Parkland Tai Chi

SINGLE BLOG styled brush stroke

Tai Chi or Chi Kung?styled brush stroke

Chi Kung or Tai Chi?

Choosing between Chi Kung and Tai Chi can be a dilemma for some people. Both practices have their own characteristics and benefits as well as combined ones, so your choice depends on your goals, preferences, physical condition; that’s why it’s important to consider what you’re looking to achieve and what resonates with you on account of what you may have seen, read or heard. Following are some factors to consider when making your decision.

Chi Kung is primarily focused on cultivating and balancing one’s vital energy (Chi). It aims to enhance overall wellbeing, boost energy levels, deep breathing, improve circulation and promote mental clarity. Chi Kung uses fewer arm movements that are used together doing the same movement. Tai Chi can promote all these features as well, but often from the perspective of martial arts. It uses slow flowing movements, promotes balance, flexibility, muscle strength and relaxation through movements and it often called a moving meditation. The arm movements are often in different directions, as are the feet, making Tai Chi harder to learn. In short, Chi Kung sessions are generally less physically demanding than Tai Chi, so Chi Kung may appeal to people with limited mobility. It can be practiced standing or sitting, and in some cases even lying down.

Chi Kung is often recommended for healing and maintaining health, it’s known to reduce stress, improve digestion, enhance immune function and alleviate chronic conditions. Tai Chi does all that as well but with more intense physicality but for longer periods of time; some people prefer more gentle exercise and relaxation over a shorter period. For example, a Chi Kung form may have 6 movements, a Tai Chi form may have as many as 108; typical Chi Kung teaching sessions may require an hour one day a week, Tai Chi sessions may require 2 or more hours per week.

If you have specific health concerns or physical limitations, always consult your primary healthcare professional; otherwise, the choice is yours.