Tai Chi & Qigong. Are They Same?

Tai Chi, short for Tai Chi Chuan is essentially a form of martial art developed in ancient China. Tai Chi is based upon traditional Chinese medical theory, Taoist philosophy, and ancient fighting strategy stemming from various styles of the famous Shaolin monks.

Tai Chi Chuan means "Great Supreme Ultimate." It can be practiced on various levels - relaxation, body awareness, stress reduction, meditation, and martial application.

Tai Chi practice consists of slow, smooth and graceful moves, almost in slow motion, executed in a relaxed manner with a straight and upright posture that forms the basis of the art. The slow meditative movements of Tai Chi combined with deep tranquil breathing create a sense of centered well-being that helps reduce stress, increase balance, improve coordination, and strengthen muscular system.

Consistent practice of Tai Chi also enhances the function of the circulatory, nervous, respiratory and digestive system, offering both spiritual and psychological benefits for the practitioner. The stretching movements of Tai Chi make the body limber, tone up muscles, and help release tension. It promotes correct body posture; integrating body, mind and spirit as a powerful body-mind exercise and improves the flow of qi (chi) or vital body energy.

Tai Chi is almost similar to Chi Kung or Qigong exercises except for a slight difference. Basically, Tai Chi is a martial art, whereas Qigong is a collective term for various arts of energy, which may or may not be used for martial art purposes. Both disciplines emphasizes on the flow of qi to gain maximum benefit. Tai Chi is suitable for anyone regardless of age or physical condition. The movements are relaxing and easy to do, which can be learned at one's own pace at anywhere, at any time.

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