Connect With Chi

Go with the flow

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Connect With Chi
Tai Chi & Energy Practices- For Children
 
I became  interested in this project, through reading several research journals,  from China, USA, Africa, Australia and more recently in Yorkshire schools. I am particularly interested in how Tai Chi for Children has become popular and the positive and enlightening results that  the respective sessions have produced. 
 
It is now my ambition and focus to try and introduce a similar Tai Chi/Qigong programme for schools/colleges in Cornwall and have formulated a similar training programme with exercises and movements that can be adapted for young children  and older students  respectively.
 
The combination of Tai Chi and Qigong practiced together help in improving overall general health by enhancing the body’s immune system.  This also includes combating against common illnesses, such as headaches, colds and flu and can also help in reducing stress and tension.
  
Tai Chi/Qigong has been part of the curriculum across schools, colleges and universities in China for over  20 years. This practice has helped in producing a wide range of positive results both academically and for behaviour in the classroom.
Extensive research has also been conducted in other countries, including the USA (New York n Wisconsin), China and Australia and several journals have been published with favourable results. 
  
Examples of these include:-
These sessions included those similar to the examples who were employed by the New York schools mentioned above.
Some of the positive results of the programme up until this present time include;
*Means of stress relief prior to exams 
*Improvement in focused attention and concentration
*Ability to stay calm
*Improved creativity and visualisation
*Improved academic performance
*More self esteem and self confidence
*Improved behaviour in the classroom especially those students
*Students with A.D.H.D. - showed less anxiety, daydreaming, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity.
    
Tai Chi is perfect for adapted PE lessons and can provide an alternative for those children who do not like or do not participate in mainstream activities, such as football and rugby or for cultural reasons.
 
Teaching Tai Chi/Qigong skills to children can be improvised and adapted for all ages and abilities. For instance it can be practiced for children (and adults) with special needs, which include, children with autism and related conditions. Several  of the above mentioned studies included children with autism who, through the exercises,  remarkable changes in behaviour, ability to relate and mix with other children and in their self confidence were observed.
 
Tai Chi can also be adapted for children in wheelchairs, those with impairments in hearing and sight and other children who suffer from chronic illnesses including asthma
Tai Chi has also helped children and adults calm down from traumatic situations in their lives which include domestic abuse and witnessing horrific events.
 
In conclusion Tai Chi/Qigong are low impact, simple flowing movements, that includes breathing exercises and visualisation/imagination to achieve, mental, emotional and physical balance and harmony. The exercises are easy to learn and practice, can be modified for each age group and, most important, is that it is not competitive which allows children to relax and gain in confidence and individuality.
Children of all ages love the movements, especially the younger students who can readily adapt to imitating animal and situational movements. They feel the calmness, focus and happiness that comes from the flow of energy inside them. 
 
Short morning sessions to “wake up the energy”(Chi Booster) and get ready for the day.
After lunch sessions to calm down students and re-focus.(Chill With Chi)
Breathing sessions to use before tests and creative assignments to improve focus and concentration.
  
    
After school sessions to release tension and hyperactivity. 
 
 
In 2006 a similar programme called “Chi For Children” was formally introduced in several Primary and Secondary Schools across Yorkshire, by UK Tai Chi. This initiative has proved to be a resounding success and has received many extremely favourable testimonials from School Partnerships, Head Teachers/Principals, PE and Form Teachers, parents and from the students themselves. I have previously been in contact with the founder of Yorkshire programme and have heard personally the resounding success that has been achieved since 2006, not only in the children’s’ physical, emotional and mental health but also in their concentration and academic levels.