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Health Benefits of Tai Chi and Chi Kung/Qigong

DAVID HANKEY has been practicing Qigong and Aikido for more than 30 years. He has been practicing Tai Chi for more than 25 years. He has been teaching for more than 20 years. He has taught in Ireland as well as China. He also received private instruction in Qi Gong from his teacher Prof. Wu Tian Cheng. David is a student of Taoist Master Tian Liyang. In addition to studying Tai Chi, David is a practitioner of Acupuncture, Shiatsu/massage, Aikido, Yoga and Zen meditation for over 30 years.

Classes:
Tuesdays 5-6 pm.
Thursdays 5-6 pm.

Starting Tuesday 24th March.
Tel : 087 2744 735
for details of classes www.acupuncturecork.com
Facebook: Tai Chi Cork Classes will consist of: Cheng Man-Ching Tai Chi 42 Postures Extended Short Form Wudang Taoist Tai Chi 64 Postures – as practiced by Taoists on Mount Wudang Push Hands – 2 person forms Wild Goose Qigong 64 Postures moving style 18 Postures Tai Chi Qigonq/Shibashi Ba Duan Jin/8 Pieces of Brocade. Zhan Zhuang – Standing Postures Classes will be streamlined according to what people want to learn. Let me know. Ancient Taoists mastered techniques to balance the body’s energy (Qi) in order to live in harmony with the environmental (Earthly) Qi as well as the universal (Heavenly) Qi. While the concept of Qi may seem complicated, it is actually very simple. Matter progresses to energy and energy to spirit. Qi is the medium, or bridge, between matter and spirit. Once we become aware of the reality of Qi, it becomes easily recognised. Qigong/Chi Kung: Qigong is a traditional system of health exercises where the practitioner focuses on three things – posture, breathing and calming the mind. So we could say that Qigong explores the mind-body relationship. Qi means “life-force energy” and gong means “skill”, so Qigong is the skilled practice of gathering, circulating, and applying life-force energy. “Wild Goose” Qigong is a set of 64 movements which looks similar to Tai Chi. The result of practicing this is improved wellbeing, better health and alleviation of diseases. In fact, Qigong, is very beneficial for those with chronic illness. The practise consists of both vigorous and gentle movements in which actions are alternated with stillness with perfect ease. So long as you do this type of Qi-Gong regularly and without fail, you will find your health improved, disease alleviated. This form of exercise is suitable for old and young alike. Tai Chi: Tai Chi Chuan is an ancient system of physical exercise that promotes total health: emotional, mental and spiritual. Unlike exercises that use exertion and force to build muscular strength, a strength that inevitably deteriorates with age, the gentle and flowing, yet rigorous movements of Tai Chi focus on relaxing and straightening the body. This enhances coordination and circulation and balances all bodily functions. Originating in ancient China, Tai Chi is a graceful form of exercise/movement that is practiced primarily for its health benefits, which include relief from stress and anxiety. Emphasizing total relaxation, Tai Chi can be perceived as a type of meditation, and in fact it has been referred to as “meditation in motion”. Its movements, which are gentle, flowing and slow, draw on internal energy rather than brute strength. Through repeating these specific motions, the individual aims to harmonize mind and body. What are its benefits? After some practice, students will find their Qi or internal energy flowing and will begin to feel more relaxed. On the other hand, if pain or stiffness is experienced in certain areas the Qi is blocked, and further practise will remove this blockage. Who can practice Tai Chi? Patience is needed to start with, and perseverance to carry your practice through many stages of development. The practice takes time, so you need to give it time. It takes about a year to learn the full Tai Chi form, on the basis of one class a week and practicing every day for about 15 minutes. Tai Chi can be seen as an exercise system or a self-defence system. As Tai Chi embraces many aspects of movement and stillness, it can be practiced by any age group. Consistent daily practice promotes relaxation, concentration and increased vitality due to improved circulatory and respiratory functions. Classes, which typically last 60-90 minutes, begin with a series of breathing exercises and move on to slow and precise body movements or “forms” that may take up to twenty minutes to perform. Breath is the link between mind and body, so these breathing exercises explore the Mind-Body link. Students typically wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and flat shoes or socks. Some may even prefer to go barefoot. Each form (body movement) can include as many as 100 positions that are carried out in one continuous fluid movement from start to finish. Because the basic movements are deceptively simple in appearance, some beginners initially may find them boring. Nonetheless, experienced Tai Chi practitioners will agree that even the basic movements can be challenging and mastering them may take a lifetime. To get the most out of the instruction, students are encouraged to practice the forms for a set amount of time each day. As a general rule, early is better than late. In China, for example, large groups often carry out Tai Chi exercises as part of an early morning routine. Is Tai Chi suitable for everyone? Because it can be performed almost anywhere and because timing and awareness are more important than athletic ability, Tai Chi appeals to both young and old, male and female. Almost anyone can undertake it. People do not have to be in top health to start practising Tai Chi, and in fact, it can be adapted to suit individuals using wheelchairs or walkers. Low-intensity by nature and not physically demanding for beginners, Tai Chi is well suited for the elderly and those experiencing post-operative or post-traumatic stress. Another appealing facet of Tai Chi is that it does not require special clothing or equipment. The bare minimum is a few square feet of space, whether in a sunny park or a small living room. Individuals are allowed to proceed at their own pace of learning and no ranks or belts are awarded. This highly convenient aspect of Tai Chi has contributed to it becoming one of the world’s most widely practised forms of exercise. Is Tai Chi safe? With its gentle emphasis on relaxation, breath awareness and graceful movement, Tai Chi is a safe and effective form of health-promoting exercise. The self-pacing aspects of Tai Chi enable individuals to set their own limits; consequently, a young athletic person may be inclined to flex his or her knees deeply whereas an elderly individual may only decide to complete only a fraction of the same movement.

David Hankey Acupuncture and Tai Chi Cork

Health Benefits of Tai Chi? Tai Chi can help alleviate a wide range of conditions including stress, arthritis, rheumatism, poor posture and lower back pain. It also enhances strength and muscle tone, improves co-ordination and balance, and increases both flexibility and range of motion. Research has shown that the daily practice of Tai Chi can reduce blood pressure as much as ordinary aerobic exercise without increasing the heart rate. Tai Chi Chi Kung: Tai Chi consists of a series of flowing movements that are good for the health, while Tai Chi Chi Kung, which is easier to learn, consists of 18 breathing exercises taken from the Tai Chi form. The exercises are done as individual exercises and are therefore easier to learn. These breathing exercises are practiced as part of the class. The first principle of Tai Chi is relaxation, without which there is no Tai Chi; the whole body must be relaxed, loose and open, so that the Chi/Energy can pass through without blockage. Later on in our study, as we begin to relax we realise that relaxation is not simply becoming limp, there should be a quality of vitality about it. Building on that foundation, the practitioner will feel the difference between going limp, which is lifeless, and the relaxation of a cat, which is completely vital and alert. Tai Chi master Cheng Man-ch’ing described it as like a bale of cotton: soft, but the more compressed it is, the firmer and more substantial it becomes.

Styles practiced include: Cheng Man-Ching Tai Chi Wudang Taoist Tai Chi Wudang Fusion of 5 Steps and 6 Movements Wild Goose Qigong Ba Duan Jin/8 Pieces of Brocade 18 Postures Qigonq
Phone: 087 2744 735 for details of class times.
Classes held at Camden Palace Hotel, Camden Quay. Cork

David Hankey Acupuncture Cork

David Hankey

Hi, I’m David Hankey and I have been studying and practicing oriental health systems for more than 30 years.