This week on the Food for Thought podcast I’m talking to a true master of his art with over 30 years in practice, Peter Newton who has just published a new book on Qigong, and Tai Chi called Healthy and Fit with Tai Chi.
Peter gives a fascinating interview talking about the history of the use of Tai Chi and Qigong, how they would normally be used together, rather than separately as we tend to know them in the West. We discuss the various types, and how they are effective methods for healing, sickness prevention and physical, and are used for body maintenance in China. I believe a lot of people, me included feel that Tai Chi is for the elderly, but during this interview and whilst reading Peter’s book I had a huge realisation that I can use this with specific health conditions to improve them and he has a lot of research at the back of the book which supports this.
He discusses the group work he leads with his Parkinson Disease state clients, truly fascinating, and how he helps them to manage their symptoms, and other disease states by becoming the tai chi body.
Do shapes and forms have meaning? Absolutely, and we talk about the subliminal power the movement the body is creating that helps to heal, carry spirit and meaning.
Does posture matter? Again absolutely, we ignore the posture in Western medicine, we sit long stretches of our time, sit in hunched over positions preventing the organs and lungs to work effectively. Peter explains how he can see from the posture the health issues the person is likely to have, because from experience over the years he has seen that it correlates to poor health. Using Tai Chi and Qigong is all about using your self healing power, and Peter takes us through some of the postures that he highlights in the book, simple movement will help you to ‘die healthy’ as he calls it.
Clients often want fast solutions to their long term health issues, and in the interview and book Peter clearly outlines how “What has taken many years to damage will equally take many years to remedy.” so it’s important that people take the time to realise their body needs time to heal itself effectively, and this approach is about taking that time and focus.
One of my favourite quotes in your book was “Eat less, taste more.”, which I laughed at because the metaphor can been seen in more than one way, with life we have too much going on to really enjoy it, and then with our food, well we know the outcome of that in our current healthy trends.
Peter’s work stretches not only in decades but also his experience has led him to work with several high profile people, including the Manchester United football team, his use of Tai Chi is highly unusual in the UK with it’s focus on healing, I truly felt that with this interview I had sat at the feet of a master. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did recording it.
For more about Peter go to his website http://www.chinabridgetaichi.co.uk/
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