The Need to Relax
May 29, 2023
When the word relax is used in Taiji, it is understood that the muscles are releasing, but the integrity and optimal alignment of the skeleton is maintained.
New Year, New Me!
February 7, 2022
What if we change our New Year's resolution to see if we can make some progress? What if our new resolution might be "Making Peace with Myself?”
Understanding Natural Movement
December 27, 2021
By learning to move independently, we can become highly sensitized to frozen or inappropriately used muscle groups, thus providing a tool for directly working on releasing such unnecessary and harmful tension. Finally, the more able you are to consciously move a particular part of the body independently, the more successful you will be in sending qi to that area for healing an injury… and ultimately leading to the ability to do unified movement.
Living with the Flow of Seasons
December 6, 2021
With a preventive approach, we find a way to live well by following the ancient wisdom of “Going with the Flow.” Everything has two sides: the Yin, and the Yang. Going with the flow, we realize the Yin changes to Yang, and the Yang changes to the Yin. Everything turns out to be better eventually.
Autumn: Seasonal Nourishment to Strengthen Our Immune System
September 13, 2021
As summer passes into autumn, the energy of Earth transforms into Metal, as related to fall. During the Metal phase, energy begins to condense, contract, and draw inward for accumulation and storage, just as the crops of summer are harvested and stored in autumn for use in winter.”
Dealing with Obstacles in Tai Chi - August 23, 2021
Students of any Teaching often lack the tools to make refinements to what they learn. Such a process requires critical thinking, analytical skills, perseverance, and knowledge of other arts such as science, mathematics, philosophy, etc. Henry Ford said: 'If you need a machine [or tool] and don't buy it, then you will ultimately find that you have paid for it and [still] don't have it.' A similar truth holds for tools for learning Taiji.
Qigong for Healing the Heart and Blood Vessels - June 21, 2021
By practicing qigong we can strengthen the Three Treasures. Because the jing, qi, and shen are inseparable, they support and fortify each other leading to better physical and emotional health and well-being.
Three Ancient Chinese Teachings: Fo, Ru, Dao - May 10, 2021
Buddhism is an ancient religion based on the Buddha's teachings - the title given to the Indian spiritual seeker Siddhartha Gautama after he attained enlightenment more than 2,600 years ago. The Buddha's best-known teachings are the four noble truths and the eightfold path, which describe the nature of human suffering and a way to liberate oneself from the existential pains of life and reach nirvana.
Balance - May 3, 2021
When you begin to lose your balance—even to a small degree—shifting your weight is often a factor in recovering stability. So a combination of mobility and leg strength is important in preventing falling. The stronger your legs and the greater their range of motion, the greater the ability to correct for a loss of balance.”
Tai Chi: Swimming on Land - April 12, 2021
Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing wrote about the importance of what is described as "swimming on land,"1 "swimming in air,"2 and "dry swimming."3 We are advised in these writings to imagine the air as having the resistance and consistency of water when doing taiji movement.
The Benefits of Expansive Strength and How to Cultivate It - March 8, 2021
I learned about such strength from a dancer, Elaine Summers, with whom I studied in the 1970s because of problems I had with my back. At a certain point of practicing taiji, I realized that the strength she taught for movement and therapy was the same as nei jin. In order to develop such strength, it is first necessary to relinquish one’s accustomed contractive strength which would mask experiencing any fledgling emergence of expansive strength.
Solving Gut Problems with Taiji and Qigong - December 28, 2020
Learning is a big part of healing, especially in the healing of emotions. We know our emotions influence our physical body. The brain's emotional center needs to be refreshed, nourished, stimulated, and balanced. When you start to learn things you are not familiar with, you start to shift your focus onto new knowledge, new approaches, and a new life. This sort of internal transformation can improve your situation in life. It is as if you are shifting negative energy to positive energy. The more positive energy you have, the better the chance you can be healed.
Undivided We Become Strong - November 16, 2020
The most frustrating thing is that I have never seen the division in this country between people, between government, between races, and between families. Is this what we want? I don’t think so. As a holistic doctor and teacher for so many years, one thing I am continually teaching is that negative emotions greatly affect our health and life. This division can only create more negative emotions.
How Chronic Inflammation Affects Digestion and Metabolism - November 9, 2020
Inflammation in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact, inflammation is a critical process in healing. It is the body's normal response to acute injury or infection. If you scrape your knee or catch pneumonia, white cells within your blood release certain chemicals. These are called inflammatory markers. These markers tell your body to increase blood circulation to the affected area. Your knee, for instance, will start to look redder and feel warmer following the injury.
Understanding Our Digestive System - October 5, 2020
In 2012, an estimated seventy million Americans suffered from gastrointestinal disorders. Illness that arises from these conditions can cause a wide variety of symptoms and can lead to decreased quality of life. The resulting ambulatory care visits, hospitalizations, procedures, and indirect costs such as missed work tallied $142 billion.
Recommendations for Your Gut - September 21, 2020
If long rounds of testing and different dietary modifications fail to improve gastrointestinal and metabolic conditions, healthcare providers are finally advocating examining underlying physical and emotional stress as a possible cause of these problems. We feel strongly that stress management should be addressed concurrently with dietary and life-style strategies.
The Heart-Mind Connection - July 27, 2020
A positive mind makes positive physical changes: relaxed muscles, reduced heart rate and blood pressure, balanced metabolism and blood sugar, and improved production of digestive enzymes. A negative mind produces negative physical results: tight muscles, irregular or fast heart rate, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, low energy, poor metabolism, decreased enzyme production, and difficulty sleeping.
Tai Chi and Depression Q&A with Dr. Joan Listernick, Ph.D. - July 13, 2020
Depression is one of many diseases I have treated. After years of training in tai chi and qi gong with well-known masters in China, observing specific responses from students and patient, I have combined my knowledge of Chinese medicine, natural healing methods, and Daoist philosophy. I’ve designed this specific form of tai chi to help people recover from depression—or prevent it altogether. I created this specific form drawn from some Yang style and some from Chen style and also from qi gong, martial arts, and meditation, creating a high-quality practice. I decided to use this form for my own little study after seeing so many people suffering from depression and emotional struggles.
Let’s Act to Heal and to Prevent Future Pandemics - May 11, 2020
The cost of treating chronic illnesses in the United States accounts for 75 percent of the health-care budget. For the year 2009, when $2.5 trillion was spent on medical care overall, almost $1.9 trillion was allocated to the treatment of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer; 70 percent of all deaths in America were attributable to these chronic illnesses.
Western Thoughts on Heart Attacks - April 27, 2020
First and foremost, if you are having symptoms of a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately. Earlier treatment is associated with better long-term outcomes. No medical provider would scoff at you for seeking treatment for acute symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Even if it turned out that you had heartburn rather than a heart attack, it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
Social Distancing - April 13, 2020
At this time, I encourage you to avoid social gatherings, parties, big events. I saw that a neighbor had a big party two-days ago, and it made me think, “Do you have trouble understanding the situation, or are you just being selfish, or do you assume it is safe?” You may not be sick from the virus, but anything you touch can spread to hundreds of people.
The Science Behind Eastern Healing Modalities - March 23, 2020
When a person meditates, the electrical activity in the brain changes. This is true of any change of state such as intense concentration or emotion, drowsiness, sleep, and dreaming. These patterns of electrical activity are called brain waves and are measured by electroencephalography (EEG). Brain waves, also known as neural oscillations, have different frequencies.
Boost Your Immune System with Qigong - March 23, 2020
We need to be mindful of developing healthy habits such as washing out hands after touching things outside of the house, drinking more water, keeping distance from people, and wearing a proper mask when necessary. These are all very important actions and should be done routinely during these difficult times.
Unique Taiji Movement Sequences - March 2, 2020
Taiji movements are not like any other exercise. The special choreographed movements are circular and in constant motion. Many gestures cross the body from left to right, from upward to downward, and from right diagonal to left diagonal. It is multidimensional. The footwork is slow, on the diagonal, well controlled, and involves multiple changing stances.
Why Tai Chi and Qigong Assists in the Healing of Depression - January 6, 2020
I was surprised to see so many people suffering from depression during my time of taking care of patients from 1997 to 2013. Many of their problems were not genetic, which can often be the underlying cause of depression.