Take control of your own health










Does your energy need a boost?  Feel yourself tired and flagging most of the time?

Learn T'ai Chi and see your energy levels increase.  Regular practise leaves you feeling stronger and fitter.  Give it a try!  


You may think you are pretty healthy, but most of us have niggling issues, or rely on tablets for one condition or another.  Learning quality Chinese skill from a qualified instructor can help you combat some of these problems and bring your body back into balance.  if you wish to talk about a particular health problem, give me a call on 01926 451163.


Sifu Kate writes about T'ai Chi:

Many people the World over study Taijiquan (T'ai Chi Chuan), but few practise it as it was originally meant to be:  as a martial art.  The soft, flowing movements, performed slowly, give an impression of calm and serenity, but it is practised in this way for a reason.  Doing something slowly requires a lot more strength than when we perform it quickly.  So in practising our Taijiquan forms slowly, we develop a lot of strength in the body, particularly the legs.  As the legs become stronger, then the whole body becomes healthier and stronger.  Also performing at a slower pace enables us to develop accuracy, get the framing and posture correct, and learn to relax the whole body.  It is only when we have achieved this that the martial applications will work.  Of course a large person will easily push over a smaller one by using force, but this is not Taijiquan.  For a small person to defeat a large one requires skill.


Taijiquan was created by Chen Wanting about 350 years ago in Wen County, Henan Province. His skill was passed on through the Chen family, until today, the 19th generation standard bearer of the family martial art is Grandmaster Chen Xioawang.  His incredible skill is World famous, and he has worked tirelessly to teach it throughout the World.


Unlike other styles of Taijiquan, such as Yang Style, Chen Style is characterised by deep stances and fast, explosive movements.  There are few female Masters to give we women inspiration, but I was lucky enough to meet Master Chen Guizhen a few years ago.  She impressed me greatly by demonstrating an extremely powerful punch while sitting in a chair.


So if you are interested in Taijiquan, then get back to the origins of this fascinating art by learning Chen style Taijiquan.  I have classes in Leamington Spa and Solihull.  It only takes a phone call or email to get started on an exciting and extraordinary journey!


Sifu Kate writes about Chinese philosophy:

One of my favourite Chinese saying is:

'He who worries in advance, suffers twice over.'

This is a very simple sentiment, but one that is not always so easy to act on.  I am sure many people have suffered twice over this Christmas, with the difficult weather we have been having in the UK.  In the run up to the holiday I heard many people worrying about whether they would manage to get away on their holiday, either because of airport closures or snow blocked roads.  We put ourselves under a lot of stress just thinking what might happen, then when our worse fears come to pass, we suffer all over again.  It is not always easy to do, but if we can relax a bit more, maybe things will not be as bad as we anticipated.  If we keep our minds flexible, as we try to do with our bodies, then maybe we can adjust our plans and aspirations to suit the circumstances.  Things may not turn out as we had originally wished, but then that is life, isn't it!


Sifu Kate writes about Chinese Tea:

To many, the phrase ‘Chinese Tea’ means ’Green Tea’, and this was in fact the case originally. But when the Chinese started to trade with Europe in the sixteenth century, they had to find a way to make their green teas survive the long journey to the West in good condition.  They came up with a  way of making black tea, which lasted longer and travelled better than green teas.  At home, the Chinese people continued to drink green tea, while the black tea became very popular in Europe.

Today, there are more than 10,000 varieties of tea made around the World, all  from one plant species.    So what makes them taste so different?  The flavour of each tea is determined by a large number of factors, such as the climate in which it is grown, the soil, picking methods, and how the leaf is processed, to name but a few.

Teas can be unfermented, semi-fermented and fermented, and are divided into several categories – white, green, yellow, oolong, black, puerh  and compressed – all determined by the way they are manufactured.

White tea is made from the buds at the end of each tea shoot.  They are covered in little white hairs, hence the name.  Green Teas are unfermented, and the leaves are allowed to wither to get rid of some of the water content, then heated in order to dry them.  Yellow teas are rare, and are made in a similar way to green teas,  but the leaves are gently heated then allowed to ferment.    Oolong teas are semi fermented.  Black, or red, teas have a strong taste and are first withered, then rolled, fermented and dried. Puerh teas come from Yunnan Province in the south west, and are quite woody in flavour.  Compressed teas are processed into bricks to make them easier to transport,  and to help them last longer.  These bricks are made from Puerh or other black teas.  Many teas are flavoured.  Jasmine Tea, for example, is flavoured with Jasmine flowers.

So do not make up your mind about Chinese Tea on the basis of one tasting.  If you have had a cheap tea, it may not taste too good.  But in any case, there is a huge range of Chinese teas available from Chinese supermarkets.  Many, not used to these teas, find Jasmine Tea very light and refreshing.  But whatever your preference, there will be something out there for you.


Sifu Kate writes about healing injuries the Chinese way:

A few months ago I shut my hand in a door.  It was extraordinarily painful.  In fact, it hurt so much I could not sleep the first night for the pain and throbbing.  Someone noticing the damage the next day asked if I had been to the doctor and if I had put ice on it to reduce the swelling.  I was quite taken aback.  Firstly, it had never occurred to me to go to a doctor.  What could they have done?  I had cleaned and dressed the wounds to my fingers because they were bleeding, but beyond that it was simply a question of time and the body’s miraculous healing powers, to put it right.  I suppose I may have been given antibiotics to prevent infection setting in, but thanks to Qigong, I have a strong immune system to deal with that, and I would not have wanted to do anything to compromise it by taking drugs unnecessarily.

As to the swelling, I’m not a fan of putting ice on injuries.  While it may help to take the swelling down, all that cold and damp settles into the joints, and may result in arthritis ten or twenty years down the line.

But my friend’s reaction set me thinking about my philosophy  when it comes to health, and in this case minor injury.  My fingers bled for more than a day because the skin at the base of the nail is very thin, and it had been severely mashed.  I dressed the wounds to stop me dripping blood everywhere, then set about dealing with the inflammation.  Using a feather light touch, I gently massaged the areas of swollen tissue, avoiding any areas of broken skin.  This was a very delicate process because both the tissue and bones were badly bruised.  Anyone who has bruised or broken a bone will know that bone pain is particularly debilitating.  But it did not take long to clear away the stagnation and reduce the puffiness.  I then kept my hand up as much as possible to allow the blood and fluid to drain.  After a day, the bleeding had stopped, so I took off the dressings and went out into the garden to do some Qigong.  Luckily it was a beautiful sunny day, and I was able to spend a long time doing Healthy Living Gong Part 1, and especially Golden Dragon Stretches Its Claws.  This is a really good exercise for any problems with the hands, since it brings a lot of Qi to that area.  I also practised the Wild Goose First 64 Movements.  This is particularly good for resolving health problems and injuries that you have acquired during your lifetime.  By the end of my practise the soggy tissue had dried and things were looking better already.

Now four months down the line, the damage is growing out.  Someone had said I would not get away without permanently disfigured nails, but I am pleased to say that everything has come back looking normal.   Even the dent across the skin just above the nail, the centre of the impact, has finally disappeared.  The power of Qigong never ceases to amaze me.


Qigong Student Kris writes:


Recently my back gave in, as it used to do a fair bit when I was younger. I can see now that I’d become a bit too attached to my shiny new car, and been slacking on my qigong practice for quite a while– just attending the weekly class wasn’t enough! Trying to get better I found half-hearted measures just weren’t working, so I was forced to take more drastic action: ditch the car and establish a healthier overall lifestyle and routine.


This period has been a valuable one in renewing my confidence and respect for the qigong teachings. I’ve realised there’s no point being taught these great skills if you don’t actually apply them until it’s too late!  I seem to have made a very good recovery; the qigong has been an essential and central part of the recuperation. The many lessons where Sifu Kate has corrected and adjusted my movements has left me with confidence that I was broadly doing the correct thing with the movements.  I have found that the gentle stretching, the precise postures, the flow, and the strong standing structures have given my back a thorough all-round workout and flexing. The energy the exercises cultivate has also brought more warmth and softness back into my aching bones! The Physiotherapist I saw commented that I had regained a great amount of flexibility and had good balance and posture.



Buying Tea in China