Visionary! If you only buy one book on T’ai Chi, then this is the book. This book is all you ever needed to know to change your life. I have taught T’ai Chi for several decades myself, yet I have now read Bill’s book from cover to cover seven times, and still get something new from it each time.
Dr. Michael Steward Sr., D.MA, Ph.D., MA, Senior Coach for Team USA, Inductee of the World Sports Medicine and World Martial Arts Hall of Fame
"I highly recommend this book to all seeking to enhance their physical, mental and spiritual potential. Quantum Physics and leading edge cell biology emphasize the primal role of energy in our lives. In a user-friendly and meaningful style, Bill Douglas offers a compelling and easy to understand description of ancient Asian energy exercises that effectively reduce stress and improve health."
-- Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., Cellular Biologist & bestselling author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles
Since beginning Bill Douglas’s T’ai Chi program, I have taught the exercises I learned for the past five years in our Pain Management multi-disciplinary program at Research Medical Center. My clients have found improved breathing, larger mobility, better posture, improved balance and coordination, flexibility, increased endurance and strength, and relaxation.
Berni Wheeler, Occupational Therapist
I had the privilege of studying T’ai Chi with this book’s author, Bill Douglas. As a practicing physician, there are certainly times where stress can seem to be the norm. I found T’ai Chi to be profoundly beneficial in reducing stress, increasing mental clarity, and improving my emotional as well as physical health. Where else can you find such a highly effective tool to achieve these worthwhile goals without fancy equipment or complicated formulas? If T’ai Chi can help with stress in an ER room where lives often hang in the balance, imagine what it can do for everyone else!
John D. Hernandez, M.D., Integrative Medicine
It has been a year since I began practicing T’ai Chi under the teaching of the author of this book, Bill Douglas and his associate instructor Erik Feagans. This span of time certainly allows me to evaluate the result of this gentle “martial art,” not only as stress management therapy but, more impressively, with regard to its effect on my physical health.
Suffering for years from chronic neck pain consequent to a whiplash injury, and also suffering from a limited motion of the right shoulder, I approached the T’ai Chi course with some skepticism. The course was initiated after unsuccessful sessions of physical therapy, including mobilization, ultrasounds, heat application, etc. After two months of T’ai Chi, the pain in the cervical region disappeared while the range of motion of my right shoulder returned completely to normal. This achievement remained unchanged during the past winter up until now.
I would not hesitate to recommend T’ai Chi to individuals suffering from the same ailments as well as to mature persons who are seeking to maintain or improve their health and to remain free of chronic pain due to the aging process.
Loredana Brizio-Molteni, M.D., F.A.C.S.
As a physical therapist assistant, I believe that these techniques that are taught by Bill through his book and tapes will become one of the essential tools to be utilized in medical facilities as an adjunct to standard therapy.
Not a day goes by when I am not able to help an individual find pain control using Bill’s QiGong techniques, and many find increased balance and coordination, even after a small taste of Tai Chi seeing automatic difference. Personally, tests show me with a 90 percent improvement in overall balance and in one test a 105 percent improvement in balance since beginning Tai Chi.
Joyce Rupp, Physical Therapist Assistant
From the perspective of a health psychologist serving patients who are coping with chronic illness and stressful life events, I see the gentle mindfulness exercises of T’ai Chi and QiGong relaxation therapy as potentially useful for a broad spectrum of people. The author of this book, Bill Douglas, explains the complexities of T’ai Chi and QiGong in the form of an invitation, easing his students into a greater understanding of the usefulness and purpose of this ancient form of meditative movement.
Kristy Straits-Troster, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Primary Care Medicine
Dizziness is one of the more common reasons for a doctor visit, particularly in patients over the age of 50. Because the causes of dizziness can range from benign self-limiting conditions to potentially life threatening ones, a thorough medical evaluation is essential before embarking on any form of therapy. Persistent dizziness certainly has a distinct impact on the quality of life and emotional well-being of the patient. Falls, hip fractures, and lack of confidence in public often create a feeling of helplessness.
In over 20 years of experience as a clinical neurologist, I find that extensive and expensive medical evaluation including CAT scans, MRI scans, and vascular imaging studies as well as prescription medications add little to alleviating the problem. I have found vestibular rehabilitation exercises in the form of T’ai Chi classes to be a cost-effective mode of therapy. Many of my patients have opted for this nonmedication approach to treatment and have developed a sense of self-confidence through this form of exercise. In short, as a traditional medical practitioner, I frequently recommend T’ai Chi for my patients with dizziness and disequilibrium.
Charles D. Donohoe, M.D., Neurologist
My attitude, since the first few lessons, changed, due to your effectiveness and to your ability to teach this gentle “martial art.” I was suffering for symptoms related to osteoarthritis of the left coxofemoral joint, and, in addition, I was suffering from neck pain with limited motion. This symptomology disappeared with the T’ai Chi exercises. My physician’s recommendation is to continue with the practice of T’ai Chi. I would pass the same recommendation to individuals with similar sedentary life styles as well as to people involved in activity, which requires exertion of the musculoskeletal system.
Agostino Molteni, M.D., Ph.D.
“Rx: Continue T’ai Chi. Dx: Hypertension”
An actual physician’s prescription for a
patient to continue in Bill Douglas’s hospital
T’ai Chi and QiGong classes, written for Agostino Molteni, M.D., Ph.D., by his GP<
after his GP saw the profound benefit to Dr. Molteni's hypertionsion from Tai Chi
" . . . living an extremely unhealthy life style & taking numerous medications for arthritis, depression, and pain . . . then one day while browsing in the library I discovered a book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi and QiGong. I was so impressed that I ordered Bill's videos [Anthology of T'ai Chi & Qigong: The Prescription for the Future]. Now that I am practicing T'ai Chi and QiGong daily I am off most of my medications. People keep telling me I look "different" and that I look happy. Well, I am happy and I feel great! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
-- Dave Long, Washington
Just wanted to let you know that I think your Anthology video is outstanding! . . . having fun "playing" Tai Chi . . . I always wanted to learn the art and your teaching style in the video is fantastic. Considering the cost of lessons at a studio your video is a steal! Wishing you and yours much success.
I would be happy to recommend your video to anyone interested in learning the art of Tai Chi.
-- Bob, Braintree, Massachusetts
At the conclusion of a good course in TaiChi QiGong, I decided that I wanted to move ahead and learn a Tai Chi long form. Unable to find a course at a convenient time in my area, I decided, after much initial hesitation, to try learning Tai Chi from Bill's DVD. I began working my way through each lesson (one per week) in late fall and recently completed the last one. Now I follow Bill daily as he works his way through the entire form.
It's almost like having one's own personal trainer. I particularly value his instructions on breathing. And if I wish to review any particular step, it's very easy to switch back to that lesson. It's clear that my initial hesitation was unnecessary.
As a long time university professor, I am not easily impressed, but I consider Bill to be an excellent teacher. His instructions are very clear, well structured, and easy to follow. I am extremely grateful to you for this extraordinary teaching tool. Well done!
-- Larry, Pennsylvania, United States
The BEST!!!!!! I have been interested in Tai Chi and QiGong for many years. I found all of the books interesting but just could not get myself to follow through. This book is fun to read, very motivating and you REALLY do feel a difference. I have found the Sitting QiGong a wonder after work. I hope he writes more books !!!!
E. Young, California
Clear Instruction? This is the ONE!
If you want clear instruction, a knowledgable instructor, and a great product get this DVD! I have about a dozen Tai Chi tapes of various forms and styles most of which I am happy with and would recommend. This one, however, is THE ONE I would get if I could only have one! Goes along nicely with Bill's Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi and Qigong. I would like to respond to the one reviewer who complained about technical problems with the DVD by assuring you that there are none. There are no problems as he discribed them with the video so it must have been his player. And, I can tell you that the Douglass's are honorable people who are responsive to communication. You CAN TRUST these people and their products! I have nothing but positive Kudo's for this DVD! Nicely laid out. Although they give review segments along the way that tie the forms you are learning together (a nice feature most tapes forget); you can easily go to the full demonstration which gives the "breathing pattern" in the movements which puts the Chi into the practice. Or you can skip to it if you want to tie a lesson into the routine before you get to the next review practice. This DVD is real instruction in a real and beautiful Tai Chi form.
-- Arthur L. Fleschner, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bill Douglas is an incredibly skilled and compassionate instructor. When I was healthy I tried taking martial arts classes several times and found it very difficult to copy the moves of my instructors. I was the student who was turning left when everyone else was turning right, and not doing it gracefully. 6 months ago I ended up in neck and back braces from a car accident combined with the traditional athletic American "push through the pain" mentality (which does not promote healing). I was progressing very slowly in therapy until I started this T'ai Chi video. Now I'm making rapid progress. T'ai Chi teaches practitioners to patiently listen to their bodies, and the movements slowly stretch and strengthen the tendons and muscles. Bill patiently teaches each move thoroughly and slowly. That, combined with the rewind button, has enabled me to accurately (and gracefully!) copy his movements. My handicap hang-tag is now sitting idle in my desk, and with my rate of progress, my doctor believes I'll be able to hit the trails again by the end of the year.
T'ai Chi isn't just benefitial to everyone, it's fun! And with Bill Douglas, it's easy for anyone. Just do it! Buy this DVD! It's an invaluable gift to yourself . . .
M. Bowen, Washington D.C., United States
"As a practitioner of taichi and qigong after discovering your SMARTaichi DVD [Anthology of T'ai Chi & Qigong: The prescription for the Future] and Complete Idiot's Guide to Tai Chi & Qigong (both of great help), I know the benefits because it has helped reduced my anxiety/panic attacks significantly.
Best wishes and continue the great work in educating the world to the benefits of tai chi
Fee Young, United Kingdom
Thank you very much for answering my query Bill . . . again I'd like to say that your videos are the best Tai chi videos I've seen. You explain everything in detail, and the steps are easy to follow. I found it quite easy to follow your instructions. I'm up to lesson 12 already and the following lessons seem pretty easy . . . I've only started it 5 weeks ago.
. . . Tai Chi is becoming quite popular in Italy these last few years though. Many magazines talk about it and there is more and more demand for it.
Thank you again for taking the time to answer.
Francesca Sato, Rome, Italy
A must have for stressed people. In my daily work I get loads of stress, which causes my shoulders and neck to tighten up. My wife was following a local Tai Chi course which isn't ideal if you miss some lessons and due to the lack on repetition during the week. That's why I bought the DVD (easy to go to the right place with the menu, no wearing of the video quality) so that I could learn Tai Chi at my own pace. I was impressed by the sitting Qi Gong exercise as I felt really what Bill said. It calmed me down and I felt it during the following days too. I am learning now also the Tai Chi movements and every evening I am looking forword to my 'unstressing moments of Tai Chi'. Even during stressed moments I think to my 'unstressed moments' and I can control my stress/emotions.
Thanks Bill for being the guide.
-- Johan Pyfferoen, Veurne, Belgium
Sometimes Chinese culture can be difficult to explain. Sifu Bill Douglas successfully uses American culture to explain the art of T’ai Chi Chuan. He simplifies difficult concepts, making them easier to understand. This book takes the best parts of T’ai Chi and makes them understandable [to Westerners] without requiring a grounding in Chinese culture and history.
Sifu Yijiao Hong, USA All-Tai Chi Grand Champion and USA Team member; Certified Int’l. Coach and Judge, Int’l Wushu Federation.
Douglas has achieved for QiGong what Apple did for the computer. He’s brought it to the people … great place to start for beginners … teachers may also find this an excellent manual “on how to explain these concepts to the general public ….”
R. Poccia, Stress Management Instructor, Beyond Anonymous, San Francisco
After leaving my very first T’ai Chi class with the author of this book, I remember driving home and it was as if someone had opened up every one of my senses. It was an overwhelming sense of happiness that swept over me. It was at that very moment I knew T’ai Chi is something I want in my life forever.
Lisa Shikles, Shawnee, Kansas
Because of my practice of T’ai Chi and QiGong, my barometer for detecting “dis-ease” within myself earlier, allows me to prevent serious infection and speed up healing. I feel T’ai Chi is a wonderful part of a revolution in health care, whereby each of us takes much more responsibility for our own health and healing.
Susan Norman, C.I.M.T.
… I found you by accident while looking for an alternative to back surgery … with three ruptured discs in my lower back … I read your book from cover to cover … I am also now over half way through your second tape, and my range of motion is better than it has been in years. I have also managed to lose a few pounds … Recently I went to my regular medical doctor … he told me he was very pleased with my range of motion and my attitude … He was so intrigued by my description of your program that he has borrowed my book and the tapes I have finished.
Mark Herndon, Georgia
I have found so many health benefits since beginning Bill Douglas’s T’ai Chi program, which I began during a nervous breakdown with panic, chest pains, fatigue, and chronic migraines. I saw Bill’s T’ai Chi and QiGong program information and I gave it a try. I felt sudden and immediate benefits. My chest pain started to go away, my heavy fatigue went away, my nervousness calmed. My migraines are now nonexistent, as is the severe hay fever I’d had since childhood. And if that isn’t enough, I have also lost my craving for fatty foods I once used to soothe my stress, and am now losing weight.
Tina Webb, Shawnee, Kansas
During a time of high stress levels at work I began to have heavy Parkinson’s type tremors. At a psychiatrist’s recommendation I began taking Xanax, but the anxiety still continued. After my very first T’ai Chi class with this book’s author, I was so calm I forgot to take my Xanax that afternoon. Before this I’d anxiously looked forward to each dose. … I’ve told my therapist to tell other patients about T’ai Chi.
Tarren Rains, Edwardsville, Kansas
Since beginning Bill’s T’ai Chi program, my resting heart rate has gone from 81 to 61. It’s amazing!
Anne Bauman, Kansas
I found that the Energy Work (Sitting QiGong) and breath work, learned in Bill’s T’ai Chi program, to be calming and to have that effect on those around me as well, including a returning patient who was hallucinating and having panic attacks. By walking with him and breathing deeply, the patient eventually calmed and laid down breathing evenly to await the doctor.
Psychotherapist, Kansas City Area
Next best thing to a personal lesson. If you are looking for a DVD to learn T'ai Chi at home - I would say: look no further, you found what you have been looking for. I am absolutely no expert on T'ai Chi but when I started working with the program on this DVD common sense let me know that the presentation of the material is excellent. Bill Douglas does a very good job in describing the exercises and what to focus on once you get the movement right. All the postures and movements are broken down into easily accessible portions and are repeated 3 times in the relevant section on the DVD, i.e. everything is explained in a very clear and concise manner.
The section on the Sitting QiGong exercise could have gone a bit more into detail but nevertheless the exercise is still veeeerrrryyyy relaxing.
One (personal) caveat though: it absolutely does not hurt (in fact it benefits ;-) ) to think about buying the book by Bill Douglas in addition - then you're really set for T'ai Chi.
-- W. Rafferty, Bielefeld Deutschland (Germany)
After studying Tai Chi with this book’s author I found an illness of the digestive system I’d had for several years has essentially disappeared. My energy levels remain high, even when I’m fighting an illness, and I get sick much less often.
Tom Hansen, Lenexa, Kansas
I had surgery for a possible life-threatening infection in my head. After surgery I was recovering so fast the doctor ordered the nurses to give me more morphine. They felt I was too active and recovering too quickly. My secretI was in bed doing Sitting QiGong [as shown in your book and videos].
Dave Long, Washington
TOP NOTCH DVD! This is by far the best instructional DVD I have ever purchased. Bill gives you complete instructions/demonstrations (from several angles) and gives you the opportunity to incorporate each lesson into the skills you have already learned. The sitting QiGong segment will leave you totally relaxed and ready to tackle our hectic world. The principles described here will change your life - if you let it!
If you've been considering T'ai Chi.......BUY THIS DVD!
-- Chris Owens, Kansas City
Easy. Authentic. Comprehensive. Fun. These words describe my views of Bill Douglas' DVD. During the past eight weeks, I have been practicing T'ai Chi in my living room by learning and following Bill's demonstrations of this ancient chinese martial art. Anybody can do it under his tutelage. I'm 72 and I'm finding its mind-body benefits well worth the price. I wish I had discovered this marvelous art 30 years ago. I recommend it to all ages.
A convenient and fun way to learn T'ai Chi!
Bill Douglas's T'ai Chi & Qigong: The Prescription for the Future is excellent. Bill has a wonderful way of teaching so that even beginners can catch on quickly. The practice sessions are particularly helpful as they allow you to go back, review and practice the movements previously taught. I highly recommend the video series and was delighted to see it is now available in dvd as well.
-- Robert H. Kobler, Bonner Springs, Kansas
Best in it's Field, Perfect for Beginners & Refining Moves. I practice outside, so don't use the DVD daily, but sure is nice to review and refine a new movement whenever I want to! Have tried other styles on VHS, but this version and the way it is presented, is MUCH easier to pick up, and very relaxing. Still have a way to go, but now I can improve on movements and breathing by reviewing even the earlier lessons. Our instructors say "It took the Chinese 400 years to develop T'ai Chi, so we have plenty of time to get it right." Always thought I'd like to learn T'ai Chi, THANKS Bill!
-- Janice Langham, Leavenworth, Kansas
If you want to learn T'ai chi, buy this! I bought this DVD two weeks ago and so far things are going really well. I have learned nearly half of the twenty minute T'ai chi routine (form) already! I am really enjoying it too. It is very simple to follow (the form is broken down into managabe mini lessons), and if you do find anything a little tricky, simply replay that lesson as many times as you like until you get the movements into your head. I think I am learing much faster than I would if I were going to lessons, although I suppose this is basically like having lessons in your living room, whenever you like. One thing to bear in mind is that you need a reasonable amount of space to be able to do the movements, as you are required to slowly move around; but nothing excessive. Common sense though, I suppose. Bill douglas is very non-threatening, so being a beginner is not a problem. I would give this 5 stars, but perhaps it doesn't go into quite enough detail as regards the mystical/physiological effects, and also the scenery could be a little more imaginative as regards tranquility. However, these are minor points. I think T'ai chi is about doing, and feeling, and once you have been through this DVD you can continue to learn and practice by yourself: relaxing, centering, flowing. In short, I feel that I could not have found anything better for my money. A lifetime of T'ai chi simply and effectively. If you want to go on and learn more later, you can; but start here!
--Johnny, Berkshire United Kingdom
This is THE dvd for those serious about learning Tai Chi. I use it with the book (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tai Chi) and so far I am understanding it all and doing well! I have got totally LOST with other Tai Chi DVD's and books who move through the form far TOO fast, with little or NO information.
Bill Douglas gives STEP BY STEP instructions. HE even solved a problem for me by telling those who had left right confusion to watch thru a mirror! Great idea! The instruction is good and the guy has a sense of humour and makes it fun!! It is NOT supposed to be so serious people! The Chinese 'play' Tai Chi !
The quality of the DVD is fairly good even thru a mirror! The QiGong exercises are good and well done. If classes are unavailable in your area buy it with the book!
-- LINCS, United Kingdom
EXCELLENT!! This DVD is great for learning Tai Chi and QiGong. One of the best, if not the best that I have ever seen. From the first time you watch it you will see, and feel results. The first time that I watch it, I sat down, watched the introduction for the DVD which explains the ideas, science and practices of Tai Chi and QiGong and then did the first 15-20 min exercise which is a simple QiGong exercise. I was stunned for lack of a better word. By the end of the exercise I was felling much better and refreshed, and I am now 100% convinced of the existance of chi. It is definatly there and if you do the same exercise you will believe in it to.
The Tai Chi exercise are also very good. They are done in a stress-free environment and way of learning, as there is no pressure in moving too fast, and all the lessons are done in a way so that they are explained and shown in a very clear and understanding manner. It will take time (as all things do) to learn all of the Tai Chi form so that you can do it on your own without the DVD, but it is easy to follow and learn with tips on how to learn from it. (e.g. turning your back on the TV and putting a mirror in front of you so that you can see everything being done the right way, instead of having to swap the movement around in your head. This is because he does the lessons facing the camera, so if you do it facing the TV, then you will have to do it the opossite way/side to him to get it right.)
Overall this is a EXCELLENT Tai Chi and QiGong DVD. Easy to learn from, very relaxing and painless to do, and believe me, if you stick with it and follow the instruction that you are given, you will definatly notice results in you life, including improved health; improved joints, back and neck; better and more positive attitudes and feelings; and you will also find a great way to relax with the great QiGong exercise. My favourite bit ;-)
-- Elener, Brackley, Northants United Kingdom
Excellent introduction. What a great way to reduce stress in your life, when you begin to do the excercises in the dvd, all the tension just ebbs away, myself being a skeptic, was very unsure if there really were benefits and as an anxiety sufferer I can say that the rythmic flowing exercises have resulted in a calmer "me" in just a few short weeks. Bill Douglas (the presenter) says that the Chinese "play" Tai Chi and practised with that spirit it certainly brings you back for more.
-- Mark Q., England
A convenient and fun way to learn T'ai Chi! Bill Douglas's T'ai Chi & Qigong: The Prescription for the Future is excellent. Bill has a wonderful way of teaching so that even beginners can catch on quickly. The practice sessions are particularly helpful as they allow you to go back, review and practice the movements previously taught. I highly recommend the video series and was delighted to see it is now available in dvd as well.
-- Lenexa, KS
The Presenter's approach is uniquely comfortable & effortless.
A bit skeptical at first since many videos I watched before were always "over my head," with no consideration for the simple needs of the student.
Bill Douglas's video was completely different! I was able to grasp very easily what he was talking about. He goes through the practice in "real time" so you get a full workout not just the mini version, making it a comfortable, effortless, & easy way to learn Tai Chi. I look forward to my practice and feeling like I'm doing it with a "friend."
All in all I get the feeling that Bill really wants people to get Tai Chi and Qigong, rather than just "make a buck." I highly recommend him and his instruction to everyone.
-- Los Angeles, California
ON SPORTS PERFORMANCE:
Here is my story about how Tai Chi made me the star of the day.
I was playing in a softball game, elementary teachers against middle school teachers. It had been a very boring game. Most of the base runners got on base through errors, dropped balls, bad throws, etc. But the middle school team was ahead. (I played on the elementary team.) The pressure was on me when I came to bat in the last inning with two runners on base.
I recalled you telling our Tai Chi class about Tiger Woods having such a powerful swing due in part to his early practice in Qigong. You said he swung from his Dan Tien. As I approached homeplate and assumed my batting stance, I thought about this. My eyes focused on the ball, but my body and mind were focusing on my Dan Tien.
The first pitch I swung. I was stunned as the ball sailed far over the outfielders heads. I stood at the plate and watched until the sounds of people hollering, "Run, run," registered with me. I was able to make it around the bases before the ball was thrown into the infield. The elementary teachers won the game.
-- Anna Jones, Kansas