Updated: Oct 28, 2019
Just what is the difference between Qi Gong and Tai Chi?
Qi Gong means “life-force energy cultivation exercises.” There are written records of qi gong exercises that are over 3,000 years old. It is a very broad collection of practices with more than 7,000 different recognized styles. Some are seated meditations; some are elaborate movement patterns. Others are specific for certain disorders like hypertension or cancer. Still others are general overall health tonics.
I have heard people say that tai chi is just another style of qi gong. I have even heard one of my colleagues state that qi gong is stationary but once you start moving it becomes tai chi. The two are certainly related, and many of the movements in tai chi sequences look a lot like movements in qi gong. Add to that a shared focus on the breath and slow smooth movements in a relaxed posture and it may be hard to tell the two apart. But based on the research I have done and the teachers I have worked with, the difference is that qi gong is strictly a healing art, but tai chi, especially if you call it "tai chi chuan," is an internal martial art where all of the movements have a self-defense application. If you practice tai chi strictly for health and healing, you maybe could call that a form of qi gong.
Practicing a daily qi gong sequence can be a powerful way to heal and strengthen the body's energy. It can improve your balance (mentally, physically and emotionally), reduce chronic pain, and improve your mood. Over time it will make you a better human. Learn Soaring Crane Qi Gong in October or Peng Zu Qi Gong in March. (See below for workshop dates and details).