Tai Chi Qigong, Tai Chi's Ultimate Goal By Erle Montaigue 16/05/2011
Tai Chi is the ultimate Qigong method and once got, you will need no other Qigong. However, Tai Chi is not Qigong at its beginning levels or even its intermediate levels. Tai Chi is only Qigong at its highest level of 'Waving Form'. And even then, we must take that Waving Form onto its highest level, that of Tai Chi Qigong.
How do we perform basic Qigong, the mother Qigong of "3 Circle Standing Qigong"? We stand with bent knees holding our palms up in front of us for a period of time. The arms become heavy and the body begins to shake and when we first begin this Qigong, the arms and shoulders get a complete muscular workout so that the next day, we feel sore. However, when we perform our Tai Chi at its basic level of even middle levels, we feel no such soreness or heaviness other than a good leg workout. This level of Tai Chi is great for good health etc. and must of course be gone through in order to reach the Tai Chi Qigong level.
We now know scientifically that all plants and animals when put under other than ideal conditions such as drought, they produce chemicals within the body to cause the body to have more energy and actually prolong life. This is the main reason that fasting in humans and all animals is a good thing. Not only does fasting cleanse the body and route the main Qi (energy) source for healing, it also causes the body to be under adverse conditions and to have some stress. So the body will also produce these chemicals that will help to prolong life! Like when a tree is pruned, its exactly the same principle, the tree is put under adverse conditions and so produces more fruit in order to prolong its life and off-spring. If however, we were to prune the tree too much, it would die or become very ill and not produce fruit. So there is a fine line between just enough adversity and too much.
Holding the arms in an almost static position for long periods of time will also cause this phenomenon, especially combined with the isometric exercise of bending the knees and moving very slowly as we should do in the upper levels of Tai Chi practice. The arms hardly move during a Tai Chi Qigong session, they simply follow the body, the fingers never touch, for instance. And we take around 40 to 60 minutes to complete the form done all slowly with no external fa-jing. In fact the first third of the form should be done in around 15 minutes when doing it at this level.
The arms will move only the absolute correct amount in order to maintain continuity with what the internal Qi is doing and this will be done for you once you reach this level of Tai Chi practice having come through all of the other levels. You will simply not be able to close your fingers to form the single whip 'beak' for instance and both hands will maintain a distance of no more than a couple of feet apart. It's like placing your hands inside of a large rubber band so that the arms can only open so far until the energy of the expanding rubber band will contract and cause your hands to go into the next posture and so on.
When you have finished such a practice session, you will really feel that your body has had a total workout and the next day you will feel sore in most parts of your body, waist, ankles, shoulders, laterals, and arms etc. It is quite amazing how this all works and what affect it has upon the body.
The most difficult of all the movements in the Yang Lu-ch'an form, as this form is the only one that has this level, are those that require that you 'sit like a mandarin duck' as you have to maintain that very slow movement all the way down and back up.
Tai Chi Qigong is where everything finally comes together, you will no longer think about anything, you will not even remember breathing! And your sense of well-being is enormous giving greater Qi flow and activation than ever before.
Tai Chi Qigong is 'Waving Form' done much smaller so that the waving movements are no longer visible to the eye as they have gone internal, with only the most trained eye able to see the waving and rolling movements. For TCM doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and anyone who treats ill people using their hands, this form is the one that will give you the most potent healing power of all. It also opens the mind so that you will be able to use your fullest potential as far as inner mind is concerned. Things like telepathy and knowing about things before they happen will become more apparent and frequent. Knowing what is inside a person will also be an attribute that will grow with your training.
I will be attempting to put the Tai Chi Qigong method down onto video soon so that everyone will be able to at least see what it looks like as I have had the privilege of doing. And this is quite important, for to see, is to do!