Working with Taichi and Chigong

Chigong means “energy work” and is the basis behind the power of many Martial Arts including Kung Fu and the more subtle form of Taichi. The practice of Chigong develops internal strength and energy. It is the practice of learning to control the movement of the life force energy (chi) internally using breath and the mind.

Taichi means “Yin Yang”- balance of all things. It is an ancient Chinese system of movements based on the development of the lifeforce energy within the body through movement. It is practiced in series of very slow and smooth movements.

Both Taichi and Chigong work with muscles differently than those used in aerobic and vigorous stretching exercise programs in the gym. The feeling of strength of being ‘pumped up’, obtained in western exercises is due to muscular contraction and this kind of contraction prevents the ‘free flow of chi’. The goal within the oriental exercises is to obtain relaxed strength and power. Relaxed power comes when the muscles, rather than fighting and straining to achieve power just loosen and open up and allow the energy to flow through.

Chigong is a practice within Taichi - they both have certain health benefits if practiced every day. It is now well recognized in the West as a very useful practice to enhance longevity. It is used to help to strengthen the inner tendons and sinews, nervous system, strengthen the core energetic reserve, and reduce stress.

Different channels of energy, flow in and out of the organs, and run like train tracks throughout the body. At various parts of the body there are different energy points, called acupuncture points, and access points for energy to flow deeper into the body from the exterior, called Energy Gateways. These are like the train stations, where much activity takes place, and often where refueling occurs. Energy blocks easily, within our system, which creates pain, tiredness, depression and generally resulting in greater susceptibility to illness.

Chigong opens up the Gateways by simple use of breath, along with the practice of specific physical moves. Breathing through the finger tips and out through the palms, for example is part of the chigong breathing practice to enhance the flow of Qi (chee) energy from the exterior to the interior body. Breath moves into the chest, and directs to the heart and lungs. Once the heart and lungs open and expand the energy flows more easily through and around the body. The energy of the kidneys if opened also with certain moves using the chigong breath, directed to the kidneys, allows for greater vitality of our adrenal glands, (which sit on top of the kidneys). Too much cortisol, and adrenaline which, are stress hormones produced from adrenal glands and which if raised for a prolonged period, may burn out the adrenal gland reserve otherwise known as the Gateway for Vitality.

There are two major centres of vitality which open up this deeper source of Vitality and strength. The Ming Men at the back, which lies at the level of our lower thoracic /lumber spine, and the Tan Tian at the front, about 2 inches below the naval.

These centres are not only related to the adrenal glands, but also to the plexus of nerves which come out from the tail of the spinal nerves at the end of the spinal cord, supplying energy to the pelvis. The Gateway of Vitality is the Source of all longevity also for creativity and enhancing the energy flow to this area, thus increasing the possibility for longer and more vibrant life; enhancing also the possibility to create new life, and to better sustain new life once created. Teaching these exercises to children also at an early age will assist them in their lives as they grow and develop.













About the author: 

Kate has been practicing and teaching Chigong and Taichi for over 18 years. She also works as an acupuncturist, specializing in stress, anxiety, and 4 years ago introduced Acupuncture to Sims IVF fertility clinic in Dublin, where there is now a more integrated and holistic approach being adopted to some of the treatments for fertility. She also offers one to one sessions in Greystones, for esoteric and classical style acupuncture which leans towards the ancient shamanic system of our world.