Jean S Caron is a certified Sifu (teacher) of Pai Lum Kung Fu Tai Chi and Qi Gong
T’ai chi ch’uan or Taijiquan, often shortened to t’ai chi, taiji or tai chi in English usage, is a type of internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: its hard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, and longevity. As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some of t’ai chi ch’uan’straining forms are especially known for being practiced at what most people categorize as slow movement.
Today, t’ai chi ch’uan has spread worldwide. Most modern styles of t’ai chi ch’uan trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang,Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun.
The philosophy of t’ai chi ch’uan is that, if one uses hardness to resist violent force, then both sides are certain to be injured at least to some degree. Such injury, according to t’ai chi ch’uan theory, is a natural consequence of meeting brute force with brute force. Instead, students are taught not to directly fight or resist an incoming force, but to meet it in softness and follow its motion while remaining in physical contact until the incoming force of attack exhausts itself or can be safely redirected, meeting yang with yin. Done correctly, this yin/yang or yang/yin balance in combat, or in a broader philosophical sense, is a primary goal of t’ai chi ch’uan training. Lao Tzu provided the archetype for this in the Tao Te Ching when he wrote, “The soft and the pliable will defeat the hard and strong.”
Traditional schools also emphasize that one is expected to show wude (“martial virtue/heroism”), to protect the defenseless, and show mercy to one’s opponents.
Before t’ai chi ch’uan’s introduction to Western students, the health benefits of t’ai chi ch’uan were largely explained through the lens of traditional Chinese medicine, which is based on a view of the body and healing mechanisms not always studied or supported by modern science. Today, t’ai chi ch’uan is in the process of being subjected to rigorous scientific studies in the West. Now that the majority of health studies have displayed a tangible benefit in some areas to the practice of t’ai chi ch’uan, health professionals have called for more in-depth studies to determine mitigating factors such as the most beneficial style, suggested duration of practice to show the best results, and whether t’ai chi ch’uan is as effective as other forms of exercise.
Qigong, chi kung, or chi gung
(simplified Chinese: 气功; traditional Chinese: 氣功; pinyin: qìgōng; Wade–Giles: chi4 gong1; literally “Life Energy Cultivation”) is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. With roots in Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophy, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi) or what has been translated as “intrinsic life energy”. Typically a qigong practice involves rhythmic breathing coordinated with slow stylized repetition of fluid movement, a calm mindful state, and visualization of guiding qi through the body. Qigong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide, and is considered by some to be exercise, and by others to be a type of alternative medicine or meditative practice. From a philosophical perspective qigong is believed to help develop human potential, allow access to higher realms of awareness, and awaken one’s “true nature”
People practice qigong for many different reasons, including for exercise and recreation, prevention and self-healing, meditation and self-cultivation, and training for martial arts.
As a form of gentle exercise, qigong is composed of movements that are typically repeated, strengthening and stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial, and lymph), enhancing balance and proprioception, and building awareness of how the body moves through space. In recent years a large number of books and videos have been published that focus primarily on qigong as exercise and associated health benefits. Practitioners range from athletes to the physically challenged. Because it is low impact and can be done lying, sitting, or standing, qigong is accessible for disabled persons, seniors, and people recovering from injuries.
As a healing art, qigong practitioners focus on prevention and self-healing, traditionally viewed as balancing the body’s energy meridians and enhancing the intrinsic capacity of the body to heal. Qigong has been used extensively in China as part of traditional Chinese medicine, and is included in the curriculum of Chinese Universities. Throughout the world qigong is now recognized as a form of complementary and alternative medicine, with “significant results for a number of health benefits”.
There are three main forms of medical qigong: 1) Qigong exercises for general health or specific diagnoses (e.g. cancer, fibromyalgia, hypertension); 2) Qigong massage by a trained Qigong practitioner to treat specific injuries and illnesses (e.g. autism); and 3) External qigong in which a trained practitioner focuses healing energy on patients without touching them.
You can Contact us now to schedule your Health Evaluation with Jean Caron. You can look forward to a comprehensive exam during which you will be able to ask all of your questions and get prepared to begin your healing and ready for a vibrant future!
Contact us via email, or call us at 386-677-5400 for more information, or to schedule your Comprehensive Health Evaluation.