As the adage goes we tend to appreciate things more once they are gone or they have been changed without our consent. Keeping it simple is an easy way to explore the complex more esoteric aspects of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Assessing the merits of practice against a clear tangible is always good.
Injury is a classic example. Having recently spent five hours in A & E waiting for an X Ray on a suspected broken foot I was afforded a little time for contemplation. Along with the pain, frustration and inability to do what you can ordinarily comes the realisation that the body is inextricably linked to the mind and that all parts have a role to play.
Damage to my foot was incurred 2 hours earlier, on a Judo mat during a squad training session, the result was significant swelling and comprehensive pain. Unable to apply any pressure to my foot my mind was turning to an important competition in the US just 4 weeks away, accompanied by the clear realisation I am a very poor wheel chair driver!
You can appreciate much more not only the role of the specific part of the body that is hurt but of those supporting joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. We realise all too suddenly that we are fallible. The good news was that it was tendon and ligament damage and not a break, a very friendly but vague doctor recommended rest, pain relief (lots of, all kindly provided but not used) then to get it moving again after a couple of days.
Happy in the knowledge there was no break I set about establishing my own programme for recovery and on-going training built around simple joint mobilisation, Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises. Two weeks after being pushed into hospital my foot is understandably not as strong as it was prior to injury but with the support of strapping and my knowledge of Tai Chi and Qi Gong I am back training and looking forward to 3 Competitions in 3 weeks culminating in the US Open on July 14th.
There are clear tangible benefits to Tai Chi and Qi Gong as well as some less so. For me in this instance the gentle, flowing and some times challenging movements as well as the heightened awareness that Tai Chi and Qi Gong offer have served me well. It feels good to teach something you believe in.