In reference to the title of this post, today my husband and I would have loved to attend our local Taijiwuxigong class had the events of life not got in the way. We normally take it in turns to go to this class because of babysitting. For a thirty-something couple this exercise is a must in preserving the elements of the body that have survived the toils of teenage and twenty-something hood but have still got a long way to go until the grave (well hopefully!).
My husband has a very physical job and is worried about how is body is going to cope as he approaches his forties. Taijiwuxigong alleviates the pains he feels across his shoulders, arms and wrists from days of hard labour. For me an ill-advised final jump on a hunting trip resulted in a wonky shoulder that needs more attention than the one on the other side (also means that tops and bra straps now don’t sit properly). Taijiwuxigong frees off the tension that builds in the shoulders. I actually feel my hands warm up as my muscles evict all the horrible stuff that accumulates in them. Our teacher encourages us to think about our bodies as we go about our daily lives and make minor adjustments to ensure we are not straining any particular area to severely. After every class I feel stretched, taller, calm and more relaxed in my body. I also feel like I have worked hard as it is a surprisingly good work-out for your body.
So what is its history and how does it work?
Here is an excerpt from a recent email from our trainer on the benefits of Taijiwuxigong:
“It was developed from Taijiquan by Dr Shen Hongxun, who trained as a medical doctor in both Chinese and Western medicine, practicing and teaching in China, throughout Europe and in the United States, he dedicated his life to the improvement of health and well being. He also trained our teacher, alongside other senior teachers, and it was both a privilege and a invaluable experience to have been a student of Dr Shen. Perhaps you would like to read about Dr. Shen and his work, you can do this at; www.taijiwuxigong.com – I have specifically linked to the page on the ‘Wuxi stance’ which provides an excellent summary of how it works for both mind and body.
Taijiwuxigong is much more than a physical work out or system of exercises to improve flexibility (although it does do this); through practice it is possible to awaken the bodies internal “Qi” or “Chi” (the word being interchangeable). The meaning of “Qi” is not that easy to explain, it has been widely written and spoken about, but I do not believe it is easy to describe until one actually experiences it. What is however essential, is for the Qi to be moving.
When the Qi is active a reaction of this is “Spontaneous Movement”, for only then can any stagnation or blockages in the body be moved and over time removed! Tai Chi and Qigong are growing in popularity as forms of exercise to improve overall health and to help address many common and specific negative health conditions, which is great, however there still will require much work to understand the need to awaken the Qi, otherwise the benefits of these forms of exercise will be minimal.
In the Taijiwuxigong class we practice standing, sitting, lying down and moving exercises to assist in the awakening of the Qi and therefore the occurrence of spontaneous movement.
Lastly I would like to add a reminder that our bodies are amazing, continually carrying out hundreds of spontaneous movements everyday….breathing, heart beat, growing new skin, hair, cell repair and so on; the body has the ability to be self healing and self regulating.
If we are prepared to give it a little more attention, then the results can truly be seemingly unbelievable!
Finally, our trainer says that it is (I quote) “my greatest wish in life to share this knowledge and to assist you in bringing about any changes you want to your physical and overall sense of well being.” What a rare human-being! If only more people had this outlook…
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Thanks for reading.