Q: What are T’ai Chi and Qigong, and how can they be beneficial for spine health?
A: Qigong is the art of cultivating energy. T’ai Chi is one kind of Qigong training developed as a martial art, so it focuses on the function of the movement in addition to cultivating energy. T’ai Chi is a sequence of choreographed movements designed to cultivate energy.
As related to the spine, as a martial art training, T’ai Chi keeps the spine healthy and prevents pain. That’s a big part of the training.
T’ai Chi is whole body training, but there’s also a specific practice where you work on the spine, you work on alignment, you work on the strength and function of the core, you work on lengthening, and you work on spiral motion to keep the spine healthy and be in control and also be in harmony with your whole body.
– Master Yang Yang, PhD
This question was answered during the episode of Spine Time called “T’ai Chi and Qigong for Back Pain: Using an Eastern Practice for Better Spine Health.” A recording of this webinar, held on June 30, 2021, is available on YouTube.
To sign up for future episodes of Spine Time, where you can ask questions of our spine specialists, subscribe here.