to the threshold of sleep. © 2013 Keith E. Hall and www.Inner-Tranquility.com .  All rights reserved.

*2002 Sleep in America Poll, National Sleep Foundation.

**J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Jun;52(6):892-900. Tai chi and self-rated quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Li F, Fisher KJ, Harmer P, Irbe D, Tearse RG, Weimer C. Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, Oregon.

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Qigong, Osteoporosis and Bone Density

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Qigong, Osteoporosis and Bone Density

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In an study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion and the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was undertaken to determine the health benefits of Qigong, including various T’ai Chi forms.  T’ai Chi is a more recent moving form of the ancient practice of  Qigong.  This article deals specifically with results pertaining to osteoporosis and the ability to recover bone density.

The usual recommendations for increasing bone formation and strength are resistance and weight bearing exercise. Although Qigong does not usually involve significant resistance in the muscular sense, and only nominal weight bearing, four separate studies revealed positive effects on bone wellness.  This was particularly noticeable in post menopausal women. Bone loss was slowed and fractures were less common. One study showed improved bio-markers for bone health.  More specifically, bone density actually increased in women.  Additionally, H H Chen showed that a 12 week program of training in The 8 Treasures (Baduanjin qigong) showed significant improvements in bone mass compared to a control group.

This results may seem counter-intuitive for practitioners steeped in the western allopathic model. How can bone mass increase with no resistance training and only minimal weight bearing? This one of the very many mysteries to the western mindset of these ancient Taoist practices. It may very well be possible that these outcomes are related to the stimulation of the endocrine system via the channeling of vital energy (qi, chi) through the chakras, which have partial control over the functioning of the endocrine glands. We study this in some depth in our advanced levels of Tantric Qigong training. (c) 2013 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com  All rights reserved.

Jahnke, et al. A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi. Am J Health Promot. 2010 JUL-AUG; 24(6): e1–e25.
US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health PMC3085832.
Chen HH, et al. Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(5):741-7.   PMID: 17080541

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Tai Chi and Postural Stability in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
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Strike with the Right Heel, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumoIn a study published February 9, 2012 in the New England Journal of Medicine, a randomized, controlled trial to determine whether a T’ai Chi course could improve postural balance in 195 patients with Parkinson’s disease was conducted.

The study concluded that “Tai Chi training appears to reduce balance impairments in patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s Disease, with additional benefits of improved functional capacity and reduced falls.” It was also noted that the beneficial effects of tai chi training were maintained for three months after the program concluded and no adverse events were observed. Thus, it would appear that T’ai Chi training could be a valuable tool for improving balance in Parkinson’s patients. It may be that similar benefits could be obtained though qigong practice in those persons for whom T’ai Chi could be too strenuous.  © 2012 Keith E. Hall, Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.

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N Engl J Med 2012; 366:511-519 February 9, 2012

History of Qigong part 4

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

History of Qigong part 4

Qigong and Martial Arts
During the Liang Dynasty, circa 502 – 557 AD, Bodhidharma (Da Mo) created a system of Qigong to strengthen the constitution of Shaolin monks. The treatises he wrote for this martial form of chi kung are known as the Muscle and Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Classics. These were internal forms of qigong practiced for health, strength, and to increase immunity. His theory was that the physical body must be healthy and strong in order to attain enlightenment. Around this time the Shaolin priests also developed the Five Animal Styles of Kung Fu (gongfu): Tiger, Leopard, Dragon, Snake, and Crane.

Chang San Feng (Zhang Sanfeng)
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Legend has it that Chang San Feng once saw a crane attacking a snake on Wu Tang Mountain and was inspired by the snake’s ability to remain calm and attentive as the bird attacked. At the correct time, the snake counterattacked and bit the bird. The patient demeanor, tactics, and correct timing of the snake resulted in an epiphany for Chang, and from this he was inspired to create the first T’ai Chi Chuan form delineated in Chang San Feng’s “Treatise on Tai Chi”. Other animal archetypes found in the T’ai Chi Chuan form include crane, tiger, monkey, cock, and horse; as well as inanimate natural forms such as clouds, needles, shuttles (weaving loom) and associated movements. T’ai Chi uses internal life force (Chi, Qi) rather than external muscular force, and this soft, meditative, internal style was considered revolutionary at the time.

Though remembered as a hero, many scholars feel that Chang San Feng was probably an myth or an amalgam of several persons. It may be more accurate that the martial form of T’ai Chi devolved from the Sifu and General Chen Wangting of the Chen family in the 17th century. Today T’ai Chi is practiced by many millions of people over the world for health and meditation.

Yeuh Fei
Around the same approximate time, Marshall Yeuh Fei (Yue Fei), a general commanding the Chinese army, created a set of internal Qigong exercises which became known as Ba Duann Gin (Ba Duan Jin, Baduanjin, Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements, the Eight Treasures, Eight Twists of Silk)   Legend states that he taught the Eight Treasures Qigong exercises to his troops to help keep their bodies healthy, strong, and prepared for battle. Yueh Fei is also regarded as the creator or disseminator of Eagle Claw Kung Fu, known for  take downs, pressure point attacks, gripping technique, and a system of joint locks. Yue taught both of these styles to his men, whereupon they became very successful in the war against the occupying armies of the Jin Empire.

The Eight Treasures is usually taught for health and wellness, but is also quite popular among martial artists today. Indeed, my teacher, Yung-ko Chou, insisted that his students perform the Eight Treasures style qigong before learning T’ai Chi Chuan.

During this period Taoists continued to discover new ways to improve Qigong exercises for health and spiritual or religious purposes. Traditional Chinese Medicine made advances in acupuncture and moxibustion, while improving the theories of Chi circulation.

Qigong during this era:
- Became associated with martial training
- continued to be a major source of spiritual advancement
- was generally not well known by the public at large
- became more efficient as Chi circulation was better understood. © 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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History of Qigong part 3

Friday, April 1st, 2011

History of Qigong part 3
The Spiritual / Religious Era

During this period China in general, and qigong in particular, were strongly influenced by the migration of Buddhism from India. Some may consider aspects of Taoism to be spiritual, even religious, and this may be so in that Taoism has a deep reverence for the processes and cycles of nature. The Sage would observe these cycles and endeavor to be in harmony with them. These Taoist practices and philosophies do have much in common with pantheism and animism and so could be considered also to be a spiritual or religious paradigm, depending on the individual’s mind-set. In terms of qigong practice and intent however, the Early historical period had as its main focus the development of health and wellness.

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The Taoist hermit Zhang Dao Ling (Chang Tao Ling) was known for combining traditional Taoist principles with Buddhist precepts.  Zhang Dao Ling lived around 34 – 156 AD and claimed that Lao Tzu had empowered him to teach the way of the Tao. The system that grew out of this is now known as Dao Jiao (Tao Jiaw) and is a form of religious Taoism. Zhang Dao Ling built a spiritual following in Szechuan province emphasizing the achievement of immortality. Legend has it that Zhang physically ascended into heaven and from this event and his teaching efforts grew the branch of religious Taoism known as the Celestial Masters school.

The renowned saint Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived sometime Bodhidharma, Chan, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges Countyaround 400 – 500 AD and is often credited as being the patriarch and importer of Zen (Chan, Dhyana) to China. Most accounts agree that he was a Brahmin from southern India, or perhaps of a warrior caste. After he became a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma is said to have traveled via the Silk Road through various eastern countries eventually reaching Northern China. One of the techniques Bodhidharma was said to have introduced is sometimes known as “wall gazing”, a practice of meditation that involves simply staring at a wall. This is similar to some forms of what is now called zazen. One story about Bodhidharma is that he retreated into the wilderness after being rebuffed by the Emperor where he practiced wall gazing for nine years.  It was said that he fell asleep seven years into his practice of wall gazing and he cut off his eyelids to prevent it from happening again. According to this legend, the eyelids he cut off hit the floor, withered, and became the first tea leaves. From this time on, tea would be used as a stimulant to help keep Zen students awake during their meditations. (A little green tea could help one focus and stay awake – snoring is soooo disruptive to other students. I don’t recommend cutting off your eyelids.)  During this general time Tibet had begun to develop its own form of Buddhism and it is likely that this also influenced Chan Buddhism to some degree.

The Buddhist temples of the period were thought to have taught Qigong practices, perhaps focusing on the forms of stilling the mind experienced in the meditation techniques of Chan Buddhism or Zen. It was postulated that these forms of qigong could lead to Enlightenment and escape from the cycle of reincarnation. During this time, the principles of Zen Qigong were reserved for monastic training and generally kept secret from the public.

Qigong during this time

- was kept secret within the monasteries
- was greatly influenced by Chinese and Indian Buddhism
- could be considered a path to Enlightenment
- presented a new level of challenge, combining the wellness paradigm of earlier Taoist practice with a more spiritual intent
- characterized by an increased efficiency of qigong practices (c) 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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History of Qigong part 2

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Early Historical Era of Qigong
I term this period the Early Historical Era of Qigong as there are well known texts associated with it, unlike the Pre-historical period, which centers on the semi-mythical figure of the Yellow Emperor (Xuanyuan Shi),. The practice of Qigong is firmly imbedded within the ancient Taoist philosophy of life, flow, and wisdom. Thus, it is helpful for both the curious and the committed Qigong practitioner to understand the its philosophical underpinnings.

I Ching

Known as the Book of Changes, the Classic of Changes, and Zhouyi, the I Ching I Ching Yi King Yi Jing, ba gua, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County(Yi King, Yi Jing) is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. Sometimes attributed to the mythical figure Fu Xi or Fu Hsi around the time of the Yellow Emperor, it is one of the foundations of all Taoist practices including Qigong and T’ai Chi. The I Ching was one of the first texts describing the flow of Chi (Qi). It introduced the concept of the three natural energies: Tian (Heaven), Di (Earth), and Ren (Man). Studying the relationship of these three powers was perhaps the first step in the development of what was eventually to become Qigong.

King Wen (1152 BC – 1056 BC) is often thought to be the historical figure who shaped the early practice of divination by “stacking” the eight trigrams (ba gua) into the sixty four hexagrams currently used for divination and philosophical meditation. Wen is also said to have written the analysis or judgements appended to each hexagram. The line analyses are attributed to his son, the Duke of Zhou. The commonly used sequence of the sixty four hexagrams devised by King Wen is usually referred to as the King Wen sequenceConfucius (K’ung-tzu, K’ung-fu-tzu, Kong Qiu, Zhong Ni, Kǒng Zi 551 BC – 479 BC) is traditionally said to have written the Shi Yi (Ten Wings), a group of  commentaries or appendices to the I Ching some 500 years after King Wen. The I Ching did not appear in a scholarly form in the West until James Legge’s initial translation in 1854.

The hexagrams of the I Ching are visual focal devices to aid in meditation upon the philosophical concepts embodied within each of the hexagrams. The philosophy centers around the ideas of balance through the interplay and unification of opposites, and acceptance of change. It can be said that the core philosophy of the I Ching is embodied in the three concepts of Change, Ideal, and Discernment.

The Tao Te Ching and Lao Tzu
According to Chinese tradition, Lao Tzu (Lǎozǐ;  Lao Tse, Lao Tze, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Lao Zi, Laocius, Laozi) lived sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC and was possibly a contemporary of Confucius. Many people consider Lao Tzu to be the father of historical Taoism based on the many surviving ancient copies of his work, the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing). Tao Te Ching is sometimes translated as “The Classic of the Way and the Power (or Virtue)”. In 1993, the oldest known version of the text, written on bamboo tablets, was found in a tomb near the town of Guodian in Jingmen, Hubei, and was dated to be older than 300 BC.Lao Tze, Lao Tzu, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, tao te ching

A central precept of the Tao Te Ching is Wu Wei, literally “non-action”. The concept of wu wei can be confusing to the Western mind;  it can mean “not doing”, “not forcing”, “not acting inauthentically”, “creating nothingness”, “acting spontaneously”, and “being in the flow.” “Action through non-action” is another term for Wu Wei, essentially meaning “to be in harmony with the Tao”.

The Tao Te Ching values direct experience of wisdom and the world gained through being present. Through this knowledge, one learns humility and one’s place in creation.

Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength;
He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.

In the early 1970s, at the Mawangdui Tombs in Changsha, Hunan Province, Dao Yin Tu, tantric qigong, Mawangdui Tombs, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges CountyChinese archaeologists found a silk Dao Yin picture, the earliest known painting of Qigong movement. Dating to approximately 168 BC, the Daoyin tu consists of forty-four illustrations of figures practicing Qigong, with accompanying instructions. The exercises involve standing in specific stances to cure corresponding illnesses.

Characteristics of Qigong practice during the Early Historical Era were:
- Qigong for health maintenance
- Medical Qigong to cure illness
- Non-religious Qigong, i.e. there was little or no spiritual or religious overtones to its practice. (c) 2011 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.
History of Qigong: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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Learning Self Mastery.

.Chakra Balancing

Learn Tantric Qigong™ for Self Mastery:

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Instruction available in the Baltimore / Washington, DC area, contact us if you would like to bring a workshop to your area.

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