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China MountainsExercise is an important and crucial aspect in the maintenance of one's good health. The Chinese believe that an active life is essential to good health. A sixteenth-century Chinese physician named Li Ting said, "Everyone knows that prolonged walking and standing can cause excessive fatigue, which is harmful to good health, but few people mention the harmful effects of lying down or sitting all day". The key is to strike a balance between rest and activity, so that the body is able to attain all the rest and activity that it needs.

In Chinese Medicine, exercise is a vital component in the treatment of chronic diseases, including cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, high blood pressure, and hypertension, to name a few. Wheras Acupuncture, herbs, and other treatment types will help the body to become balanced and to be in harmony, nonetheless, exercise is essential to enable the body to continue to regulate itself and to stay in harmony. The continuous flow of life energy (Qi) and blood throughout the body is important in sustaining good health, especially given the turmoils of everyday life. Without this, it would be very difficult for a person to remain in good health constantly.

There are three important types of Chinese exercises that directly have an effect on one's health:

- Qi Gong
- Tai Chi
- Kung Fu
- Meditation
- Walking

Qi Gong
Qi GongTo understand what Qi Gong is, one must first understand the concept of "Qi". Qi (pronounce "Chee") is the vital energy that flows throughout the body. It also means "air" (that we breathe in). There are a total of twelve principal pathways (called "meridians") that flow through the body in which the Qi travels. Part of the Qi's function is to transport blood and essential nutrients to all the different parts of the body. Hence, if Qi is flowing smoothly, the body will be vibrant and healthy. However, if the Qi is blocked and stagnant, the body will be fatigued and sickly. "Gong" basically translates into "discipline" or "hard work". Hence, Qi Gong refers to a series of breathing exercises that can be used to help promote the free flow of Qi in the body as well as to unblock congested energy along the meridians.

Tai ChiTai Chi
Tai Chi is related to both Qi Gong and meditation, and is considered a form of "moving" meditation. Fundamentally a martial art, Tai Chi utilizes slow, smooth movements that allow the individual to both stretch the muscles and tendons as well as to do deep breathing. Tai Chi has been found to be extremely effective in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and hypertension. There are many Tai Chi styles (also known as "families"). The Wu and Yang styles are especially beneficial to promoting one's health, primarily because of its body posture and footwork. The Center offers classes periodically in Yang Style Tai Chi.

Kung Fu
Sifu Rene Ng

Chinese kung fu contains many important exercises to develop a person's internal and external strength. In addition, kung fu can be used for protection and in building self confidence. It has also been shown that practicing kung fu can be beneficial to people with developmental disorders such as ADD/ADHD because of the emphasis and focus on minute details. Rene Ng is a long-time disciple of Master Ho Kam Ming, a world famous practitioner of Southern China's powerful Wing Chun kung fu system. He offers classes in this kung fu system on Sunday evenings in Lakewood Ranch. For more information on the Wing Chun kung fu system and the class format, click here.

Meditation is a self-help process of gently quieting our busy mind to enable us to focus and to tune in to our inner-self. It enables us to calm our minds down, and to help to promote the smooth circulation of energy in our body, while at the same time relaxing our muscles and our body in general. The Taoist monks practice meditation to promote good health and longetivity. Meditation is an especially important exercise for people who are suffering from high blood pressure, hypertension, and deficiency disorders such as fatigue.


Walking is the simplest form of exercise in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is suitable for all longetivity Walkingseekers and is a must for older people. Chinese call walking "relaxed steps", and considers it very important for good health. It is intended to relax both the body and the mind. It serves the following benefits:

- it provides an indirect massage of the internal organs
- it can improve the function of the respiratory system
- it regulates metabolism
- it can help bring the body back into balance when there is too much hyperactive energy
- it is a source of inspiration



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