Qigong and Taijiquan to alleviate high blood pressure
A scientific perspective
By Christian Bitzer
High blood pressure is a widespread ailment in Western society and a major factor in various life-threatening diseases. It is generally assumed that Qigong and Taijiquan have a favourable effect on blood pressure. Christian Bitzer has investigated to what extent this belief can be substantiated by research to date. Both meditation and movement therapy have been proven to help reduce elevated blood pressure. It may be assumed that the efficacy of Qigong and Taijiquan results from a combination of both meditation and movement, and here depends on the type of training.
The mobile pelvis
By Helmut Jäger
In human anatomy, the pelvis supports the torso from below and forms the transition from the torso to the legs. It is thus of key importance to all movements involving the whole body. At the same time, few people are aware of the exact structure of this part of the body, and still fewer of the mobility possible in this area. Drawing on his experience as a gynaecologist and as a teacher of Taijiquan and Qigong, Helmut Jäger describes how the pelvis functions, the various movements that are possible within the pelvis – only some of which we can consciously perceive – and the differences here between women and men. He shows that the most important thing for discovering the movement possibilities of the pelvis is a relaxed form of sensing.
Earning money with Taijiquan
By Jan Leminsky
Taijiquan, like other martial arts, was originally passed on within the family. However, nowadays it is generally taught in public courses and for payment. Jan Leminsky demonstrates that the development in this direction began as early as Chen Changxing and Yang Luchan in the 19th century. The 20th century saw the rise of institutions that promoted the spread of Taijiquan and employed teachers for this purpose. As the art became more widely known, so books became another source of income. Teachings methods were gradually systematised and in the last decades of the 20th century various international organisations were founded, offering Taijiquan all over the world. Jan Leminsky also points out which factors need to be considered if someone aims to earn their livelihood as a Taijiquan teacher.
Taijiquan: martial art and spiritual path
By Dietlind Zimmermann
While some complain that the martial art aspect of Taijiquan is being neglected, others don’t even really want to hear about it because they see Taijiquan as essentially a spiritual exercise. Dietlind Zimmermann explains that, since Taijiquan as a martial art puts the focus not only one’s own person but also on a supposed opponent, it is precisely this fact that can help one on a spiritual path. Her main issue here is that self-defence confronts us with the question of what we actually wish to defend, and thus also reveals our self-image and our “being in the world”. Fear as the cause of “feeling attacked” becomes perceptible and can be dissolved. The partner exercises not only offer the possibility of studying one’s own behaviour in conflict situations, but also of actively creating connectedness.
The centreless centre as strategy
Water Taiji according to Wang Zhuanghong
By Huang Tsui-Chuan
Through a thorough study of the classical texts of Taijiquan, Wang Zhuanghong has arrived at his own understanding of the art which centres around the qualities of water. He did not wish to found his own style but instead to revive the original ideas. Huang Tsui-Chuan became acquainted with Wang Zhuanghong’s “Water Taiji” through the teaching of Yang Yunzhong and here provides an insight into its basic principles. In this context the ba men wu bu, the thirteen movement types and directions, are of essential importance – here they describe the turning of an energy body in relation to temporal and spatial factors. Gravity is used as the essential source of strength, in turn requiring complete releasing in the body, a state of wuwei without fixed rooting and a static centre that allows free movement in harmony with the flow of energy.