T’ai chi is a slow and gentle exercise of Chinese origin designed to promote and maintain good health. It is a self-healing art and offers a way to find tranquillity through movement.
An excellent antidote to stress, the movements blend into a continuous flow which encourages vitality through relaxation.
Mostly, T’ai chi’s appeal lies in the health benefits it brings, and as a way of keeping fit. If you practise the routine on a daily basis the rewards are great, as not only does it build up your strength, but it will improve your breathing, relaxation and energy and help to cope with the daily stresses and strains.
T’ai Chi has been found to:
strengthen the heart muscle and cause the resting heart rate to drop,
lower high blood pressure,
improve circulation and breathing.
improves digestion by stimulating the digestive system.
stimulate the immune system and is widely used as part of cancer therapy.
Chi Kung is based on the ancient Chinese theory of meridians, and consists of both physical and “inner” exercises.
It is a blend of movements, controlled breathing and visualisation, reflecting the traditional holistic concept of mind-body-spirit.
Like T’ai Chi, Chi Kung is the art of developing Chi energy for health and internal strength, and is also a means to achieve peace of mind and spiritual development.
Chi Kung, is said to be a precursor of Chinese martial arts, and is often practised alongside these, as it reinforces inner and outer strength, and is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness
It can be divided in to two main styles, internal and external exercises. External exercises work mainly on the physical body, they tone and regulate the body’s muscles and help to build the Chi energy.
Internal exercises work with the internal organs and also involve the awareness and the mind, bringing calmness, relaxation and spiritual enlightenment.
Chi Kung has similar health benefits to T’ai Chi and is also widely used to treat respiratory diseases and asthma.
A lot of research is being carried out regarding the effect of regular practice of Chi Kung on brain waves pattern and mental health.
Frédérique is a qualified teacher and, with her husband Malcolm, has been involved with T´ai Chi, Feng Shui, alternative therapies and varied aspects of Oriental culture for many years. They have been teaching T´ai Chi and Chi Kung since 1992.