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The Left Brain - Right Brain Union
How Tai Chi & Qigong Affect the Brain ...
Did you know scientists found Tai Chi makes your brain larger?!
Science is finding that meditative mindfulness practices like Tai Chi and Qigong can profoundly improve all aspects of your brain's function! A PERFECT addition to any student's educational curriculum, and Tai Chi also treats ADHD
Are there enough Tai Chi and Qigong teachers in the world to do that? ... I don't think so :-)
ON THE BRAIN, TAI CHI, AND QIGONG ...
The analytical thinking we use in daily activities, business, school, etc. is considered left brain thinking. It is a control type of thinking where we harness experience into words, definitions, and linear plans of action
Left Brain Thinking:
When we are in the mode of appreciating sensations, visual, auditory, or as tactile physical sensations. We become "observers" allowing sensations to wash through our awareness without exerting control or effort ... just "beholding."
Those who practice Tai Chi and Qigong for decades usually discover that they could never have "understood" Tai Chi and Qigong in the way we understand math or philosophy or engineering. It begins with homework and "left brain" analytical memorization of movements, etc. But, then the next level is the internal "feeling" of the body, some call "biofeedback," but not where you are "trying to feel, or analyze" but allowing the sensations of the body to fill your awareness.
In the below video, Sifu Bruce Frantzis deftly explains the difference in Tai Chi practice between "feeling" and "thinking about feeling." Thinking about feeling is a left brain activity, while the higher Tai Chi experience of "feeling sensations without thought" is a right brain activity. Bruce talks about this at about 5:50 min into his below video:
Neurology has found that the "left-brain" is where our analytical linear logical thinking primarily happens. The "right-brain" is the realm of when we observe life without analyzing it, like being overwhelmed with the beauty of being on a mountain top, on an ocean beach at sunset, or when listening to music that just takes our breath away and carries us to another state.
The Tai Chi and Qigong experience is larger than can be squeezed in our analytical-linear left-brain consciousness, which is the only aspect of our mind that formal education trains us in. This left-brain analytical thinking is important and valuable, but it is not all there is ... there is much more.
"The Tao that can be named
is not the true Tao."
-- Lao Tzu
When we first begin learning Tai Chi and Qigong it is alot more left-brain analytical thinking because we have to learn or memorize the movements ... but over time as the movements begin to flow through us without the need for left-brain control ... we begin to "feel" and "enjoy" the sensations flowing through us, and this is right-brain consciousness, and it produces a "meditative state" and enables us to enjoy the benefits of meditation, increased brain size, more calm, patience, peace, creativity, mental clarity, increased intelligence, more open-minded, etc.
A life journey into the Internal Arts, the Mind-Body Mindfulness Arts of Tai Chi and Qigong show you how experiences can unfold and expand through you in ways you could never pre-concieve of or wrap your head around ... you can only dive into the ocean of experience and swim around in it ... feeling the silken water on your skin, and the pressure of the water on your flesh, the coolness, the crystalline dreamy light that shines down through the water of your experience.
When we "feel" the sensations of the body in Tai Chi and Qigong, over and over and over again, the brain begins to shift its function from left-brain (analytical, holding thoughts) to right-brain (sensory, letting experiences flow through without holding them in the mind or body).
Scientific research shows that the brain shifts into Alpha Wave Brain Waves when we enter this meditative state. Above, in his video Bruce Frantzis talks about the difference between "feeling" and "thinking about feeling." A very insightful way of illuminating to students this deeper meditative mindfulness quality of letting go of the world and feeling the sensations of the body in motion ... the pads of the feet spreading on the foot you are "filling," or "sinking into," and the pads of the emptying foot releasing pressure ... the sensation of the muscles loosening on the bones in motion, being massaged by them ... the sensation of full abdominal breaths that almost massage the body as you relax around your deeper, fuller breathing ... the feeling of expansion and sinking as the energy expands and builds throughout the body.
All this cannot be held in your analytical left-brain. If you tried to do that, Tai Chi and Qigong would make you tighter, not looser :-) Which is why when students, like myself, first start Tai Chi, we think "Wow! This isn't relaxing. I thought Tai Chi was relaxing." Of course, Tai Chi is deeply relaxing, but this part comes over time as the body memorizes the motions, and you begin to be carried by the movements moving through you, rather than you having to focus so intensely on them with your left brain, as you do in the beginning.
When you stop to think about this, how Tai Chi simultaneously gives the mind a chance to unplug and unwind by using the body's sensations as a "meditation mantra," while physically massaging and loosening the body, providing cardio benefits and building bone mass and muscle mass, and literally pumping oxygen into the body's deepest capillaries, while cleansing CO2 and toxins out via the full exhalations ... the early Chinese creators of Tai Chi and Moving Qigong created a profoundly high science that modern science is only beginning to scratch the surface of understanding.
Tai Chi & Qigong as Medicine
REMINDER: Dr. Kevin Chen's upcoming
Qigong Self-Healing Cancer Retreat at the University of Baltimore Medical School is a groundbreaking event:
Dr. Kevin Chen is creating a template that will one day be part of all major oncology departments and health networks worldwide.
BEAUTIFUL Reggio Calabria's,
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2015 Report ...
Quick Qigong Breathing Tutorial & Video ...
The Latin root for "spirit" is "spiritus" which means "the breath." Qigong in Chinese means, "breathing exercise" or "life energy exercise." Try this short and relaxing Qigong Breathing Tutorial, and excerpt from "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong
" (Bantam-Penguin 4th edition)
Uden, The Netherland's, World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2015 Report ... beautiful ...
Malden, Massachussetts USA's World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Report ... held at the Malden YMCA ...
2015 WTCQD Event Reports Flowing in From Worldwide!
6th installment ... featuring WTCQD Events in Reggio Calabria, Italy; Uden, The Netherlands; Auckland, New Zealand; Homosassa, Florida USA; Honolulu, Hawaii USA; Malden, Massachusetts USA;
This newsletter quickly FILLED, but more are coming...from the incredibly beautiful WTCQD Tai Chi & Qigong Family ...
If you missed the first 5 installments of WTCQD 2015 Reports, click here to view it. Please share these links and newsletters widely ...
encourage all your Tai Chi and Qigong contacts to Join Our Free Email Mailing List at WorldTaiChiDay.org
to stay plugged into global Tai Chi & Qigong developments.
Dear World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Supporters,
We need a financial angel ... our website WorldTaiChiDay.org has had a huge impact, connecting over one-million of our visitors to local Tai Chi and Qigong teachers worldwide, and helping teachers worldwide expand TC and QG into society at all levels. OUR PROBLEM? We don't make any money off of this, and we need to HIRE A WEB DESIGN FIRM TO MAKE THIS SITE AND THE TEACHER/SCHOOL DIRECTORY STATE OF THE ART to keep up with the Internet's technological changes. Please reply to this email if you share our vision, and have the means to finance our website conversion.
Yours in Qi,
Bill Douglas & Angela Wong-Douglas, Founders of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
"These NQA annual national conferences are very unique opportunities for Tai Chi and Qigong enthusiasts and teachers to network, learn from other teachers and masters, and expand your vision of Tai Chi and Qigong as profound healing tools in society. I made connections and learned things at the NQA conference that have changed my life, and expanded my vision of Tai Chi and Qigong forever."-- Bill Douglas, Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
Auckland, New Zealand's World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Report ... New Zealand is the FIRST WTCQD event that begins the global wave each year ...
Homosassa, Florida USA's World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Report ...
Honolulu, Hawaii USA's World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Report ... held at a popular shopping mall ...
Tai Chi Learning/Teaching Tips ...
From Sifu Gene Burnett ...
Here at WorldTaiChiDay.org we like to share videos that help de-mystify Tai Chi to make it easier to see the principles acting in our body when we do Tai Chi. Sifu Gene Burnett is great at this, see above video.
I also talk about this concept from a slightly different angle in my book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong
" and in my book's web video support videos, see below excerpt and video. I've traveled the world seeing how different teachers explain the same concepts in different ways, and that has benefited my practice and teaching ... and I learned things from teachers of ALL styles, not just from the ones who practice and teach my own Guang Ping Yang Style form ... so many concepts are universal to all styles.
Video excerpt from the web video support for The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong
The Hidden Meanings of Yin and Yang ...
The Yin Yang symbol is also known as the "Tai Chi symbol."
Tai Chi & Qigong Medical Research ...
See World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's "Medical Research Library
" for links to research articles on how Tai Chi and/or Qigong can help with nearly 100 common health challenges.
ON SENDING YOUR WTCQD REPORTS ...
upload your videos onto Youtube
, and then send us the Youtube link. It is way less work for us that way, plus you get increased outreach for your photos/video. You can use Windows Movie Make
r, a free video editing program, where you can add titles & music to imported photos or video.
Also, if you post your photos on a Facebook page, and send us the link, or post them in your WTCQD Event Listing, and then send us the link. But, Youtube and Movie Maker are great tools to learn how to use for your own local school's promotion!
TEACHERS, GROW YOUR CLASSES!
STUDENTS, GET EVEN MORE OUT OF YOUR ONGOING TAI CHI CLASS EXPERIENCE - NO MATTER WHAT STYLE!
TOP TAI CHI EXPERTS HAIL THIS BOOK AS A WAY TO EXPLAIN COMPLEX CHINESE CONCEPTS IN "EASY TO GRASP" MODERN TERMINOLOGY!
"Sometimes Chinese culture can be difficult to explain. Sifu
Bill Douglas successfully uses American culture to explain the
art of T'ai Chi Chuan. He simplifies difficult concepts, making
them easier to understand. This book takes the best parts of
T'ai Chi and makes them understandable [to Westerners]
without requiring a grounding in Chinese culture and history."
-- Sifu Yijiao Hong, USA All-Tai Chi Grand Champion and USA Team member; Certified International Coach and Judge, International Wushu Federation
"Visionary! If you only buy one book on T'ai Chi, then this is the book ... I have taught T'ai Chi for several decades myself, yet I have now read Bill's book from cover to cover seven times, and still get something new from it each time."
-- Dr. Michael Steward Sr., D.MA, Ph.D., MA, Senior Coach for Team USA, Inductee of the World Sports Medicine and World Martial Arts Hall of Fame
What I hoped to accomplish with this book ... as a tool to help teachers of all styles, and enthusiasts of TC and QG, to expand Tai Chi & Qigong throughout society at all levels:
On my book, what I can say about it is that teachers worldwide are a part of it ... it promotes all Tai Chi and Qigong teachers worldwide ... provides examples of how make these arts more understandable and tangible to the modern student ... gives teachers of all styles a vision of how to expand their Tai Chi and Qigong teaching into education, penal rehab., modern healthcare ... and society at all levels.
Because it is the product of closing in on 40 years of Tai Chi and Qigong practice and study in many countries around the world, being exposed to probably more Tai Chi and Qigong teachers and styles than any human being due to our work organizing World Tai Chi Day, and thousands upon thousands of hours creating the richly detailed illustrations in the book, and of course the text, but even moreso the nearly 150 web video support videos that accompany this book, making it a state-of-the-art multi-media instructional, but with a focus on the universality of all styles of Tai Chi and Qigong's benefits, giving teachers very simple ways to explain amazingly deep and profound Chinese concepts ... in a tangible modern way.
I studied acupuncture for a year, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine, through Tokyo Japan's Wasada School of Acupuncture's US training program, and wanted to share with other teachers and students an overview of how Tai Chi and Qigong are part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. But also how Western Medicine is now embracing Tai Chi and Qigong mindfulness meditation as a powerful health tool. My decades of work in major health networks enabled me to keep abreast of the cutting-edge research on Tai Chi and Qigong as highly effective medical therapies.
Through decades of teaching Tai Chi and Qigong meditation in some of the world's largest corporations and health networks and institutions, I had to learn how to explain these ancient, often thought of as mystical, concepts in no-nonsense science based modern Western terminology, and this gave the book a richness that only decades of refining the message in front of some of the most challenging audiences, could have given. Most teachers, and even the top Tai Chi and Qigong masters' biggest struggle is not their ability to do the arts well, but their ability to explain sensations and self-perceptions that took decades to cultivate ... in a way that those who are new to the arts can resonate to and connect with ... and my decades of putting these internal arts out into the world, corporate, education, healthcare, penal rehabilitation, special education, etc., cultivated this skill in me ... and I share those years of trial and error and cultivation of techniques with teachers worldwide via the book.
So, why should a teacher or student believe that all this experience has resulted in anything of value? The proof is in the pudding, as my Mom used to say ... And our Tai Chi and Qigong Meditation Program at the University of Kansas Hospital has seen amazing results, people finding relief from type 2 diabetes; chronic pain; heart disease; parkinson's and MS, anxiety, insomnia, allergies and asthma, etc. See local PBS affiliate's feature on our University of Kansas Hospital classes titled "Tai Chi for Chronic Health Issues."
Many teachers worldwide have used my book as a tools to enhance what they teach, regardless of style, or Tai Chi or Qigong approach. The concepts can be used universally by teachers of all styles, to enhance, expand, and become even more effective by using our simple explanations of esoteric Chinese concepts.
My successful results are the result of my being open to other teachers' teaching around the planet, and that openness enabled my teaching to evolve, so I offer what I've learned in the form of this book to all teachers worldwide ... not as THE way ... but as more tools for your tool belt ... and for students of all styles to relax more into the process, to enjoy their teacher, their stumbles and falls, lightening up on yourself, your teacher and seeing the Tai Chi and Qigong journey as an adventure you cannot fail at, but can grow and evolve into as you "play" at it.
However, I wanted this book to be about more than just my teaching, because I believe Tai Chi and Qigong offer the world so much. So,
I included an Appendix in my book that directs readers to teachers around the world via the Tai Chi and Qigong Events and Listings Directories at WorldTaiChiDay.org, to help my book's readers find local teachers in their areas.
These are not affiliates of ours, or franchises, or teachers connected with us in any way other than just listing their local teaching on the free directories World Tai Chi & Qigong Day created, which has connected over one-million of our website visitors to local teachers' contact info.
This is the world's ONLY Tai Chi or Qigong book that refers readers to "all teachers in the world" as a resource, and provides links to connect readers with any and all teachers worldwide.
-- Bill Douglas, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong (4th edition, Bantam/Penguin Books)