Qigong and tai chi are exercises originating in ancient China that focus on promoting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Both have long been known to offer a variety of health benefits such as improved energy, resilience, and calmness for people who are aging, as they typically consist of postures and gentle movements that are not physically strenuous to perform. However, according to Dr. Martin Ehrlich, an integrative health specialist who teaches patients qigong and tai chi techniques, they can be beneficial for people of any age and with any health condition, acting as an effective supplement to other forms of treatment.
Dr. Ehrlich has previously hosted in-person workshops with patients that incorporated qigong and tai chi. “Those patients are still following the practices we introduced to them last year,” said Dr. Ehrlich. “All of them report that those techniques continue to make them feel healthier and have actually reduced their need for pain medication to improve their symptoms.”
Qigong and tai chi can improve symptoms caused by physical wear and tear, which often affects people who are aging, have chronic pain due to conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis, or frequently perform physically demanding tasks. According to Dr. Ehrlich, these improvements occur because qigong and tai chi exercises cultivate qi, a form of energy that supports the body’s self-healing functions.
“If you cut yourself, your body is going to close the wound and heal. If you have an infection, your body is going to fight it,” said Dr. Ehrlich. “What qigong and tai chi do, along with other integrative health approaches, is teach people how to elicit and improve this inner healing capacity.”
Qigong and tai chi can also improve symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress. To maximize their benefits, Dr. Ehrlich recommends having access to fresh air, sunlight, and plants while performing these exercises; if you are indoors, look for a naturally well-lit area, such as near an open window. It also helps to participate in a group setting with a teacher, where participants can receive clear guidance for their exercises and support one another through the learning process.
Dr. Ehrlich will be hosting a series of virtual qigong and tai chi sessions starting on September 12th and running through October 24th. Joining these sessions will require access to a computer and the Internet. They will take place on Tuesday evenings from 7 P.M. to 8 P.M. If you would like to join or receive more information about these virtual sessions, please call (718) 206-6914.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.