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Practicing Mindfulness - Meditation in Motion with Tai Chi and Qigong

How to Use Tai Chi & Qigong for Chronic Stress, Anxiety, PTSD, Depression, Sleep Disorders

1. Practice Relaxation and Mindfulness Training

Tai chi and Qigong have many forms of meditation both still and within movement to relax the mind and body, which is probably the most important thing a person can do to relieve symptoms of stress and chronic pain on many levels. Along with this is learning to train the mind in a variety of ways to move energy within the physical body. (Check out these videos). This is how Tai Chi becomes a moving meditation. Spiral Anatomy™ Modules offered below have a wonderful moving and non-moving meditation that guides you to fill the brain and body with energy, light and love. This visualization/meditation practice brings spiritual energy and earth energy to the heart, profoundly affects sense of well being calming the nervous system, reduces fear and anger, and trains the mind to bring healing energy to specific affected areas of the body. This practice benefits sleep and reduces stress, anxiety and depression. A new study finds that elicitation of the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system)-- a physiologic state of deep rest induced by practices such as meditation, deep breathing and qigong-- produces immediate changes in the expression of genes involved in immune function, energy metabolism and insulin secretion. And now scientists have shown that thoughts can change the expression of DNA in the genes that control inflammation, the same genes affected by COX2 inhibitors and NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory molecules). This affect was also associated with faster recovery from stress.

***Read these articles:

Using Tai Chi & Qigong for Chronic Stress, Anxiety, PTSD, Depression, Sleep Disorders

Loosen Mind and Body with Massage: Massage, in its many forms, can be great for reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation, improving blood and lymph circulation, relieving chronic pain, reducing inflammation, reducing toxicity, improving digestion, improving sleep, reducing headache, reducing depression… I could go on. Therefore massage is highly recommended for those experiencing stress, anxiety, PTSD, Chronic Pain, Parkinsons Disease, Multiple Sclerosis. Read this attached PDF for more about the value of massage.

Spiral Anatomy Module 1 Check out the Spiral Anatomy™ Training Course for great packages including many of these videos. Modules provide stepwise training on major topics!
Spiral Anatomy™- Movement and Energy Training
for Tai Chi, Sports, Chronic Pain and Rehabilitation

Activation of the autonomic nervous system, composed of the parasympathetic and parasympathetic divisions, regulates the unconscious functions of the body minute-by-minute. This regulation is associated with the release of chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters. The following table outlines the effects when either the parasympathetic nervous system or the sympathetic nervous system is activated.

Calm down, relax, sleep.   Secretion of stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, that, in turn, causes an increase in cortisol.
Lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate and force of contraction.   Increased blood pressure, heart rate, and force of contraction.
Slower breathing rate.   Increased breathing rate.
Increased digestion and storage of energy.   Inhibit digestion.
Muscle relaxation (with visualization intent.)   Increased muscle tension.

Three Powerful Mind-Blowing Visualizations Available for Download in Spiral Anatomy Module 1 and 2

As a neuroscientist, I consider these three visualizations the most important information I teach. They are extremely beneficial to the brain and nervous system. This information came from spirit, and from all my wonderful teachers. " Fill the Brain" anatomy visuals pdf

brain circulationBrain Circulation Visualization video is an extension of the non-moving meditation that guides you to fill the brain and body with energy, light and love. This visualization/meditation practice brings spiritual energy and earth energy to the heart, profoundly affects sense of well being calming the nervous system, reduces fear and anger, and trains the mind to bring healing energy to specific affected areas of the body. This practice benefits sleep and reduces stress, anxiety and depression. This daily bedtime practice is step one for everything.

get balanceGet Balance Visualization is an extension and expansion of the visualization on Brain Workshop focusing on Zhong Ding central equilibrium line. Focus on Zhong Ding is a major moving meditation (mindfulness practice). It creates superior balance. It creates a mental focus that reduces energy expenditure by increasing stability when walking or hiking. It increases one's connection with energy of the earth.

Walking Visualization Meditative walking with zhong ding.

koosh ballThree dimensional expansion/contraction is on a pure energy level. I discovered and use a great image that precisely matches my experience of my energy body. The Three Major Visualizations referenced above contain a visualization for creating energy centers along the zhong ding/chakra line. The energy centers can be thought of as being in the three-dimensional shape of a common toy called a Koosh Ball.

Spiral Anatomy™ Module 1 - Building an Energy Body Collection: Best videos in one package, $100 value. Order/Download only $39.95

Spiral Anatomy™ Module 2 - Balance plus Brain Workshop™ Collection: Best videos in one package. Order/Download only $39.95

2. Practice Qigong to Increase Circulation

Other training includes abdominal "belly" breathing. QiCircles (pronounced 'chee' circles) are qigong movements include something like rolling a mental ball in circles in various directions in the abdomen and chest, plus self-massage, acupressure point stimulation, and other energy healing exercises. These circular movements improve blood circulation to the digestive organs, kidneys, and other abdominal organs directly and can are practiced sitting in a chair or incorporated into other movements. QiCircles™ specifically increase blood circulation to reproductive organs, bladder, prostate and change the state (tone) of the pelvic floor. These exercises can relieve incontinence and greatly improve sexual function. This is ancient training from Wu style tai chi for cultivating energy in the middle and lower dantien and kidneys. The exercises open and balance energy flow in the meridians. Likewise, they improve bone, blood and lymph circulation which boosts the immune system.

Meditation and mindfulness techniques increase relaxation, employ stress management tools that empower the mind to help heal the body. These simple movements (easily performed in chairs) reduce high blood pressure symptoms, improve digestion, and improve brain function. Susan's Energy Gathering and Blood Circulation Qigong  is available in Module 1 of Spiral Anatomy™ Training to supplement home practice and are highly recommended.

Spiral Anatomy™ Module 1 - Building an Energy Body Collection: Best videos in one package, $100 value. Order/Download only $39.95

3. Practice Gentle Movement, Meditative Walking, Tai Chi and Gentle Stretching

Tai chi and qigong training is perfect for Seniors and persons who need to start any kind of movement at a little gentler pace. We explore the health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong first with gentle qigong then learn gentle muscle- and tendon-strengthening movements are extremely effective in increasing mobility, flexibility, balance, coordination, and bone density without causing fatigue.

Tai chi training is unique and affects the body and the brain in the following ways. First, movement with synchronicity, rhythmicity, and symmetry has been linked to brain activation during memory acquisition, states of consciousness, locomotion, neural repair, and rehabilitation.

Mental practice, including visualization and movement imagery, has significance for athletic training and for treatment potential. New imaging techniques show that when you visualize going over the movement in your mind (imagery), neuronal (nerve cell) activity in the brain actually mirrors that movement. Tai chi expands this idea with many sophisticated techniques that use specific mental imagery and visualizations of energy moving during physical movement. This is the hallmark of Tai chi. The result is that the brain strives to create the mental image, not an isolated arm or leg movement. Brain Workshop™ uses Tai Chi and Qigong plus scientific principles found in neuroscience and is the most effective set of tools for rejuvenating the aging brain. Movement along with mental practice stimulates the brain and body to maintain the flexibility of youth. 

Movement training requires mental focus integrating psychological balance with physical balance, psychological 'centeredness' with physical centeredness, expanded consciousness with expanded energy field awareness. Balanced, integrated, left- and right-sided movement is accompanied by balanced brain activity. Such movement activates the neural circuitry of the whole brain. Balance is accomplished by using two major components of Tai Chi training: central equilibrium training, or developing a straight spine with an energetic central plumb line, and spiraling in the joints.

Engaging and integrating multiple sensory systems both physically and with mind intention, wakes up the entire body and brain, and can speed up the healing process. These systems include visual, kinesthetic, the sense of gravity and position, muscle load, stretching and contracting, sensors in the skin, and the sensation of qi.

Using these techniques and others to train the mind achieves three levels of adaptation. First, increased awareness of the sensation of internal qi energy flowing in the body. Second, the ability to direct internal energy and physical movement to flow in harmony. Finally, the training cultivates awareness of, and harmony with, the energetic movement in the space surrounding the body. Matthews believes this is a critical step to truly feeling “at one with the universe.”

4. Exercise and Nutrition Keys

The table below lists 5 key elements of nutrition and 5 key elements of exercise that complement each other and promote great health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids, detoxifying antioxidants, movement biomechanics, bone strengthening exercises, blood circulation and meditation profoundly impact heart, brain and digestive health as well as balance, bone, joint and muscle strength, weight loss, stress reduction and chronic pain.


Nutrition Keys

Systems Affected

Benefits or Reduces Symptoms

Omega-3 fatty acids

Heart, brain, digestive system, immune system, blood clotting, brain development

Inflammation, weight  loss, blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, diabetes

Antioxidants-fruits and vegetables

Brain, mitochondria - the cell’s energy powerhouse

Detoxification from environmental toxins, stress reduction, Alzheimer’s

Nutrients that support immune system and reduce inflammation

Immune system, lymphatic system, nervous system, joints

Inflammation, autoimmune diseases, asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, weight loss

Nutrients that support digestion and bowel regularity


Weight loss, colon, diabetes

Minerals and vitamins

Skeletal and muscular system, heart and brain

Body building, athletics, muscle strength, osteoporosis

Download Nutrition and the Brain pdf for more information about these key nutritional components.


Exercise Keys

Systems Affected

Benefits or Reduces Symptoms

Biomechanics for walking, sports, tai chi principles

Skeletal and muscular system, heart and brain

Movement disorders, chronic pain, diabetes, obesity

Balance training

Skeletal and muscular system, brain

Balance, chronic pain, MS, Parkinson’s, foot problems, peripheral neuropathy 

Bone strengthening, power stretching exercises

Skeletal and muscular system

Osteoporosis, balance, strength

Blood and lymph circulation qigong exercises

Immune system, brain, digestive system, hormones

Gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular, migraines, nervous system disorders

Meditation, sleep
relax the mind and body

Brain, heart, all systems

Stress reduction, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, inflammation, digestion, Alzheimer’s

Tai Chi and Qigong practice seriously addresses many of the most pressing issues for a person with chronic stress and anxiety-related symptoms in a gentle and safe way. See links below for more about how mindfulness, meditation and tai chi are helping with post traumatic stress (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, veterans.

Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes Read more

Mind-Body Practices for post traumatic stress disorder. Mind-body practices are increasingly used in the treatment of PTSD and are associated with positive impacts on stress-induced illnesses such as depression and PTSD in most existing studies. Knowledge about the diverse modalities of mind-body practices may provide clinicians and patients with the opportunity to explore an individualized and effective treatment plan enhanced by mind-body interventions as part of ongoing self-care.

Abdominal breathing during meditation reduces negative mood and increases alpha brain activity and blood serotonin levels. After just twenty minutes of meditation by novices, significant changes were measurable via EEG (brain waves) and infrared spectroscopy (cerebral blood flow).

Alternative therapies like yoga, meditation and mindfulness training are helping to heal PTSD