Tai Chi, Qigong and Prevention


It’s common knowledge that exercising and eating better can improve the quality of life for seniors. This truth is a reality for more and more people as Baby Boomers reach retirement age, especially for those of us who want to live active lives during retirement. It’s a less savory reality, however, that from ages 60-75 you can breakdown a lot more quickly than you ever imagined, especially without taking preventative approaches to live healthily.

We’re finding out (rather, known for a long time) that simple things like walking at least a mile a day, eating more nutritious foods, even viewing nature and meditating, will improve our quality of life and even help to live longer.

Nothing works better than tai chi and qigong as far as I’m concerned. Yoga is hugely popular and is beneficial, too; however, it can backfire if done incorrectly. As a tai chi and qigong teacher, many have come to me desperate, having tried everything else, or perhaps not tried at all, for too long to regain lost ground. “Never say never,” of course; but that doesn’t alter the reality that way too often we put off until tomorrow what we should do today.

Some 75% of healthcare costs are tied to chronic preventable illnesses (source). Health solutions that change habits are in demand more than ever. But the growth of preventative health habits is only slowly taking hold. It’s hard to break old habits.

Of course, it may be more of a matter of learning new habits that, with discipline and practice, eventually overcome and dispel old ones. Another useful application of tai chi and qigong (and yoga) is to merge new ways of being into daily living—ways of moving, in the case of tai chi and qigong.

Another reason why we are not switching to proactive health activities is because there are so many avenues out there being offered. Paths to choosing the right ones that fit our own particular situations are not so obvious. Tai chi and qigong are almost universally applicable whatever your lifestyle and health condition may be. They are as easy or as challenging as you could imagine. Yet, you can practice them at almost any level and receive positive benefits, especially if you have the right teacher.

Yes, you need a live teacher, at least at some point. Videos and TV shows might help some, but a live, in-your-face person, and the two-way communication that comes with it, are key to progress and receiving the rewards of practice.