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Brookfield Celebrates World Tai Chi and Qigong Day 2009
By Amber Zheng

Strolling by the Senior Center on April 25th, (Saturday), perhaps you have noticed many seniors inside doing specific stretches or exercises, some standing on one leg, while others are mediating, these are the ~150 or so Tai Chi enthusiasts gathered to celebrate World Tai Chi & Qigong Day (WTCQD) 2009, sponsored by International Institute of Holistic Medicine - IIHM (www.iihmed.org), a non-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee. Most participates were residents of Brookfield, Elm Grove and surrounding communities.

Tai Chi, one of popular forms of Qigong, combines slow, graceful movements with meditation and breathing techniques to treat or prevent chronic illnesses. Suitable for all ages, Tai Chi is especially good for the elderly, as it can improve balance, coordination and memory. WTCQD is an annual event held on the last Saturday of April each year to promote the related disciplines of Tai Chi & Qigong in sixty countries since 1999. In 2006, Brookfield mayor Jeff Speaker officially proclaimed WTCQD on request of Dr. Guan-Yuan Jin, a local acupuncturist/Qigong Master at Ace Acupuncture Clinic of Milwaukee (www.AceAcupuncture.com), one of the Midwest’s leading centers of Chinese medicine.

As this year is its 3rd anniversary of WTCQD at Brookfield, IIHM, led by Dr. Jin, decided to sponsor and organize a celebration event. In preparation for this event, an organizing committee composed of seven local doctors, scientists, and business leaders was formed. Many local businesses including banks and schools provided sponsorships. “Simple forms of Qigong are especially welcome during these tough economic times as individuals and families who want to stretch their healthcare dollar.” says Dr. Jin, “Practicing Tai Chi and Qigong can cultivate our inner self-healing mechanisms, and in turn help transform our community into a healthier one,” In recent years, it is evident that the Greater Milwaukee community has seen a rising interest in Tai Chi & Qigong, resulting in that classes are being offered to various senior homes or care-giving facilities. However, Dr. Jin says, “Qigong is a blend of both science and art, and its theoretical guidance is as deep as the ocean, so it is important to choose a teacher wisely, and help you acquire optimal health benefits.”

 At 3pm, WTCQD 2009 celebration began at the main room of the senior center. Although the weather is stormy and cold outside, the participants’ enthusiasm to Tai Chi & Qigong filled up a room full of warm energy. Dr. Timothy McAvoy, a veteran internist, emceed this event. Two guest speakers: Dr. Shi-Jiang Li, a Professor of Biophysics, and Dr. Allen X. Li, a Professor of Radiation Oncology, both from Medical College of WI, gave spirited addresses on how Qigong therapies enhanced their personal wellbeing as well as providing a platform for medical research using Qigong. Afterwards, the keynote speech by Dr. Jin focused on Chinese ways for ant-aging that attracted attention of all participants. Dr. Jin is one of the pioneers in the research of scientific essence of Qigong, and is an accomplished Tai Chi & Qigong instructor of over 44 years. Many attendants of this event are his current and former students.

When smooth Chinese music hit the floor, several instructors of Qigong from IIHM put on a series of mesmerizing Tai Chi demonstrations, including Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan by Masters Louis and Amber Jin, their sync performance drew oohs and ahhs. Following the expert demonstrations, several former Tai Chi students of Dr. Jin and a few of those who studied the healing art before, stepped onto the stage for a group practice of Simplified Yang-Style Tai Chi Chuan and drew laughter and applauses from the crowd. At the end of the celebration, an introductory workshop of Eight-Section Brocade, another popular form of classical Chinese Qigong was taught to all of attendants, which raised the event to its climax. WTCQD 2009 at Brookfield was concluded around 6pm, when many attendants remained in their seat, not wanting to leave. “How do you beat this magnificent event next year?” the emcee, Dr McAvoy, playfully inquired Dr. Jin.

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