Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi Seated Version –  Ideal Rehabilitation and Therapy for the Disabled   

When I first started teaching Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi for the City of Toronto, I was surprised to see that a disabled student with many health issues had enrolled.  She was overweight, had an artificial leg, and came to class in a wheelchair.  At the time it was a challenge for me, since all the qigong (chi kung) and tai chi (taiji) I had learned were done standing.

Initially this woman’s disability would not allow her to stand for more than a minute, even supported by her walker – but she was a very determined student.  After only three weeks of diligently practicing in her wheelchair, she was able to do the first two Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi movements standing with her walker.  Amazingly, by the tenth week she had gained enough qi to stand and complete the entire set!

seated qigong

Inspired by her situation, I developed a seated version of the Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi Set 1.  Quite a few of my taiji or chi kung instructors are teaching disabled students and have requested an adaptive version.  This set clears the meridians of the upper body and as a consequence, effects all your major organs.  It is a practical therapy for the rehabilitation of anyone who is physically challenged or is not able to complete the whole set while standing: anyone paralyzed, in a wheelchair, and those recovering from illness or injury.  From the positive feedback I receive, tai chi qigong promotes mental and emotional health as well.  These benefits are now available to everyone.

One very important thing to note:  If your disability prevents you from performing a tai chi (taiji) movement, visualize in your mind that you are perfectly performing the qigong (chi kung) form.  For example, if in the movement you lift your leg, but you have lost use of it, simply visualize yourself lifting your leg just as in the video.

When practicing your tai chi qigong this way, the damaged connection between your brain and your limbs will gradually re-establish.  Even if your limb has been amputated, the energy channel is still there.  (I am sure you have heard of phantom limb pain, right?)  Visualizing will facilitate your recuperation, as well as greatly improve your physical ability and coordination.

Research in neuroscience has discovered mirror neurons, specialized neurons which fire when youobserve an action just as they fire when you actually do the action.  One of the healing protocols employed at the all-qigong hospitals in China was to have the disabled patients observe others or watch video of qigong.  In recent years prestigious hospitals worldwide have endorsed tai chi qigong as alternative treatment for arthritis, addiction, cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s, stroke, and much more.

Energy therapy has no adverse side effects.  This seated version of Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi Set 1 is the ideal therapy for rehabilitation, empowering us in all circumstance to live our potential.

~ may you be the BEST that you can be ~