T’ai Chi Week
The Summer Course in Cornwall is an ideal opportunity for students practising T’ai Chi to develop a thorough grounding in the Art, in actual fact this course is equivalent to six months training at evening classes.
Our advanced students and teachers will be attending the course so it’s a good opportunity to benefit from their experience as there is a high ratio of teachers to students which means plenty of opportunities to work with a teacher on an individual basis. Plus there’s also a chance to train with many other students from around the country who are at your own level to share information and training tips you have picked up along the way at your local classes. And of course it’s an ideal opportunity to get to know the other members of the Association in a relaxed environment free from external distractions in an area well known for it’s outstanding natural beauty. Many of you will find familiar faces from your own local regions but will also be meeting new people who share an interest in the Taoist Arts of the Lee style. Finally you can choose to be assessed – if you wish – by the senior teachers, which is the perfect way to structure your development and target your personal strengths and weaknesses.
Feng Shou, Kung Fu Week
Feng Shou self defence is orientated around learning a soft style self defence method in it’s essence. It is a practical method but does not require the kind of brute physical strength or demanding physical exercise regime more commonly associated with Martial Arts training because it utilizes the dynamic power of Chi or what the Chinese know as ‘internal energy’. This week long course will give the beginner a thorough grounding in the basics of the Art and for the more advanced students there will be plenty of opportunity to practise what you have been learning at the weekend and evening courses in your area as well as learning the advanced forms, evasion sets, foot-flow patterns, rollaway techniques and so on and so forth. There will be a grading for those who wish to be assessed at the end of the week.
Anmo, Health & Massage Week
‘Anmo’ or Chinese Massage is based upon entirely different concepts and principles to the kind of massage and therapy which we are commonly familiar with in the West.
The course consists in a programme of practical work with partners under the supervision of a teacher to practise and learn the basic massage techniques. There will also be daily seminars about the basic concepts of Chinese medicine as outlined below. The course is essential for anyone who is interested in taking their T’ai Chi onto an advanced level, but is also suitable for anyone who is looking at alternative ways to aid the bodies defences and ability to regenerate itself and recover from diseases as well as build a stronger immune system.
Even Western anatomy and physiology is fundamentally different to the theory of Chinese Medicine because the Chinese view of the internal organs was not developed from dissection of dead bodies. The Chinese theory of internal organs or ‘Zang Fu’ 脏腑 was developed from research and studies conducted by Taoists from early times and is based upon the flow of energy around the body which interconnects the organs according to a series of natural functions which is unique to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Each organ is not just an anatomical unit but also includes an energy meridian or channel and is linked to other functions in the body including emotions.
Over this five day course you will spend each day learning one of the ten basic massage techniques which are designed to stimulate or sedate the flow of life-force or ‘Chi’ around the body.
We will also be looking at diagnosis methods based on the system ‘the five methods of examination’: asking, looking, touch, listening and smelling. This is a traditional method based around the five elements and the five senses, and involves a variety of ways to observe the illness and get better feedback before proceeding with treatments including pulse examination.
We will be looking at some typical examples of ways to treat common diseases based on the following principles:
- Diet: Chang Ming or Taoist Long Life diet is a time tested approach to nutrition which has been researched by Taoist Masters since before recorded history. The diet is highly effective in boosting the store of ‘Chi’ or life-force within the body and is based around the Taoist principles of respect for Nature. This means eating natural foods which are unprocessed and avoiding any chemical additives and colourings etc as well as cutting down on red meat and dairy products.
- Herbal therapy: Herbs are a large part of Chinese Medicine and thousands of herbs have been catalogued over the centuries, each herb can have varying yin or yang effects. We concentrate on Chinese herbs that also grow in the west following the Taoist principle of using locally grown natural medicines.
- Meridian massage: Located throughout the body are special pathways through which the life-force flows including eight special meridians which act as storage vessels similar to the streams, rivers and reservoirs which irrigate the landscape. The meridian massage can be used to stimulate or sedate the flow of energy depending on the elemental imbalance and is also a good way to open up the channels to free blockages and improve the smooth flowing of Chi just like the way sap flows in a tree.
- Breathing exercises: Deep breathing is essential for stimulating the production of Chi in the lower abdomen but there are also many specific exercises which can not only help with the process of Chi cultivation but also to help build the immune system to prevent a variety of specific common diseases.
- Contact thermogenesis: Moxa or Ginger Compress is similar to acupuncture but uses heat to stimulate the energy, the body fluids and the regeneration of body tissues. It is very good for removing stagnation in the system and helps to focus the repair process for example with bruising or injuries.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Locating the meridians
We will be learning practical exercises to help us locating the eight extra meridians as well as the ten organ meridians in the body and their associated important energy centres and points related to acupressure.
Understanding the five elements theory
To begin with we will be having a look at how the five elements are related to the way energy is balanced between the internal organs as well as relating this to emotional as well as physical factors of disease.
Understanding the eight principles of disease classification
Eight principles is a major form of disease classification used in modern Chinese medicine to differentiate syndromes according to Yin or Yang factors.