Over the 16 years of WorldTaiChiDay.org's work, organizing WTCQD and sharing information like this page ... Tai Chi has increasingly been embraced as a health activity at Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, etc. And many credit our work, as being a major catalyst to this ...
"I have found that the children with training in
[tai chi] and ballet show a much greater
presence physically during church services.
They are much more capable of physical
reverence, focus and attention." -- Rev. Thomas Gorman of St. John
the Evangelist Catholic Church
"In order that the mind should see light
instead of darkness, so the entire soul
must be turned away from this changing world, until its eye can learn to contemplate reality and that supreme splendor which we have called the good. Hence there may well be an art whose aim would be to effect this very thing."
"I am the product of a life of
religious education, and I have
found that Tai Chi and Qigong
meditation has been very complimentary
to creating a more mindful contemplative
life, that not just my religion, but that
all religions adhere to. Having said that
it is important to be clear that
Tai Chi, Qigong, and Meditation
are not religions, but rather high
level health sciences, and can and
should be taught in public schools
as well as places of worship." -- Bill Douglas, Founder
of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
Tai Chi & QG are HEALTH SCIENCES, say Harvard Medical School Tai Chi researchers. See video:
Tai Chi & Qigong Teachers! To start a class in places of worship, often begins with a referral from one of your class students to their place of faith. However, you can also cold-call the "activities directors" at local houses of worship, and use this page, and our Medical Research Library to educate them about why your classes would be a good addition for their members or parishioners. Also, click the below drop-down menu to show them that Churches, Synagogues and Mosques are already holding Tai Chi & Qigong classes ... so they know that it is already an acceptable practice.
Scroll down to read why Tai Chi & Qigong are "perfect" compliments to any Church, Mosque, or Synagogue!
Above is a listing of religious institutions who've incorporated Tai Chi & Qigong into their activities offerings. This is not a class promotion, but rather a record of examples that can be used by individuals or teachers to share with your local place of worship to encourage them to take advantage of the many benefits Tai Chi & Qigong can offer their worshippers and community.
Is your church, etc. offering Tai Chi or Qigong classes?
Scroll down to read why Tai Chi & Qigong are "perfect" compliments to any Church, Mosque, or Synagogue!
In the past there has been some erroneous interpretation of Tai Chi & Qigong as somehow competing with individuals
However now, very few ministers are confused on the fact that Tai Chi and Qigong are health sciences that in no way
compete or conflict with anyone's religious practices, and in fact, many churches and synagogues now offer Tai Chi and Qigong (Chi Kung) classes as part of their activities programs.
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day founder, Bill Douglas, for example
has taught Tai Chi & Qigong for such wide ranging institutions as
the National Catholic Youth Conference, and various other churches,
and many synagogues are now offering Tai Chi & Qigong classes as well.
Those who've experienced the quiet contemplative states of mind that Tai Chi & Qigong cultivate, realize that they can only support anyones practices of faith. Also, modern medicine is now beginning to realize that as human's we were born with rather remarkable abilities to heal from various ailments. These God given abilities are supported by Tai Chi & Qigong's natural health practices.
Recent research indicating Tai Chi practice can profoundly boost the immune system is a clear indication of how these ancient health practices can support our God given natural healing abilities. Most ministers and rabbis, etc. now understand that to support our natural healing abilities is much preferable to leaping unconsciously to drug solutions that artificially manipulate our mind and bodies. (WTCQD does NOT recommend self-diagnosis, or self-treatment without engaging your physician in your health choices. However, increasingly physicians are recommending Tai Chi & Qigong as therapeutic supplements for many conditions).
Tai Chi & Qigong's calming effects are ones that can be enjoyed by anyone of any faith equally, with great benefit, that often results in helping people realize their spiritual goals. But, again, there is no religion or spiritual instruction involved with Tai Chi & Qigong, just good solid health science. Masters understand that it is not Tai Chi or Qigong that heal us--they are simply tools to let go of our fear and tension so that the natural health process already woven into us can function at their highest levels.
Tai Chi & Qigong are often described as "meditation" techniques, and a few ministers have confused the word "meditation" with "prayer." However, meditation is actually a science based exercise to free the mind from the worries and fears that cause our mind and body to be exhausted. Recent Harvard, Yale, MIT research has found that meditation increases brain size in certain cognitive centers of the mind--particularly the empathy/compassion parts of the brain. AND, that meditation appears to stimulate a "compassion response" in practitioners, by activating their action centers when exposed to information of other people's distress--stimulating them to want to help others--which fits well with the Bible school and religious training I had growing up in the Lutheran Church--and should with all the major religions' calls for compassion.
In China thousands of years of research went into observing the mind-body connections,
to develop Tai Chi and Qigong as ways to heighten the mind-body function. They observed
themselves from within, in the same way a Western scientist observes things from without.
Make no mistake, both are sciences, and in no way conflict with any religion or faith.
Today, modern Western research laboratories worldwide are now beginning to understand
the high sciences of mind-body arts like Tai Chi and Qigong, and are proving that
these techniques are not religion, but science, even though, as was mentioned
they can be great additions to further a mindful contemplative life as a
compliment to your own religious practices, but neither part of them
in conflict with them. Tai Chi & Qigong prescribe no belief system,
just mental and physical techniques to relax the mind and body
in order to help the health systems communicate more effectively
with less stress-static.
Give sustenance to the destitute, the orphan, and the captive
― Koran 76:8
Allah created nations and tribes that we might know one another, not that we might despise one another.
Never to turn aside the stranger, for it is
like turning aside the most high God.
Full of love for all things in the world;
practicing virtue in order
to benefit others,
this man alone
These benefits show clearly that Tai Chi & Qigong are supportive
techniques to people of faith by:
A) Relaxing practitioners to open up more to their natural God
given healing abilities rather than relying exclusively on
administering foriegn agents like drugs for every ailment
(see above recommendation of consulting your physician).
B) Supports and exercises the "compassion centers"
of the physicial brain which works in conjunction
with major religion's focus on compassion as a
central tenat of their faith.
C) Tai Chi & Qigong offer no religious dogma or
spiritual teaching. They are health sciences that
help practitioners let go of unrealistic and
unnecessary fears and strains. Given that
"faith in the goodness and will of God" is a
central tenat to major religions, this benefit of
"releasing fear and tension" that Tai Chi & Qigong
produce, can only be a supportive addition to any
church, synagogue, mosque, etc.'s
activities calendar offerings for parishoners.
Health benefits / Medical Research of Tai Chi & Qigong
for those with ANXIETY
Qigong for Anxiety
- Shanghai Mental Health Centre, Shanghai, China//Shanghai Qigong Research Institute, Shanghai, China 1989
The subjects were 8 patients (3 males, 5 females, aged from 21 to 57) who met the criteria for anxiety in DSM-3. The major clinical manifestations
of these patients were anxiety, panic, nervousness, restlessness, fear, headache, dizziness, sleeping disorder, sweaty and palpitations. The
illness course varied from three months to six years.
All the patients were tested by the physiological instruments of multiple frequency for Electroencephalogram (EEG), galvanic skin response (GSB)
and rate of respiration, heart beat, and oxygen consumption before and after the relaxation exercise.
The mental state of the patients were also evaluated by Hamilton Rating Scale (HAMA and HAMD).
3. The program of relaxation exercise:
The methods of exercise were adopted from the book of "Inner meditation six combination Gong" which was written by the author. There were
three basic programs: (1) exercise of adjustment energy (Qi): the patients adjust their movement of regularly through shaking of limb, meditation
under controlling of thinking. (2) relaxation exercise: The body of patients were gradually relaxed under inducement of thinking. (3) meditation
exercise: The patients should be paid attention to his point of "DAN TIAN" and abdominal respiration in order to suppress their brain and improve
their mental state.
4. Training schedule:
The training group id the form of collecting in help of Qigong doctor . One time diebus alternis, every time is fifteen minutes course of treatment
is one month.
1. Rate of electroencephalogram was significant difference between, during and after training (p<O.0l). (See table II)
2. The results showed that GSR, rate of respiration, heart beat, oxygen consumption were decreased. (See table II)
3. The results of Hamilton Rating Scale showed significant differences between before and after Qigong exercise.
4. Analysis of therapeutic effect:
The five patients were cured and two cases were improved after training for one month, but one patient failed to respond to the Qigong exercise.
The effective rate was about 87.5%.
ATTENTION DEFICIT AND HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER & T'AI CHI:
Excerpt from Tai Chi Benefits ADHD, by Massage Magazine
-- Source: Touch Research Institute. Authors: Maria Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., Tiffany Field, Ph.D.,
and Eric Thimas. Originally published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies,
April 2001, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 120-123
. . . During and after five weeks of tai chi lessons, adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) showed less anxiety, daydreaming, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity,
according to a study by the Touch Research Institute (TRI).
"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: benefits from Tai Chi" was conducted by Maria
Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., Tiffany Field, Ph.D., and Eric Thimas.
ADHD, often treated by drugs such as Ritalin, is characterized by inattention, impulsivity and
hyperactivity. A 1998 TRI study showed that massage was effective in increasing focus, improving mood,
reducing fidgeting and lowering hyperactivity in adolescents with ADHD. This study examined whether
tai chi, the Chinese martial art of slow-moving, meditative exercise, would have similar effects . . .
ADD and ADHD. Research at the University of Miami School of Medicinehas shown that adolescents with ADHD (Attention Deficit
and Hyperactivity Disorder) displayed less anxiety, daydreaming behaviors, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity, and greater improved conduct,
after a five week, two day per week class. T’ai Chi meets many of the criteria for mood management techniques recommended for ADD (see
the “Treating Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD]” section earlier in this chapter).
[Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T.M., & Thimas, E. (2001). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: benefits from Tai Chi. Journal of Bodywork &
Movement Therapies, 5(2):120-3, 2001 Apr, 5(23 ref), 120-123.]
Treating Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
ADD is a growing problem not only with children, but adults as well. T’ai Chi may is a wonderful adjunct therapy for treating ADD
because it augments many of the mood management techniques recommended for ADD sufferers. A University of Miami School of
Medicine study shows T’ai Chi is a powerful therapy for ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder). The children participating in the study saw a drop in ADD symptoms, and an enhanced ability to focus,
concentrate, and perform tasks.
Check with your child’s therapist or physician before beginning T’ai Chi. Also, find an effective, understanding
T’ai Chi instructor who has experience teaching children.
Drs. Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D., experts on the management of ADD wrote, “Exercise is positively one of
the best treatments for ADD. It helps work off excess energy and aggression in a positive way, it allows for noise-reduction within the
mind, it stimulates the hormonal and neurochemical systems in a most therapeutic way, and it soothes and calms the body.”
The slow mindful movements of T’ai Chi have much to offer people who suffer from ADD. The following table explains why T’ai Chi
may be a perfect ADD therapy.
T'ai Chi and ADD
What Experts Suggest
What T'ai Chi Offers
Set aside time for recharging batteries,
something calm and restful, like meditation.
T’ai Chi is a mini-vacation.
Daily exercise that is readily available and
needs little preparation can help with the
blahs that occur and with overall outlook.
T’ai Chi is easy, requires no preparation,
and is a daily mood elevator.
Observe mood swings; learn to accept
them by realizing they will pass. Learn
strategies that might help bad moods
T’ai Chi is a tool for self-observation of
feelings and for letting those feelings go.
Use “time-outs” when you are upset or overstimulated; take
a time-out; go away, calm down.
T’ai Chi can be performed in the bathroom
at school or work, giving you a break from
Let go of the urgency to always finish things quickly by learning to enjoy the process.
T’ai Chi’s slow flowing routine is about
letting go of outcome and learning to love
ADD usually includes a tendency to overfocusor hyperfocus at times, to obsess or ruminate over
some imagined problem without being able
to let it go.
T’ai Chi teaches the practice of letting
go on a mental, emotional, and physical
level with each exhale.
Sage Sifu Says
T'ai Chi teachers should realize that
T’ai Chi for kids with ADD will not look
like T’ai Chi for adults. It will be faster
Can't find Tai Chi or Qigong classes in your area,
or that will fit your schedule?
The world's most effective and easy to follow Tai Chi and Qigong DVD
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Best-selling Tai Chi author, and 2009 Inductee to the Internal Arts Hall of Fame, Bill Douglas, has been a Tai Chi source for The New York Times; Reader's Digest; The Wall Street Journal; and media worldwide, and is the Official Tai Chi Expert for famed naturopath, Dr. Andrew Weil's websites. Bill was commissioned by Prevention Magazine, to create their Tai Chi Tutorial.
The Complete Idiot's Guide
to T'ai Chi & Qigong (4th edition)
"Visionary! All you needed to know to change your life. If you get only one book on T'ai Chi, then this is the one. I have read it cover to cover seven times, and get something new from it each time." -- Dr. Michael Steward, Team USA Senior Coach, World Martial Arts Hall of Famer
Nearly 150 web-video
This world acclaimed book offers an appendix, linking to the Teacher/School directory at WorldTaiChiDay.org
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