These days, most people have heard of Tai Chi, but mention Qigong and you tend to get more responses like, “What’s that?” Both originate from ancient Chinese traditions and both include ways to increase energy (qi) and induce relaxation.
Here are a few differences:
Tai Chi is generally more complex. This means that Qigong is generally easier to start. Yes, there are things like Tai Chi Easy™, but in general, if you are looking for simple ways to increase your energy, Qigong is a great way to begin. In fact, many “Tai Chi” classes in the United States include a mix of Qigong and Tai Chi, even though they are advertised as Tai Chi classes.
Tai Chi is generally more rigid. Again, this means that Qigong is generally easier to start because it is more free-flowing and flexible.
Tai Chi is considered a martial art and was designed for self-defense and combat. Qigong is a healing and wellness system. The gentle movements, breathing, self-applied massage, and meditation can be incorporated into your daily life. Therefore, if you are a beginner and considering a Tai Chi class to improve your health, you might find that Qigong is really what you are looking for.