On the last Saturday of April each year, the entire world is invited to move together, to breathe together—one world, one breath. World Tai Chi & Qigong Day is celebrating its 13th anniversary day on April 30. According to founder Bill Douglas,a 2009 Internal Arts Hall of Fame Inductee, beginning in New Zealand at 10 a.m., events will be held around the world in cities, towns, and villages embracing this ancient art of slow and relaxed meditations and exhibitions. From time zone to time zone, across six continents, there will be 24 hours of martial artists, students, and the general public committed to performing, demonstrating, and learning tai chi and qigong forms

“World Tai Chi & Qigong Day is a great time to let people know what tai chi is all about and to educate the general public about its history, benefits, and applications,” said Nicholas C. Yang, president YMAA International. “It's a free event. And it’s also a great time to reach out to local practitioners and neighboring schools to network with each other to promote a common cause.”

What is Tai Chi? Qigong?

Both tai chi and qigong are ancient art forms going back approximately 2,500 years. Tai chi is a Chinese system of physical exercises that facilitates the flow of Qi (life force) in the body, promoting good health and vitality. Tai Chi utilizes movements that are Yin Yang opposites: softness and strength, forward and backwards, action and calm. Qigong is the science which studies the energy in nature. It includes how our bodies relate to qi (life energy) and the overlapping fields of acupuncture, herbal treatment, martial arts qigong, qigong massage and exercises, and religious enlightenment qigong

“Tai chi is an excellent way to improve your quality of life and daily physical performance. You learn to optimize your internal energy use and to allow the natural energy from your surroundings to rejuvenate your body. Relaxation is an essential key to successful practice and should be the primary goal of students new to tai chi. Wherever there is tension in your body, your energetic circulation is stagnant or blocked. Therefore, the primary aspect of studying any internal art is relaxing the entire body, first and foremost,” explains Ramel Rones, martial artist in his latest book, Sunset Tai Chi—Simplified Tai Chi for Relaxation and Longevity (YMAA Publications, April 2011)

Some Benefits of Tai Chi, Qigong

Using elements found in the Sunset Tai Chi program, a controlled study at Tufts School of Medicine showed the benefits of tai chi for fibromyalgia. The results were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine on August 19, 2010 regarding this single-blind, randomized trial of classic Yang-style Tai Chi as compared with a control intervention consisting of wellness education and stretching for the treatment of fibromyalgia. The conclusion is that tai chi may be a useful treatment for fibromyalgia and merits long-term study in larger study populations. Dr. Chenchen Wang, a Tufts rheumatologist who led the study, said she attributed the results to the fact that “fibromyalgia is a very complex problem” and “tai chi has multiple components — physical, psychological, social and spiritual.”

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, world-renowned author, scholar, and martial arts teacher states in his book, Eight Simple Qigong Exercises for Health—The Eight Pieces of Brocade, “When you practice qigong regularly, your mind will gradually become calm and peaceful, and your whole being will feel more balanced and you will discover the inner world of your body’s energy. This science of internal sensing, which the Chinese have been studying for several thousand years, is usually ignored by the Western world. However, in today’s busy and confusing society, this training is especially important. With the mental peace and calmness that qigong can give you, you will be better able to relax and enjoy your daily work, and perhaps find real happiness. I sincerely believe that qigong can be very effective in helping people, especially young people, to cope with all the confusing and frightening challenges of life.”

YMAA Supports Author’s Free Events

  • World Tai Chi & Qigong Day in Boston, Mass—April 30

    YMAA Boston will be holding its annual free and open to the public, taijiquan and qigong practice event at the Arnold Arboretum, Forest Hills Road in celebration of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day on Saturday, April 30, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. YMAA Instructors Jeff Pratt, Axie Breen, and Dan Salive will lead the group practicing the Yang-style Taijiquan form following the tradition of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day. Nicholas C. Yang, President of YMAA International, will also attend. Also offered will be qigong exercises for health and pushing hands.
  • World Tai Chi & Qigong Day in Framingham Commons, Mass—April 30

    Come and join the Tai Chi & Qi Gong Healing Institute in its 11th celebration of World Tai Chi & Qi Gong Day. Dr. Aihan Kuhn, author of Simple Chinese Medicine, and president of the Tai Chi & Qi Gong Healing Institute, will celebrate World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, on Saturday, April 30 at Framingham Commons, Edgell Rd. & Vernon St. (just north of Framingham State College), Framingham, Mass. Opening remarks start at 9:50 a.m. and qigong and tai chi practice will be from 10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to enjoy the energy of group practice or just watch various forms demonstrated
  • World Tai Chi & Qigong Day in Ontario, Canada—Sunday, May 1

    Group tai chi and qigong practice led Wu, Bin Jiang, a well-known instructor in the community, will celebrate World Tai Chi & Qigong Day on Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 100-145 Sheppard Ave E. North York, Ontario, Canada. Wu is president of the college. This is a free event and the public is invited.