By Paula O’Neill, M.S., RN-BCClinical Program Manager
Activity, one of the Five Pillars of the Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine Care Model, is an important part of your health plan. But does the thought of exercise make you cringe? Do you feel that you’re not in shape or that you are too weak to exercise? Well, I may have the answer for you…Tai Chi and Qigong. Tai Chi and Qigong are examples of two activities that you can do regardless of your fitness level.
Tai Chi is an ancient mind-body practice that originated in China as a martial art. Sometimes referred to as "meditation in motion," practitioners move slowly and continuously through a series of motions while breathing deeply and meditating. Qi (life force energy) Gong (the skill that develops with consistent practice) is a practice that incorporates postures, breathing techniques, and awareness.
Tai Chi and Qigong promote the balance and smooth flow of Qi throughout your body, which can help you maintain or improve your health.
Both practices are low-impact and consist of slow gentle movements that can be adapted for anyone, from those who are fit to individuals who are confined to wheelchairs or recovering from an illness or surgery. They are perfect for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Studies have shown that Tai Chi and Qigong can improve balance and stability, help manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back and neck pain, and improve quality of life in individuals with cancer and those with chronic illnesses.
There’s no time like now to start an activity routine. You and Tai Chi/Qigong may be the perfect fit!
For more information about Tai Chi and Qigong at Hackensack Meridian Health, please email IntegrativeHealth@hackensackmeridian.org.