MindBody Wisdom

programs in integrative health

Tai Chi/Qigong



Tai Chi/Qigong is what MindBody Wisdom considers a mindfulness based movement therapy.


Tai Chi and Qigong


Tai chi is a graceful form of exercise involving a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by conscious breathing.  Each posture flows into the next without pause, resulting in a flowing motion. An ancient Chinese tradition, tai chi is a self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching, which creates flexibility, balance and agility.  It is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints.  “Chi” can be translated from Chinese as ‘life force’ or ‘energy’, and the practice of tai chi increases energy and stamina.  Medical research has demonstrated that Tai chi reduces stress, generalized chronic pain, joint pain, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, while enhancing the immune system as well as the quality of sleep.


Qigong, which translates as ‘cultivating energy’, is a set of energy exercises that shares the same Chinese tradition as Tai Chi. Combining subtle, rhythmic movement with mental intention and breathing techniques, Qigong increases energy and vitality.  It has been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.  Both Tai Chi and Qigong have tremendous potential in providing exercise in a controlled, modulated manner that precludes an individual from overdoing through competitive exertion or straining, thereby complicating illness or disease.


Tai chi, qigong, & pain


Research in the non-pharmacological treatment of pain during the past 10 years has investigated a variety of physical modalities, including physical therapy and exercise.  In investigations of Fibromyalgia, nearly half of the exercise studies examined the effects of tai chi.   Well designed, randomized control trials of tai chi and fibromyalgia in 2010, 2011, and 2012 found clinically, as well as statistically, significant improvement in functional capacity, quality of life, pain severity, sleep, and self-efficacy.  There is enough evidence of benefits for fibromyalgia and chronic pain that there is increasing discussion of tai chi as one element of a multi-disciplinary approach.


The Classes


Classes include a focus on internal energy (chi) for activating organs, strengthening bones, conditioning muscles, and re-invoking elasticity vital for soft tissues. Qigong (energy exercises) and tai chi (structured, mindful movement)  treat and activate organs neglected by the western world's focus on appearances and hard sports. Classes are one hour long. Students will learn to cultivate, control, and use chi for all aspects of their lives, including simple self defense applications (origins only for beginner and intermediate level students).


Each class is an introductory class for beginners, students of other disciplines, and higher level students. If you have ever wondered what tai chi is; if you know and have been looking for the right place and instructor; or if you have experience in another style, you will feel welcomed in this setting. Each class includes an introduction to the basic principles and caters to the needs of each student. Sifu will take students through a mild stretch, introduce proper breathing technique, provide examples of qigong for specific ailments, teach the form itself, and demonstrate and answer questions.


Classes are $10 each, $40 per month. The first class is free. Price savings are available for family members. No contracts, reasonable rates.


Colin Gates is our Tai Chi Instructor