Sarah Davies Therapies

Clinical Deep Tissue ​Massage,

Reflexology, Reiki & Tai Chi

Nantgarw | Pontypridd

What is Tai Chi?

Known for being a gentle exercise, what's the difference between Tai Chi, Qigong & Shibashi?


Qigong (chee-gone) is an umbrella term for over 1,500 different styles of an ancient Chinese practice used for: aligning breath, movement, awareness, healing, and martial art training.

It encourages the flow of Qi (life energy) to promote healing, health, vitality and longevity. It dates back over 4,000 years to 1122BC, and is still growing in popularity worldwide today.


Qigong changed after 206AD when Buddhist’s found influence from India, mixing Qigong and meditation. In the Liang dynasty, Shaolin monks used Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon Changing Qigong on soldiers to improve health, which led to a martial art for strength and vigour. It then went underground during China’s Communist period.


Originally, Qigong was divided into three parts:

  • Dao Yin – the art of using the mind to direct energy though meridians to remove blockages.
  • Zhan Zhuang – a form of mainly standing still to accumulate qi.
  • Nei Gong – a meditative form Nei translates to ‘inside’, used to refine the quality of qi held in the body transmuting it from physical to spiritual.

The rise of the Taoist Philosophical School placed emphasis on nature, following ‘Nature’s way’. The Qi, defined as breath or vital energy, flows within nature and all things, non-living and living, hold this vital life force.


The concept of meridians that are channels or pathways of which Qi flows is still used within Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure and acupuncture today.

The belief is, if Qi becomes blocked in a meridian from either too much or too little Qi, then illness and disease occurs. The main aim of Qigong, is to move and balance the Qi within the body, allowing it to move freely, promoting good health.

T'ai Chi

During the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD) Taijiquan, or T’ai Chi Ch’uan meaning ‘Supreme ultimate fist’ was created by Zhang San Fing.

Tai chi relates to the world after the big bang. Before the bang was a state of ‘Wuji’ meaning emptiness, or nothingness, without form. The Wuji nothingness, is a popular calming state that people aim for from practicing.

The three most popular forms are:

  • Chen style – this is the fastest with explosive moves and a medium stance. It is rumoured that it came from monks on Wundang Mountain.
  • Yang style – this has a wider stance with open moves.
  • Wu style – adopts a narrow stance with legs in line with shoulders and smaller movements.

The Yang style is more popular in the West, while Wu is more dominant in Southeast Asia.


Shibashi means ’18 movements’ and was developed by Professor Lin Hou-Sheng – a Qigong Master, Scientist and Healer in 1997. His colleague Master Wu Jian Hua trained with him and went on to train Master Wing Cheung – who is now seen as the leading exponent of Shibashi.


Tai Chi developed much later than Qigong. It can be both a martial art, and a form of Qigong to improve health. Tai Chi Masters practice Qigong to build up their energy to perform Tai Chi.

Qigong, Shibashi takes forms from Yang style Tai Chi, but uses the Wu stance for its health benefits and is kinder to the knees.

Shibashi Classes

Shibashi can be performed either standing or sitting, so, my Tai Chi, Qigong, Shibashi classes are suitable for everyone, including the over 50s or those with low mobility or recovering from injury or surgery.

The next round of lasses will be starting in July. Please contact me for the latest timetable.