Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient Chinese practices that have proven to have beneﬁcial impacts on the health of millions of people over thousands of years. Developing the life force, or chi, is the focus of Taoism, China’s original religion/philosophy. Taoists are the same people who brought acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, bone setting, and the yin/yang concept to the world.
Many breast treatment centers offer some complimentary services such as nutrition, exercise and stress relief classes. Tai Chi and Qigong are among some of the programs that may be offered. Both tai chi and qi gong involve slow physical movement, mental focus, and deep breathing all which prove soothing to a healing body.
Tai chi, short for t’ai chi ch’üan, originated as a Chinese martial art practice. The term taiji refers to a philosophy of the forces of yin and yang, related to the moves. By combining slow, graceful movements with meditation and breathing techniques, stress is reduced. Because the body is constantly in motion, tai chi is sometimes called “moving meditation.”
Taoists also used Qigong to improve health, clear and balance the mind, calm emotions, and increase the flow of the lymphatic system. Since many breast cancer patients suffer surgery side effects such as lymphedema due to blockages in the lymph system, this proves to be greatly beneficial. Since both tai chi and qigong use flowing, fluid, slow-motion movements, it may seem confusing to tell them apart. In fact, some classes incorporate both into their practice. There are many YouTube videos available for free that can be tried in the privacy of your home. The most important thing is to experience them to see what works for you.