The health benefits of the ancient Chinese exercises t'ai chi and qigong are being realized around the world, but some Carson Valley folks say they have known about them for years.
Earl Mussett, Ginny Cardenas and others will demonstrate forms of these routines, or dances, which combine synchronized movements, breathing and meditation, on World T'ai Chi/Qigong Day from 10 a.m. to noon on April 28 at Minden Park.
"It starts in New Zealand and a wave goes all around the world at 10 a.m. in every time zone," said Mussett, who teaches a t'ai chi class for Douglas County Parks & Recreation.
"It's being present in the moment with peaceful intent," said Cardenas, a t'ai chi instructor at O2 Wellness studio in Gardnerville. "It's a very good spirit that goes out. There are no boundaries for that."
Mussett and Cardenas were referring to the healing powers of t'ai chi and qigong, which studies in countries such as China and the U.S. have shown to improve blood sugar control in people with type two diabetes, lower high blood pressure, increase concentration and awareness, boost immune function, increase longevity, flexibility, coordination, balance and lift spirits, among other things.
T'ai chi and qigong appear as very similar activities - there are at least 2,000 forms of it in all - and they both go back to the Taoist monks. T'ai chi was developed in conjunction with Chinese medicine and acupuncture. In gentle, flowing movements, students follow their teacher in unison, performing a series of poses.
"It is thousands of years old," said Mussett. "Over time it's evolved and been recreated."
Mussett and Cardenas will present a new form they learned from an article written by Dr. Steve Sun, an instructor in Pennsylvania. Their presentation from 10:55-11:10 a.m. will be one in 10 presented at the World T'ai Chi/Qigong Day event, which is free to the public.
"It's breathing - the inhale is yin, and the exhale is yang," said Mussett. "The inhale is preparation, the exhale is execution, or doing it."
"With these exercises he really stresses the importance of moving with the breath," said Cardenas.
Another addition this year is a motiyogachi demonstration by Syena Sowden of Fallon.
"Her combination includes movement, some variations of t'ai chi and some parts of yoga," said Mussett.
"I think it will be great," said Cardenas. "I think the spirit of it is all the same, and that's what's important."
Cardenas said the benefits of t'ai chi go beyond the physical.
"It has been compared to the power of prayer," she said. "It can benefit the community. It can benefit the world. It is invisible energy that has great power and benefit."
"We think nothing of picking up a cell phone, and how that works," said Mussett.
"Again, it's one of those mysteries, like the cell phone," said Cardenas, and they both laughed.
World T'ai Chi/Qigong Day demonstrations April 28 at Minden Park
-- 10-10:30 a.m. - Total group warm-up - Qigong routines led by Earl Mussett
-- 10:30-10:40 a.m. - Kaleidoscope - Doug and his Reno group
-- 10:40-10:55 a.m. - Motiyogachi - Syena Sowden
-- 10:55-11:10 a.m. - Dr. Steve Sun's Taiji Qigong - All participating, led by Mussett
-- 11:10-11:20 a.m. - Yang short form 24/27 - All participating, led by Ginny Cardenas
-- 11:20-11:30 a.m. - Mirror - Doug and Reno group
-- 11:30-11:35 a.m. - T'ai chi broadsword - Cardenas
-- 11:35-11:45 a.m. - Ba gua zhang - All participating, led by Mussett
-- 11:45-11:55 a.m. - Shadow Echo - Doug and Reno group
-- 11:55 a.m. to noon - Closing actions to balance chi (qi) - Mussett