I was surprised to see so many people suffering from depression during my time taking care of patients from 1997 to 2013. Many of their problems were not genetic, which can often be the underlying cause of depression.
Living through two different cultures, experience different life style, and seeing so many suffer from depression, I have seen that most people suffer from depression struggled with a lack of internal strength dealing with life stress.
When I speak of internal strength, I think of a person who has a balance in their body, mind, and spirit. A person who can deal with life’s stress in a positive, productive way. A person who can live with the principle of Dao: balance of the Yin and the Yang
Nothing is easy in our life journey, but we need to know how to make it easy. From many years of studying Daoist philosophy and practicing Tai Chi and Qi Gong,
I finally understand the way: Flowing energy (opposite to stagnation). That is why I wrote the book “Tai Chi for Depression.” Practicing Tai Chi, one can be in the moment, feeling a sense of peace and balance, feeling the universal energy, and embrace that energy to build inward tranquility and strength.
Many of my students benefit from Tai Chi and Qi Gong practice. Below is one example:
“I came to Dr. Kuhn’s Tai Chi program, a newly divorced 60-year-old woman- broken, anxious, sad, confused, medicated and clinically depressed– I slogged through my day working, eating (barely), sleeping (hardly) and often feeling invisible to those with whom I interacted.
Waves of sadness overcame me often as did cry quietly in my car. I waited patiently for six weeks for Dr. Kuhn’s January Tai Chi class to begin. I remember initially being relieved to have a place to go every week.
The first thing I recall about the class was her kind, nurturing presence; the second was her teaching me how to breathe. Learning specific positions and breathing techniques while paying attention to my body allowed me to get outside of my head. I began to memorize the gentle, flowing, slow-paced movements of Tai Chi with her constant reminder “not to forget to breathe!”
Her classes were intense as we learned, yet the focus was always on having fun and going with the flow. What a life lesson! She still could tell if I was too tense in my form, and the gentle reminders gave me my present body awareness. Soon my sadness was pushed aside, and bursts of happiness began to emerge. My anxiety lessened as I practiced the form, and I began to laugh more and more and began to feel like my old self again!
Practicing Tai Chi regularly is an ideal way for me to relax and de-stress. The slow fluid movements, with concentrated deep breathing, eventually helped clear the dark veil that had enveloped me.
I am eternally grateful to Dr. Kuhn for her guidance and wisdom. I owe my good health and recovery to Tai Chi!”
—- Tricia P
“Four years ago my health was at a low. I had pain in my joints. Stairs were difficult for my knees and my hip was painful. I was in the process of moving. My mother had passed away. I was at an all-time low.
I decided to try out yoga which left me with more pain in the knees. However, yoga led me to qigong which I found that I could manage. Not only could I manage it but it left me in a much happier state of mind each time I tried it.
The following year I signed up for an intensive training to study the Meridian warm up and Five Animal qigong. I was struggling with pain, swollen joints and depression. I practiced qigong several times a day for three weeks and returned a new person.
Since that time I have studied more qigong forms with various teachers, all the time trying to improve my inner self. I have found an enormous strength within which has helped me deal with the negativity in my life. Some folk do not need to go this route. They find that strength naturally.
However, I feel combined with the support of my husband, son and sister, qigong has brought me to where I am today. I was taught that to be able to go out and help others, you first have to bring yourself to your own potential. This I will work on for the rest of my life. I hope to continue to improve my positive outlook and my physical health.”
—— Kathy M