A Health Revolution Silently EXPLODES
Across the Planet!
World T’ai Chi & Qigong Day 2002
By Bill Douglas, Founder
Five years ago 200 people silently assembled on the green pastoral lawn before Kansas City’s monumental Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. A small army of reporters and television crews assembled before them, clicking and rolling, and taking notes on this extraordinary gathering. Then an illuminuclear explosion of health and healing expanded across the planet from this unlikely ground zero in the heartland of America to spread awareness of an ancient Chinese health system to millions worldwide.
CNN News picked up the slow motion movements and the medical research information provided by organizers of the event. The next year Fox National News covered it. Kansas City became “T’ai Chi Central” as T’ai Chi and Qigong enthusiasts worldwide flooded the World T’ai Chi & Qigong Day headquarters, which was my small office, with announcements of their own events. The Hong Kong Martial Arts Association listed their 1,000 plus person event to be held in lovely Victoria Park in Hong Kong. An avalanche followed. Over 1,000 people then gathered in Los Angeles, California for their event, 500 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 200 in El Paso, Texas, 600 in Harkness Park, Connecticut, and on and on in hundreds of cities worldwide. This year Sydney, Australia has announced they anticipate 1,500 people to be silently playing T’ai Chi together outside Sydney’s famous Opera House in the harbor.
The results are more than anyone could have imagined. One T’ai Chi teacher in San Diego California reported she did a T’ai Chi workshop last week that 125 people showed up for, exclaiming, “This NEVER would have happened a year or two ago. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!” The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) announced in a UK Independent article that came out last month that they are now officially embracing alternative health therapies to become part of the national health system. The reason is the crushing expense of what the Chinese would call, “crisis medicine,” which has become the exhaustively expensive form modern healthcare has taken. Crisis medicine is when people wait until they are sick to become engaged in their health care, and it is too expensive for the modern world.
This is why the UK NHS is moving toward natural health modalities like T’ai Chi and Qi-gong, Yoga, etc., and the United States National Institute of Health is earmarking millions to study Qigong in coming years. In the United States alone, between $700 and $850 billion dollars of our annual national health costs of $1 trillion could be saved each year if Americans would embrace health technologies like T’ai Chi and Qigong. As indicated by a twenty-year study by Kaiser Permenente that showed 70 to 85% of patients coming to their doctors had illness caused by psycho-social distress issues, or in laymen’s terms “stress.”
World T’ai Chi & Qigong Day’s organization has discovered that there are now highly-trained T’ai Chi and Qigong teachers working in nearly every country in the world. The only thing missing from a formula that will save their nation’s untold health dollars is “information.” Which is why World T’ai Chi & Qigong Day (WTCQD) works not only to organize events worldwide, but to inform every group of the avalanche of medical research proving T’ai Chi and Qigong’s benefit to many maladies and life challenges. In addition, WTCQD educates groups in effective ways to provide the public and media with these facts, thereby getting the information out to the millions who can benefit from it, but are not informed of it by their healthcare providers. WTCQD also works to educate healthcare practitioners and insurance companies, and urges participants to urge their insurance carriers to cover T’ai Chi & Qigong.
WTCQD also connects T’ai Chi & Qigong teachers worldwide to exchange information on how T’ai Chi and Qigong are being used in prison and drug rehabilitation programs, and in schools to treat Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. There is growing concern that especially in America many of the next generation of geniuses may be being erroneously drugged into normalcy with Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs. An organization of American geniuses points to the fact that if Einstein or Edison were in school today they would likely be diagnosed with a behavioral disorder and possibly medicated. Other research indicates social ills like drug abuse, violence, and chronic unemployment may be exasperated by high stress levels. So, spreading T’ai Chi and Qigong usage through education from kindergarten up is a primary goal of WTCQD, to help alleviate disturbing trends like the fact that the United States incarcerates more of its youth than any nation on earth, except Russia.
Chinese researchers spent many centuries developing T’ai Chi and Qigong, and today modern teachers/researchers are pioneering ways to modernize the approach to speed up the benefits while maintaining the essence and making these ancient tools tangible and useful to the masses of humanity that are literally dying for stress relief.
Why is stress such a crushing issue today? According to Bill Joy, Chief Scientist for Sun Micro-systems, the rate of change is doubling exponentially every 18 months, and it will only increase in speed. Today tiny computers only 10 atoms across are being developed that will process in a matter of hours what it would take today’s computers hundreds of years to process. The problem with this is that “change is stressful,” according to psychological research. Yet, this technology and the speed of change may hold the answers to solving many of humanity’s problems, social, environmental, and medical. So, how do we benefit from technology’s frantically escalating future without being torn apart by the stress of change?
This is where T’ai Chi and Qigong and other ancient mind/body technologies like Yoga, and Transcendental Meditation, come in. It is fascinating that techniques thousands of years old are now coming to the rescue of our modern generation. They are highly developed and have spread around the globe at exactly the right time in history to perhaps save us from the future, and in many ways expand the possibility of our future in wonderful ways. By relaxing into the future we will be much more creative and expansive in how we develop the world we are creating. With clarity and a sense of well-being we can create a compassionate future world that nurtures humanity rather than crushing it between its relentless cogs.
The motto of World T’ai Chi & Qigong Day is, “The Future Is in Our Hands.” Technology has placed us at a point where we are literally dreaming our future, as ideas become global realities in nanoseconds, scattered through Internet webs at faster and faster rates. T’ai Chi and Qigong are proven to help alleviate depression and anxiety, and in some ways enhance creativity by calming our frantic thoughts. In this way the spread of these tools at this critical time in history may enable us to dream a world of compassion and healing, creating systems and economies that nurture life. Ours and all the living systems of this precious blue pearl we call Earth.
Bill Douglas is the author of America’s #1 best-selling book on T’ai Chi, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi & Qigong” and also his new inspirational book, “The Amateur Parent — A Book on Life, Death, War and Peace, and Everything Else in the Universe.” He is also the presenter in the world-acclaimed, “T’ai Chi & Qigong: The Prescription for the Future” video/DVD series (For information on Bill’s books or videos, or to contact him, visit www.smartaichi.com).
To get involved with World T’ai Chi & Qigong Day, or to observe events in your area on April 6th, 2002, or in future events, visit www.worldtaichiday.org . You’ll find events in hundreds of cities in countries worldwide. One will be near you.
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