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Book Description

Heal yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with the ultimate guide to T'ai Chi and QiGong for beginners!

T'ai Chi - a martial art used for health, meditation, and self-defense - and QiGong - a large variety of physical and mental training methods based on Chinese philosophy - are widely recognized to heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. T'ai Chi has demonstrated its health benefits by being linked with everything from slowing the aging process and increasing balance and flexibility to lowering stress levels and enhancing the body's natural healing powers.


In this fourth edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide® to T'ai Chi & QiGong, the authors have streamlined the book, giving it a clearer how-to focus. Nearly 150 video clips complement the 300 helpful illustrations in the book by demonstrating a complete T'ai Chi exercise - all exclusively available to readers on the authors' website.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Part 1: T’ai Chi: Relax into Raw Power
    1. 1 Why Practice T’ai Chi and QiGong?
      1. Subtle Adjustments Equal Powerful Changes
      2. Where This Journey Can Lead
        1. Relaxing the Mind, the Body, and Our Lives
        2. Unfurl Your Constricted Creativity
        3. Getting Centered MakesLife Magical
      3. T’ai Chi and QiGong as Physical Engineering Principles
      4. Getting Daily Biofeedback Untangles Life Issues
        1. T’ai Chi and QiGong as Biofeedback
        2. Seeing the Physical and Mental Health Link
      5. T’ai Chi and QiGong are Powerful Life Medicine
        1. Reboot Your Nervous System for Clarity
        2. T’ai Chi and QiGong for Career Enhancement
        3. Multi-Tasking: Meditation, Fitness, and Massage
      6. Styles of T’ai Chi
    2. 2 Medical T’ai Chi & QiGong: The Prescription for the Future
      1. The Health Benefits of T’ai Chi and QiGong
      2. Mind Over Matter
      3. Acupuncture and T’ai Chi
        1. Zang Fu: Massaging Internal Organs for Health
        2. Your Organs Are Related to Your Emotions
        3. Increase Flexibility
      4. Western Medicine’s Research on T’ai Chi and QiGong
        1. Stress Is the Root of Your Health Issues
        2. T’ai Chi Is Your Heart, Head, and Body’s Best Friend
      5. A Boost to Your Immune System
        1. How Does T’ai Chi Fight for the Immune System?
        2. DHEA and T’ai Chi
        3. Reducing Free Radical Damage to Age More Slowly
        4. Maximizing Bone Health
        5. You Can Dramatically Improve Your Balance!
        6. T’ai Chi & QiGong: Healthcare of the Future
      6. Access the Healing Power of the Mind
    3. 3 Expanding Your Mind and Lightening Your Heart
      1. Leave the Rat Race Behind
        1. Frantic Action vs. Efficiency
        2. T’ai Chi Is Smelling the Roses
        3. Remember to Breathe (Everything Else Takes Care of Itself)
      2. Lose Your Grip on Reality: The Power of Effortlessness
        1. The Unbendable Arm
        2. Our Flexibility Is Our Strength
      3. Learning to See Patterns in the Chaos of Life
        1. Calming the Chaos Within Changes Our World
        2. Releasing Old Patterns Enables Our Evolution
        3. T’ai Chi Dispels the Idea of Wrongness
        4. T’ai Chi Is a Model for Life
        5. T’ai Chi Enhances Life
        6. T’ai Chi and QiGong Expand Imagination
    4. 4 Finding Your Center—Feeling Your Center
      1. T’ai Chi Walking: Practice Feeling Centered
      2. T’ai Chi Deprograms Antiquated Cellular Programming
        1. How T’ai Chi Frees Us from Ancient Patterns
        2. T’ai Chi Enables Us to Function Effectively in the Modern World
        3. Adrenaline Withdrawal
      3. Demystifying What Makes a T’ai Chi Master
        1. Overcoming Unconscious Issues Affecting Conscious Actions
        2. Becoming a Master Entails Not Being a Victim
      4. Overcome Nature with Nurture
      5. T’ai Chi Can Affect the World Around Us
  8. Part 2: Suiting Up and Setting Out
    1. 5 Planning Ahead: Where and When to Practice T’ai Chi
      1. Home Practice vs. Class Study
        1. Making the Most of Learning T’ai Chi by Book
        2. Making the Most of Video/DVD T’ai Chi
      2. Understanding TCM’s Horary Clock
      3. Outdoor vs. Indoor Practice
        1. The Benefits of Practicing Outdoors
        2. Choosing a Surface to Practice On
        3. Practicing Indoors
      4. Large Class vs. Private Class
        1. The Pros and Cons of Large Classes
        2. The Pros and Cons of Private Lessons
      5. How Often Should I Practice?
        1. T’ai Chi Is a Model for Easing Life Changes
        2. Let Go of Your Grip on Expectations or Results
        3. Make a Calendar
        4. The Value of T’ai Chi’s Social Aspect
    2. 6 Be Prepared: Your First Day of Class
      1. Choosing Your T’ai Chi Wardrobe
      2. Class Rules and Internal/External Hygiene
        1. External Hygiene and Class Rules
        2. Internal Hygiene—A State of Mind
        3. T’ai Chi and Massage Therapy
        4. Resistance to Change Tempts You to Drop Out
        5. “Wrongness” Is Our Culture’s “Resistance”
      3. Attending Your First Class
        1. How to Address Your Instructor
        2. Class Structure
        3. How Are T’ai Chi Movements Taught?
        4. Yes, There Is Homework Involved
        5. T’ai Chi Etiquette
    3. 7 Horse Stance and Other Terms
      1. T’ai Chi Posture Is Power!
        1. Where Is the Dan Tien?
        2. The Horse Stance and Three Dan Tiens
        3. The Vertical Axis Aligns Posture
      2. The Sinking
        1. Sinking Your Weight
        2. Never Pivot a Leg You’ve Sunk Into
      3. Active Bones Under Soft Muscle
        1. T’ai Chi Is Not Isometrics
        2. When It’s Easy, It’s Correct
      4. T’ai Chi Motions Are Round Motions
      5. Breath Is the Root of T’ai Chi and QiGong
        1. Postbirth Breathing
        2. Prebirth Breathing
      6. Knowing Your Martial Terms for T’ai Chi
        1. Punches
        2. Blocking
        3. Kicks
  9. Part 3: Starting Down the QiGong Path to T’ai Chi
    1. 8 Introducing QiGong
      1. Let’s Do Some Heavy Breathing
      2. T’ai Chi vs. QiGong: What’s the Difference?
      3. A Brief History of QiGong
        1. Ancient Science Is the Future
        2. Is Your Mind Half Full or Half Empty?
      4. Bored? It’s QiGong Time!
      5. Mental Healing and QiGong Challenges
        1. Bliss vs. Discomfort
        2. Trying Too Hard to See the Light?
      6. Allow Healing Qi to Flow Through You
    2. 9 Sitting QiGong (Jing Gong or Nei Gong)
      1. Energy Medicine and QiGong
      2. Kirlian Photography: Seeing Qi Is Believing
        1. The Science of Qi
        2. Having Smooth Qi Means Being in the Zone
        3. Don’t Control Qi, Let Qi Radiate
      3. E = MC2 Means You Are Only Energy
      4. On Sitting QiGong, Jing Gong, or Nei Gong
    3. 10 Moving QiGong (Dong Gong)
      1. Mindful Movement vs. Mindless Exercise
      2. Bone Marrow Cleansing
      3. Mulan Quan Teaches Elegance
        1. Spread Wings to Fly
        2. Tupu Spinning
        3. Bring Knee to Chest
      4. Zen Walking Recap
      5. Carry the Moon
    4. 11 QiGong Warm-Up Exercises
      1. Letting Your Dan Tien Move You
        1. How Breathing Can Center You
        2. Let the Dan Tien Propel Your Movement
      2. Lengthened, Not Stretched
      3. Sinking the Qi Is Like Filling a Sandbag
        1. Moving from the Horse Stance
        2. Sinking the Qi
        3. Deep-Sinking Your Dan Tien
      4. The Chinese Drum’s Kaleidoscopic Sensations
      5. Deep-Tissue Cleansing Leaves You Radiant
        1. Fling Off and Exhale the Weight of the World
        2. Experience Your Incredible Lightness of Being!
  10. Part 4: Learning a T’ai Chi Long Form
    1. 12 Introducing the Kuang Ping Yang Style
      1. The Origin of T’ai Chi: The Snake and the Crane
      2. The Shao-Lin Temple: Where It All Began
        1. From the Temple to the West
        2. T’ai Chi Becomes a Philosophy
      3. Short Forms vs. Long Forms
      4. Why Sixty-Four Movements?
      5. T’ai Chi and Chinese Medicine
    2. 13 T’ai Chi Long Form Instruction
      1. Strike Palm to Ask Blessings, #1
      2. Grasp the Bird’s Tail, #2
      3. Single Whip, #3
      4. White Crane Cools Its Wings, #4
      5. Brush Knee Twist Step, #5
      6. Apparent Closing, #6
      7. Push Turn and Carry Tiger to Mountain, #7
      8. Spiraling Hands to Focus Mind Toward the Temple to Parry and Punch, #8
      9. Fist Under Elbow, #9
      10. Repulse the Monkey, #10
      11. Stork Covers Its Wing/Sword in Sheath, #11
      12. Slow Palm Slant Flying, #12
      13. Raise Right Hand and Left: Turn and Repeat (Part I), #13
      14. Wave Hand Over Light/Fly Pulling Back, #14
      15. Fan Through the Arms, #15
      16. Green Dragon Rising from the Water, #16
      17. Single Whip (Part II), #17
      18. Wave Hands Like Clouds (3), #18 (Part I, Linear Style)
      19. Single Whip (Part III), #19
      20. High Pat on Horse/Guarding the Temples, #20
      21. Lower Block/Upper Block, Separation of Right Foot; Lower Block/Upper Block, Separation of Left Foot, #21
      22. Turn and Kick with Sole, #22
      23. Wind Blowing Lotus Leaves (4), #23
      24. Block Up/Fist Down, #24
      25. Turn and Double Kick, #25
      26. Parry and Punch, #26
      27. Step Back/Lower Block/Upper Block, Kick Front, #27
      28. Lower Block/Upper Block Separation of Right Foot, #28
      29. Parry and Punch, #29
      30. Chop Opponent with Fist (Pivot and Rotate Fist)(3), #30
      31. Sink to the Earth/Backward Elbow Strike, #31
      32. Single Whip, 3/4 Single Whip (Part IV), #32
      33. Partition of Wild Horse’s Mane (4) and Single Whip, #33
      34. Fair Lady Works at Shuttles, #34
      35. Grasp the Bird’s Tail (Part II), #35
      36. Single Whip (Part V), #36
      37. Wave Hands Like Clouds (Part II, Linear Style), #37
      38. Single Whip Down, Return to the Earth (Part I), #38
      39. Golden Cock Stands on One Leg (×4), #39
      40. Repulse the Monkey (3) (Part II), #40
      41. Movements #41 Through #44
      42. Fan Through the Arms (Backhand Slap), #45
      43. Step Push/Box Opponent’s Ears/Cannon Through Sky, #46
      44. Single Whip (Part VI), #47
      45. Wave Hands Like Clouds (Round Style; Part I), #48
      46. Single Whip (Part VII), #49
      47. High Pat on Horse (Part II), #50
      48. Cross Wave of Water Lily Kick (Part I), #51
      49. Parry Up; Downward Strike, #52
      50. Movements #53 Through #56
      51. Step Up to Form Seven Stars, #57
      52. Retreat to Ride the Tiger, #58
      53. Slanting Body/Turn the Moon, #59
      54. Cross Wave of Water Lily (Part II), #60
      55. Stretch Bow to Shoot Tiger, #61
      56. Grasp the Bird’s Tail (Right Style), #62
      57. Grasp the Bird’s Tail (Left Style), #63
      58. Grand Terminus; Gather Heaven to Earth, #64
  11. Part 5: T’ai Chi’s Buffet of Short, Sword, and Fan Styles
    1. 14 Mulan Quan Basic Short Form
      1. Mulan Quan Promotes Elegance and Health
      2. Step East to Lotus
        1. Step in the Eastern Direction
        2. Spread Wings on Lotus
      3. Float Rainbow to Golden Lotus
        1. Floating Rainbow
        2. Sit on Golden Lotus
      4. Ride Wind to Dragon Flying
        1. Ride With Wind and Waves
        2. Dragon Flying Toward Wind
      5. Purple Swan Tilts Its Wings
    2. 15 Mulan Quan Fan Style
      1. Flying Bees Through Leaves
      2. Stretching Cloud to Floating
        1. Stretching Left Foot
        2. Cloud Lotus Floating
      3. Miracle Touching Ocean
        1. Miracle Dragon Lifting Head
        2. Swallow Touching Ocean
      4. Green Willow Twigs Dancing
        1. Green Willow Twigs Swaying
        2. Dancing in Wind
      5. Dun Huang Flying Dance
    3. 16 Mulan Quan Sword Style
      1. Preparation to Eye on Sword
        1. Preparation Stance
        2. Left Foot Half-Step with Eyes on Sword
      2. Forward Step to Low Jab
        1. Forward Step, Holding Sword Under Elbow
        2. Sword Exchange, Turn Body, and Low Jab
      3. Sword Upright to Balance Body
        1. Body Return, Step withSword Upright
        2. Vertical Sword and Balance Body
      4. Turn Around to Up-Jab
        1. Turn Around, Lower to Sitting Position, Sword Upright
        2. Step Up, Lower to Sitting Position, Sword Up-Jab
      5. Level Sword to Lift Leg
        1. Level Sword, Turn Body, and Lift Knee
        2. Lift Leg, Side Step, Side Chop with Sword
    4. 17 The Art & Science of Push Hands
      1. The Psychology of Push Hands
      2. Different Forms of Push Hands
      3. Legends of the Masters
  12. Part 6: Life Applications
    1. 18 T’ai Chi as Therapy for Young and Old
      1. T’ai Chi for Kids
        1. Preparing for Athletics and Life
        2. Treating Attention Deficit Disorder
        3. Teaching T’ai Chi to Kids
      2. T’ai Chi for Seniors
      3. T’ai Chi for Women
        1. Halting Bone Loss
        2. Treating Eating Disorders
        3. Preparing for Childbirth
      4. T’ai Chi for Men
      5. T’ai Chi and Sports
        1. Weight Training
        2. Golf
        3. Tennis and Racquetball
        4. Baseball
        5. The “Hard” Martial Arts
      6. T’ai Chi as Therapy
        1. Cancer Treatment
        2. Cardiac Rehab and Prevention
        3. Stroke Recovery
        4. Addictions
        5. The Therapeutic Powers of T’ai Chi and QiGong
    2. 19 T’ai Chi’s Philosophy of Balance and Flow
      1. The Yin Yang of Diet
      2. Chinese Herbs and Teas for Health Conditions
      3. Feng Shui: Architectural T’ai Chi
      4. The I Ching
      5. Rest and Rejuvenation
      6. T’ai Chi Teaches Mindful Living
    3. 20 T’ai Chi as Corporate Wellness
      1. The Bottom Line on Stress Costs to Business
        1. Using T’ai Chi as Stress and Pain Relief
        2. Investing in Creative Potential
        3. Helping with Lower-Back Problems and Carpal Tunnel
      2. T’ai Chi Is a Natural for the Office
    4. 21 Do T’ai Chi and Change the World
      1. T’ai Chi and Unemployment
      2. T’ai Chi and the Healthcare Crisis
      3. T’ai Chi in Education
        1. Helping Students Stay Current in a World of Change!
        2. Studying Health from the Inside Out
        3. Helping Students Avoid Drugs
      4. T’ai Chi and Crime and Law Enforcement
      5. T’ai Chi and Violence
      6. T’ai Chi and the Environment
    5. 22 Celebrating World T’ai Chi and QiGong Day
      1. Unleash the World-Altering Power Within You!
      2. Photos of Past World T’ai Chi and QiGong Day Events
  13. Appendixes
    1. A The T’ai Chi and QiGong Yellow Pages
    2. B Suggested Readings
    3. C Author’s Acclaimed Four-Hour, Class-Like DVD
    4. D Glossary
  14. Index
  15. About The Author