Discussion Forum

Can I use Tai Chi or anything else to heal the Community?

My goal in life has always been to become a healer, but I’ve wanted to learn a practice which empowers people to take care of themselves rather than a method that depends directly on me to heal them. My recent experiences at Tai Chi class (I have a lot more energy now) made me think Tai Chi might be the thing I’m looking for. I’ve also looked at Yoga and Meditation a lot. Although it’s the most common and good for reducing stress, I’m not sure if yoga is the best approach since I haven’t seen it transform communities and just it seems like it ends up as an activity people do for fun. Meditation was also hard for me to pin down since there are so many methods, and I don’t really see people take it seriously.
Does anyone have any personal anecdotes or stories they can share of Tai Chi beneficial effects on a larger scale? I also need some guidance on where to study with this whole issue.

Any thought out replies would be deeply appreciated!
Does anyone anyone have any personal anecdotes or stories they can share of Tai Chi healing and transforming a community? I also need some guidance on where to study with this whole issue.
Any thought out replies would be deeply appreciated!


  • I read a really touching post put up recently by Bruce Frantzis about this. I think it’s speaks better than any answer I could give.

    “We get a lot of comments that come into our office. Many send in their thanks for the work and for our instructors teaching tai chi and qigong. I wanted to share an email we received recently and to again thank my instructors for their commitment to teaching…

    Letter from student below:
    I would like to thank Bruce Frantzis and his senior instructors for dedicating their lives and talents to communities all over the world. I work as a full time volunteer with the Sisters of Charity in the city of Juarez, Mexico, the twin city of El Paso, Texas. Juarez is widely reported to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world due to an escalating drug war, with approximately 3000 people murdered in 2009.
    In the wake of such violence schools have been shut down for weeks at a time and businesses have closed creating what many visitors call, “hell on earth”. Overwhelmed as I was with assisting in very basic services to some of the very poorest residents at a community center for families with severely handicapped children, It would have never occurred to me that these people needed a class in Taoist Energy Arts. Food, shelter and medical care seemed to be much more pressing needs. But I’m an outsider and my eyes don’t see the same way as people who live and raise their families in such a place.
    One woman, Sofia, a widow and mother of five who lives near the center and does much work for the Sisters, expressed interest in learning Tai Chi to share with the ’stress poisoned’ women of her community, and to our great good fortune an Energy Arts senior instructor, Steve Barowsky, is the only name I found when I looked up Tai Chi in the yellow pages. Sofia has been taking private classes with Steve for many months now (with me translating) and every week we are amazed at the depth of his knowledge and experience and with his ability to convey complex concepts simply and directly.
    Sofia is learning Tai Chi, Qigong (Chi Gung), and many basic techniques for working with families and she is dedicated to helping other women find an interior peace that the outside chaos cannot rob them of (not to mention improving their health and well being). Her dream is to be certified to teach by Energy Arts someday and Steve says that she is an excellent student. It is clear to me that enabling Sofia to study with Steve is the most valuable and lasting service I can provide to this ravaged city, and it is a great pleasure to me to see the women learn ways to help themselves and thereby help their families.”
    Thank you again for this unfolding opportunity…

  • You are most probably referring to the healing part of Tai Chi which is know as Tai Chi Chi Kung (Taiji Qigong). Finding a good Tai Chi Chi Kung teacher is very difficult in the West. Chinese tradition requires a long and dedicated apprenticeship with a Master before being let loose on the public.

    An easier way to become acquanted is through training in Reiki. Some people refere to Reiki as “the lazy man’s Chi Kung” as it does not require the rigour of the long traditional Chi Kung apprenticeship. Reiki has its roots in Tibet. In the West it has evolved into what is now known as Reiki. Some believe that Jesus Christ learnt the art of healing hands in Tibet (from age 22 to 30).

    I use the Tai Chi Chi Kung healing exercises, breathing methods and meditation. For energy tansfer and the balancing of Chakra’s I use Reiki. I find that the two methods co-exist well.

    Email me if you would like more information or I can continue to provide information in this forum if others are interested.

  • Falls are a huge problem in the elderly population and the cause of many deaths. Falls are due to poor eyesight, balance and coordination, malnutrition, illnesses, the effects of medication and a million other reasons. Tai chi is considered to be the best preventative measure to protect against falls. There is a great deal of research available on this subject. As a nursing student, I did a community health rotation in an elderly housing complex where they had daily tai chi classes, and my patients, who suffered from dizziness from hypertension and joint pain from arthritis, really benefited from it. There’s also a social element that’s important–my patients were widows and very isolated, and they made friends in these classes.

    With our aging population, there are many careers in geriatrics and gerontology. Maybe this is a direction that will appeal to you. Good luck!

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