TQJ 1/2023, issue 91
February – April 2023

Nurturing life through movement and stillness
Interview with Professor Ding Hongyu
Professor Ding Hongyu is one of the Chinese teachers who have long contributed to the development of Qigong and Taijiquan in German-speaking regions. Alexander Callegari, one of his long-term students, talked to Prof. Ding in October 2022 to mark his 90th birthday and asked him about essential aspects of health retention. Among the key aspects cited here are a good balance of movement and stillness, naturalness, observing one’s own individual needs and abilities, as well as nutrition, sleep and happiness. In addition, they talked about the differences between two forms developed by Prof. Ding, Panzi Gong and Gunbang Cao, and the focus of practice in each form.

Life is rhythm
Regaining naturalness and one’s own inherent rhythms through Qigong
By Dietlind Zimmermann
Life unfolds in natural rhythms: external ones such as day and night, and inner ones such as the rhythm of one’s own breathing or heartbeat, all in accordance with yin and yang. For us »civilised« people, who have often lost direct contact with these rhythms, Qigong opens a way to once again sense and experience the natural interplay of such forces. Dietlind Zimmermann presents an introduction to the meaning of rhythms for living beings, as currently being researched by chronobiology, and shows how practicing Qigong can bring us closer again to our own rhythms. This can deepen our perception as it moves from the rhythms of the external movements through to our own inner processes – and bring us closer to our original naturalness.

Daoism – The mental and spiritual background to Taijiquan and Qigong
By Klemens J. P. Speer
Although Taijiquan and Qigong show the influence of the various philosophical traditions in China, Daoism is generally seen as the major spiritual source. Klemens Speer describes the fundamental aspects of the Daoist traditions and the essential themes of non-religious Daoism such as naturalness, spontaneity and calming the mind and heart which help us to return to an original state unified with the Dao. In a second part of this article in the next issue he will examine the various Daoist meditative methods of practice.

Balancing the thyroid gland by means of Qigong
By Sabine Gansler
The thyroid gland plays a key role in the hormone system, and hence for one’s overall well-being and physical and mental capacity. It is sensitive to emotional strain and its functioning can be compromised by residues of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, medicines, viruses and heavy metals. In the Chinese view most diseases originate in the heart and the emotions, and hence the best approach to thyroid disorders is to restore an emotional balance. Sabine Gansler explains how, in addition, specific Qigong exercises and self-massage can support the functioning of the thyroid.

Improving balance and quality of life
Taijiquan for older people and those with movement limitations
By Almut Schmitz
Although there is already a large body of scientific evidence for the health-promoting effects of Taijiquan, and particularly for improvement of gait reliability, in German-speaking regions Taiji is still only seldom used in preventative healthcare for older people and for people with sickness-related movement restrictions. Almut Schmitz presents several pioneers in this field together with their respective approaches; her goal is to encourage the benefits of Taiji training also being made accessible to people who would be overburdened by normal training.