June 27, 2008

Summer Events

The National Qigong Association annual conference will be held August 8–10, 2008 near Baltimore, Maryland. This year's theme is "Qigong: Embracing Healthy Change." Speakers include Kevin Chen, Ph.D. MPH. an associate professor in the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Chen researches substance abuse and efficacy of Chinese energy therapy for treating osteoarthritis and addiction. Introductory keynote will be by Thea Elijah, former Director of the Chinese Herbal Studies Program at TAI Sophia Institute and at the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture. She specializes in principles of energy medicine in a cross-cultural context, with a particular emphasis on heart-centered healing.

June 18, 2008

Tai Chi Keeps Pace with Olympics

Despite China's woes this year—earthquakes, weather, viruses, protesters—Olympic excitement is building. Yet with all of the attention on Olympic sports and the glamourous features of newly rebuilt Beijing, many news outlets are also reporting on the quieter, normal back-street areas, and on traditional activities such as tai chi. As one reporter writes, Jingshan Park near the Forbidden City "provides excellent views of Beijing and an introduction to China's slower passions — bird rearing, tai chi and long, leisurely strolls."Atlanta Journal Constitution

Tai Chi for Pain Conditions

Tai chi is being explored in a study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences by pain researcher Pao-Feng Tsai.
"Imagine being in pain and not being able to tell someone. You may be able to speak but no longer can form the sentence to communicate how bad you feel. Many people with advanced Alzheimer's are in this Twilight Zone, making it difficult for health professionals to detect their pain and leading to underreporting or overmedicating....In a quiet, windowless room at UAMS, they are testing the obvious but unproven theory that gentle exercises tailored for someone with memory loss can reduce pain and delay cognitive impairment. Seven study participants, most in their 70s, follow the lead of certified Tai Chi instructor Nola Ballinger as she takes them through modified movements of the Chinese martial art. The sound of a single flute comes from a boom box, and cool air whooshes through the air ducts. Think about a needle going through cotton, Ballinger tells them. You want it to be smooth and soft.... Left foot forward. Right foot forward.... Now wave hands in the clouds." Study results will be available late in 2009. UMAS