Tai Chi Qigong

Awaken the Body, Calm the Mind, Enliven the Spirit

If you are like most of us Westerners, you’ve seen Tai Chi in the parks and often wondered, just what is it? My fascination with Tai Chi began after visiting San Francisco many years ago and seeing very elderly Chinese people in the park doing what looked like very slow-motion dancing. I certainly didn’t think of it as a fitness class – no weights, no running, no heavy breathing – but there must be something to it to have so many elderly people participating.

We are beginning a three-part series of articles on the benefits of Tai Chi in an effort to educate our residents on why we think Tai Chi is the PERFECT class for our aging population, and let’s face it, we are ALL aging!

Tai Chi is well known in medical studies for its benefits for balance, stamina, and mental focus. All practices are done standing and do not require any special equipment or clothing. Just wear something that is easy to move and stretch in.

Explore the fundamental principle of “Mindfulness Practice thru Breathing and Movement”, the foundation of “Life.” Tai Chi Qigong is an ancient Chinese health exercise performed in slow, even, fluid movement, with calmness of mind. It is designed to restore proper breathing, tonify the organs, strengthen the muscles, enhance flexibility of the spine and joints, stretch and relax fascia, tendons, and ligaments; while adding resilience to and rejuvenating bone and bone marrow, without stress, tension or strain, naturally.

Through the practice of Tai Chi we learn to: - calm the mind, balance the emotions and enhance mental clarity - relieve stress, reduce tension and increase energy levels - develop a more natural restorative breathing process - develop structural foundation, balance, rooting and centeredness - develop flexibility, fluidness in movement and greater range of motion - reduce physical aches and pain and promote overall wellness.

Michael E. Hamilton, Ph.D.

Michael E. Hamilton, Ph.D., Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture Physician has been a practitioner of the Internal Arts of Oriental Medicine for over 45 years. Recognized as an international teacher having traveled the world sharing his knowledge in fifteen countries, Michael offers a unique experience integrating the classical wisdom of the East, with our contemporary lifestyle, for physical balance, mental equilibrium, emotional stability, and spiritual wellness.

Weekly Class Schedule: Montecito Clubhouse: Tuesdays from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM and at the Santa Rosa Clubhouse: Saturdays, from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM.

In the next few weeks, we will be highlighting various SCSH residents who have participated in our Tai Chi classes and have benefited from this practice. Stay tuned for their stories.

* Residents are invited to attend the 14th Annual Spring into Health, Tai Chi Qigong Symposium on Saturday, April 6 at 10:30 AM in the Montecito Fitness Group Exercise Room. For more information, please pick up a flyer in the Fitness Centers, or click here.