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Tai Chi For Balance of Mind And Body

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photo credit: depositphotos

Happy Saturday Skin Ravers!

It's crazy how fast time is flying by and it's already past the middle of June. With many things going on in our daily lives between work, family, our relationships, we become stressed and easily burned out. We all know stress affects us in so many ways and often times, manifesting itself through our skin. Eczema, psoriasis, acne, seborrhea, shingles and herpes are just a few conditions which can flare or show up when we are under stress. 

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to practice basic qigong moves in class with a video. Afterwards, I felt so relaxed and with my interest piqued, I went home to find more information.

Fast foward a couple of weeks, I found a terrific video that taught me beginners tai chi movements; 9 to be exact. From beginning to end, it took me 4 weeks to learn and comfortably perform the 9 movements on my own without watching the video.

I split the movements into 2 parts, first learning the first 5 movements, then the last 4 movements. The first 5 movements were definitely more challenging and the last 4 only took me a couple of days to fully get. In all, I think it can one anywhere from 2-3 weeks depending on the amount of time put into practice. It took me longer because I mainly had time to practice only on the weekends.

So what's the fuss over tai chi and qigong?

With life stressors bombarding us all the time, I felt the need to proactively fight the imbalance act stress attacks us with. 

Tai chi and qigong are ancient practices originating from China, aimed at creating harmony, balance between the mind, body and improving and mobilizing our qi or life force energy.

Tai chi entails a series of movements, that are slow and gentle in motion combined with a focus on natural breathing and meditation with the movements.

Qigong entails breath work or energy work along with postures and/ or movements.

Some of the Benefits

  • favorable effect on bone health (reduced bone loss and increased bone density)
  • self-reported improvement in physical function in sedentary older adults with tai chi
  • increased perceived ability to handle stress and new experiences
  • decreased anxiety and depression
  • decrease in hypertension
  • improved balance and flexibility
  • improved immune function

Growing in Popularity

As a result of the growing research, tai chi and qigong are becoming more integrated into western medicine. Wellness programs are adding these mind- body techniques in the hopes of increasing ones sense of well being, balance and inner peace.

As for me, I am completely enjoying my beginners tai chi movements. I find it's helped me to stay better focused, improved my mood as well as created an inner sense of calm. If it will help improve my immune system and minimize any illness or acute bouts of skin ailments, I'll take it.

So daily stress, take that! :)

 

*If you're interested in tai chi or qigong, consider taking a class or checking out a dvd. The dvd I learned and practiced from is by David-Dorian Ross called Intro to T'ai Chi. The Qigong dvd I practiced in class is called Qigong for Stress Relief.   

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