Episode 90 The Powerful Practices Of Tai Chi & Qigong: Interview with Tish Oakley

Nov 23, 2022

Is your mind and body out of balance? Can Tai Chi and Qigong help you achieve balance and strength?

MEET Tish Oakley

I help people learn how to re-establish their mind-body relationship by balancing their energies with Tai Chi, Qigong, and Reiki.

Find out more about Tish at Earth Monkey Energies and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube


  • What is Tai Chi and how does it work? 5:24
  • What are the psychological benefits of Tai Chi? 16:58
  • What is Qigong? 26:58

What Is Tai Chi & How Does It Work?

  • Making Tai Chi a personalized experience
  • What are the benefits of Tai Chi?
  • Different ways and levels to perform Tai Chi
  • What are the 3 main principles of Tai Chi?

What Are The Psychological Benefits Of Tai Chi?

  • Tai Chi as an alternative to meditation and mindfulness
  • Resetting your brain when using Tai Chi
  • Integrating other holistic practices with movement
  • Using Tai Chi to deal with trauma

What is Qigong?

  • What are the differences between Tai Chi and Qigong
  • Finding balance with mind, body and soul with Qigong
  • Combining Tai Chi and Qigong
  • Using Tai Chi and Qigong to regulate your energy

Connect With Me

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Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find out more about Tish at Earth Monkey Energies and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube


Chris McDonald: Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice and grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I am loving today's topic since I am such a fan of Tai Chi and Chi gong practices, and my guest here today is Tish Oakley. She's gonna talk about how Tai Chi can build new cognitive patterns and unravel layers of unhealthy energetic patterns, which.

Fascinated with Tish also helps people learn how to reestablish their mind-body relationship by balancing their energies with Tai Chi, Qigong, and Reiki. And welcome to the podcast, Tish.

Tish Oakley: Hi Chris. Thank you.

Chris McDonald: Can you share more about yourself and your work with my listeners?

Tish Oakley: Sure. So right now, my purpose in life is to share Tai Chi and to help people discover their energy and how to balance their energy.

And so I love all different types of folks, all the way from young kids, all the. To folks in their nineties, um, and help them discover their energy. It's one of my things is when people come in, they have a, what I call a typical face, right? Where they've got stress in their face, you know, life is just, you know, and then at the end of the class, it's like magic, isn't it?

It's like a first time in, in my class last week, she said about halfway through, she said, Oh my gosh. She said, I'm. She said, I, I don't know how to relax. Mm. And so it's a beautiful, powerful, it's a beautiful thing to be able to p to help people find that. And again, one of the benefits of Tai Chi is if you practice and commit to it, you can do that yourself at any time.

And that's what, Yeah. Gifts that I think that people can give themselves, um, by learning it. So, And Chi Kong is a wonderful, as you know, it's a wonderful practice as well. And there's so many different c. To it. There's a lot of people that say Tai Chi, Chi Kong, you know, because it's so interrelated and, and have so many of the same principles and, and even movement.

Mm-hmm. , you know, and then Reiki fits in because reiki I went to, I had a friend that, uh, just about forced me. , you need to go, you really need to go. You need to go to reiki. And so learned reiki. And so I went and it was a two day ra. My reiki one training was a, um, Two day class and the second day when I came back, one of my classmates said, T you healed my back pain.

My back was hurting and now my back doesn't hurt. And so I'm like, you know, isn't that amazing, ? It really is. It's some, and it's all about energy, is what it is. And so that's why, you know, right now, I, I, I feel so blessed and honored to help people learn. Something like Tai Chi and Chi Kong that they can do themselves at any time.

At 20 years from now, 40 years from now, whenever you need it, you pull it out and you use it. And then Reiki being able to take someone that's sometimes suffering, actually that's it. Mm-hmm. , and then turn that into, uh, a blissful experience. So makes a difference. It's funny how it does, and it's funny how people are just not in touch, I wanna say, with their body or their emotion.

Or comfortable releasing, You know what they're, I say what they're toting around . Exactly. And some

Chris McDonald: people's totes are

Tish Oakley: bigger than others. . Oh my gosh. Some people are exhausted. Yeah. Weighing them down. Right. You know, they gotta let it go. So, And the way I, I came into it, it was like 30 years ago, I was toting a lot of things from, um, from childhood.

You. Everything and a lot of abandonment and abuse and neglect and whatnot. And so I, my brain, my body, my energy was just chaotic. And so I tried, uh, sitting meditation and that was tough cuz my body, my muscles just, it's hard to sit still. Um, or it was when I was younger, now I'm like, Can I take a nap? No, I'm kidding.

Yeah. Will there be snacks? No kidding. Um, but anyway, and so I. And so somebody there in one of the classes, um, suggested, uh, Tai Chi. And luckily when I came to graduate school at State, there was someone teaching Tai Chi. And uh, so I started doing it. And at first I just kept it for myself. But then just to be straight up with you, I burned out about, uh, Three years ago I was in home building and a single mom and it just, I didn't take care of me.

And that's why now I see people's faces and I'm like, Oh, you can read people, Yeah. You know, you need to do something different. But it's up to each person to do what they need to do, um, to take care of themselves. But they have to recognize it. And that's back to what I was saying before about people allowing themselves to feel.

And then committing to it so that they can continue those feelings over and over. I see your kitty in the background. We're on video too here. . I, Well, yes, they uh, it's funny cause if you were here in person they probably wouldn't be out, but they don't understand that you're, I'm always, always distracted by cats in the background.

they're, I love cats so much. Yeah, well they're, they're incredible animals. And it's funny cause they have such a mind to their. They do.

Chris McDonald: So can we backtrack a minute? Can you share for my listeners that may not not have really used Tai Chi before, what exactly

Tish Oakley: is it and how does it work? What a great question.

So Ta t first of all, we can start with the definition. It's defined as the grand ultimate. Mm, actually, and what that means is it's a complete practice for your mind, body, and spirit, because it's a slow moving, gentle exercise. Now, I tell people, one of the principles I have with Tai Chi is, your tai chi is your Tai chi.

Right. So it becomes a tool that you can use any way you want to use it. Now, typically when we do it, we move nice and slow so that it's gentle on the body and we're not stressing the body out. That's the last thing we wanna do because actually what we're trying to do with our Tai chi is pull ourselves into the parasympathetic state where the body's relaxed.

You know, like I said, a student last week, it was, it's really a fitness class to a certain extent, an exercise class, but there she was all. But moving all at the same time, So point being as it pulls you into your parasympathetic state, which helps your body relax and start sending out some good hormones.

And then you continue your movement, which is exercise, and so you get all the benefits of exercise. And then you also get the benefits of meditation because. When we combine our breath and our movement, then our body starts to slow down and sink up all at the same time. So it's funny, one of my, another new student I had a few weeks ago now, he, this is a young man, probably in his early twenties, very good shape.

This is an athlete, and after the first class he said, I felt like I've been sitting in a jacuzzi. You know, because his body. So relaxed , You know, what a good feeling, Honey's great. Any, anytime you want, just jump in that jacuzzi of your body. Yeah. But anyways, so, and that's just a little bit of top level.

That's just the nuts and bolts of what it is. So it's gentle, slow movements combined with breath work to activate your parasympathetic system and strengthen your body, lower your blood pressure. Um, there's just so many benefits. There was a study done in meta. Done, I don't know, about 10 years ago in over 168 benefit.

Wow, are you serious? But see, you have to, to get all those benefits, right? You have to commit to it. And that's part of the catch, right? It's not a pill. You don't just go to one class or take classes. I'm good. I took one class.

No, not at all. Because really our body, Chris, you and I know this, we are. Things, right? And we're much more, you know, with, then you add the senti and you add the brain. And anyway, so we're organic beings and so we're gonna change and we're gonna cycle right throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the month, throughout the year, throughout our life.

And so, Ta Chi really becomes this stable place that you can always return your body in your mind to that you know that you're safe. Mm. And you know that it's going to also, I wanna say, take care of you, because it's also exercise. It's a, you know, you. Standing, You can do it seated. I tell people they can even do it laying down if they want to.

You know, It depends on your state of health. Yeah. You know what I mean? And where you are and what your, your body can do for you. So you start wherever you are. You don't force it to do something that it's not prepared to do. It's really. I like to listen to a um, a Buddhist monk called Eja, uh, Bram, and he talks about the principle of kindness.

And I believe doing Tai chi is showing your body kindness. Mm-hmm. . And it's even more than showing your body kindness. It's actually them going through the. Actions going through the behavior with your body. So it totally creates a different relationship with your body. You know, they said that the Chinese immortals years ago when they were forming the galaxy, right, The, the secret to life.

What are we gonna do with the secret to life? Right? We're gonna put it in, We're gonna put it down at the bottom of the ocean. No, no, no. They'll find it there. . Oh, we'll, you know, we'll put it at the back of a cave. They won't find it. Oh, nope. They'll find that there too. We're gonna put it out in space.

They're gonna find that too. But you know what, we're gonna put it inside, man. You know? And then that way it, it's a treasure box and it's up to us to find it.

Chris McDonald: It's like the wizard of us. It was always inside. Really?

Tish Oakley: Yes. It's seriously. And everybody's is different. Everybody has a different wizard because we're

Chris McDonald: all different.

So is it hard for people to learn or like do some people have to have some kind of

Tish Oakley: physical fitness to No, I, I would say absolutely not because again, I teach people all the way from young kids all the way to people in wheelchairs. So there's different types of tai chi for different types of people. I will say that, like for example, the sun style is great for people that have arthritis and what we call sticky.

You know, and maybe have mobility concerns, let's put it that way. And the yang style is more of a universal style that most everyone, uh, can do. And it's ty, that one's typically done standing. And then you have other styles like Chen, that's a very hard style. That's, um, that can actually, not gonna say hurt your body, but it can stress your body.

So, uh, can everybody do it? Oh, yes, of course. Yeah. Oh yeah. And again, you just pick your level of. Of what you're comfortable with. So what I always tell my students again there, there's three main principles to Tai Chi. The first one is relax. The second one is posture, and the third one is perseverance. So did you ever listen to nineties hiphop, Chris?

Yes. Music. You know that one getting down with O ppp? Yeah. You know, I mean, you know me, , that one. So in Tai Chi, we get down with rpp. Hmm. Relax, posture and perseverance. So with relax, what? When it's Tai chi time, you take whatever you're stressing on, whatever's bothering you. You take it and you just put it to the side, right?

You can pick it up when you're done if you want, or leave it there, whatever your choice is. But again, whatever's bothering you, whatever pressure is, Whatever resistance you're feeling, actually you just put it to the side and focus the mind. Once you empty that out, it's like, what am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?

Right? And because we're gonna move our bodies, then you can let the mind focus on the body at that point. And you also, with your body, we call it blowing your joints wide open, so you wanna keep your joints open. You don't wanna lock anything because you don't wanna limit any of your energetic. Right. So we keep everything loose and moving and all the joints being able to move independently.

Posture, our spine needs to be as elongated as possible. So we think about the tip of our, our spine and pushing that down into the center of the earth, down to the crystal and core. And then a hook comes down from the sky between your skull and the top of your spine and pulls the top part up. Yep. Made me sit up straighter that that

Right. So we wanna elongate. That's why give it as much space as we can between the vertebra. Right? And again, we wanna some, some Dallas beliefs are that then that we're plugging into earth and to heaven or sky, whatever your belief. We create the alchemy between, Okay, so that's just one of the posture principles and then perseverance.

Your TA chi is your ta chi, meaning you're gonna get out of it what you put into it, and everybody's is gonna look different, right? There is no right or wrong, there's no judge. Cuz again, if the whole point is to get our bodies relaxed, yet flowing, where's the judge in? Right, right. So the judge can go sit over there with your stress knots and you know, just wait till you're done.

And uh, and then you can get going with your ta chi. And so then that can release your body really, and your mind to focus on your body so that now you're putting your mind back in your body. So many times we say mind, body, and spirit, but since when did the mind not become part of the body cress. Right.

It's always gonna, you know, so it's part of it. So anyway, so that's part of the, just three of the main principles that help to explain the experience, Let me say, because if you don't understand the principles, then yeah. Oh, this feels good. Yeah. Okay. Right. When you understand a little bit better what you're doing, like your spine.

So waist is the commander, so instead of just waving your hands, Higgly Piggly. Now our waist is taking us around. Which strengthens your core and strength and helps your poster out, right? Mm-hmm. . But I love how you

Chris McDonald: said it's adaptable though.

Tish Oakley: Oh my gosh. For anyone and everyone, you know, I'm just thinking with injury cuz one

Chris McDonald: time I took Tai Chi and I was recovering from shelter problem and that was just really difficult.


Tish Oakley: I guess I didn't

Chris McDonald: really know like how to adapt it in the

Tish Oakley: moment, you know? Well, I think part of it too is sometimes the way it's taught is there's a right and a. Oh, okay. So like for example, we have a movement, Let's see if my microphone will move where we go all the way around. And so me arm goes all the way around.

I've been doing it for almost 30 years, so my arms used to going all the way around. Right? But let's say you have a shoulder injury, you just wanna sweep a little bit to the side and then forward if you can. Oh, ok. Yeah. If you can't, don't, I mean that's what I tell everybody cuz I do, There are a lot of folks that are headed.

Surgery and they do. Tai chi is something to strengthen their body before surgery. Yeah. And then there's a lot of folks that, you know, once they get the pass from their physical therapist, then they start again and it really can strengthen and loosen. But yeah, so it's up to actually you as the practitioner to realize.

You don't want any pain, so if anything hurts you just adjust your body. Yeah. You know, like even the way we step, so in yang style, we step like a semi-circle to a 90 degree, and if your knees are tight, your hips are tight, your ankles hurt, that's hard to do. So you can even do a three step, do whatever feels good to your body because it's about you.

When you do tachi, it's the only thing it's about is you. So you gotta make it yours. Yeah, I think that's helpful.

Chris McDonald: Cause I, It's the same with yoga too. It's like, but I think it is as the teacher that you lead that too to say, you know that this is your class or however you wanna say it, this

Tish Oakley: is your time.

So if something doesn't feel right, then definitely you can change the way you're doing it. Totally. And I usually start off with, uh, one of the only rules in my class is that this is your class. Right. So again, it's all about feel letting your body relax, having that safe space, and then moving any way you wanna move.

I'll tell you a funny story to a certain extent. There's so many people that take that seriously. Once they've been in my class once or twice they realize there's no judge here. I can move anyway. I wanna move. You know, it doesn't matter, right? As long as it doesn't hurt right or right. or hit your. Right.

That's, that's the only thing you know, it's not a contact sport, at least not at the first level. But anyway, so I usually, when I'm do teaching the class without mirrors, so I'm facing forward, right. So they can follow because we're doing right and left upper body, lower body. So in order to know which way to go, it helps when I face forward cuz it's hard to mirror each other.

And so there's one part in the form where you turn around. So when I turned around, Chris, I have no idea what he was doing. , he was resolved all over. Just like, But then when we turned back around his face, he was doing it right. Right. He was doing it right for him. . Exactly. So it was really cute though. But he, I love it when people let themselves just go, Yeah, just

Chris McDonald: be with it and see what comes up.

Yeah. Yes, yes. More organic. Yeah. So I wondered about, I know you said there's some research is, has there been research on the psychological benefits

Tish Oakley: for mental health and. Those, those were, Part of the benefits that came out is it's been shown with depression, with bipolar, and the list goes on because again, it gives you, it doesn't, I'm not gonna say force you, but like for example, let's say someone's trying to use regular seated meditation to help.

Mm-hmm. , you know, as a technique. By the way, I love your post because you give all kinds of suggestions. Oh, good. And techniques and things. They're wonderful. Nice. Um, but, so, yeah, so seated meditation sometimes is difficult for people that have high anxiety. Right. Or that have, have a lot, have a lot of angst and have a lot of.

you know, built up energy because let's face it, there's a lot of people that aren't active enough in a structured way, right? I mean, the obesity rates anybody. But anyway, back to the point. So sitting meditation may become very frustrating for them because they, It's hard to sit still, but Tai Chi. Gives you that movement.

It gives your brain something to focus on. And so it's a really interesting phenomenon because the brain starts to, you know, cause the brain always has to be in charge. So I'm gonna take charge and this is what we're gonna do, Right? And starts the whole process and then the body, you know, Yep. This is what we're doing.

And so it gives people's brains, I wanna say a. A break. Yeah. And so when we talk about neural, so, and, and that's just one, you know, in, in one way. Another way that it helps is it can break some of these neural well run pathways. And, and I may not be using the right terms, but what I mean by that is when we do our tai chi, we use, we quadron off the body four quadrants.

So sometimes your right hand's doing something different than your left hand, doing something different Woo. Than your right foot, than your left foot. And so that causes your brain to not really rewire, but almost again, reset itself because it's having to keep up to a certain extent with what your body's doing, because it's going in all different directions.

So you can't zoom out and think about what you're gonna get at the grocery store later, or. Yeah, sometimes even the, you know, oh God, my stomach hurt so bad. By the end of class you forgot that your stomach hurt because now you've been moving and you've learned a new movement and it's, you know, you wonder why your arm wants to do that versus that.

You know what I mean? So it can help in a lot of ways. I wanna say reset. Another thing that it can do is give you that quiet place of solitude. You can check inside and let it come. I wanna say let it come alive, let it come out. It gives you that quiet place, which sometimes is why some people have difficulty with Tai Chi cuz Tai Chi really isn't about, you know, everything outside you, it's about what's inside you.

So once you realize that and accept that, then it gives you that space so that again, everything can quiet down so that there's lots of ways that it helps people that are working on their mental health. Now is the will it alone change somebody? No , right? You know, in combination. Yeah, I think in combination, I think you're right.

It'll help. And for some, you know, for extreme cases, potentially it could, but sometimes you see people going a little bit extreme with things and that's when maybe a little bit of balance, you know? Cause I totally believe in Tai Chi, but yoga's a beautiful thing and I think everybody should do it at least a few times a week, if not every day.

Right. Daily. You got it. You get at it, but there's not enough time in the day, right? There's not enough to do everything. To do all the things. So sometimes if you have to p pick,

Chris McDonald: But I like what you said with sometimes seated meditation is really difficult for people, especially with people with trauma or mental health issues.

It can be really difficult to sit or adhd. A lot of people with ADHD can be really tough to do that. Then one thing I learned too is, you know, some of the limbs of yoga, I also teach breath work,

Tish Oakley: but sometimes breath work isn't enough either. Nope. Right,

Chris McDonald: That we do need to add that movement component. And I'm just thinking this could be very beneficial for people that have experienced trauma to do some Tai Chi or Chiang and you know, just explore.

Just see what works. And either by recommend as therapists that are listening to recommend for clients or even get your own training too, that you can incorporate,

Tish Oakley: you know, What's funny is I have a lot, a lot of my students, a lot of people that met are therapists and counselors and you know, in addition physical therapists, occupational therapists, yo people that understand that connection to the body and they's, you know, open up.

We so many times I think we create walls and I, and you may agree that trauma can do that for us, right? Oh, for sure. Yeah. Section off a part of our body. And sometimes that's when the injury occurs. Like, I'm not gonna mention names here, but I have one student who, she had a very special needs child and she took it upon herself.

She, she was responsible, Let's just say this still is, and, uh, I'm gonna use the word sacrifice and makes a lot of sacrifices for, you know, her in person. And so she had. Fibromyalgia and she came to me after hip, multiple hip replacements, knee replacements, you know, and so I, she and I had multiple conversations where it was like, gosh, if she had just either found Tai Chi or something else and been able to work even 15, 20 minutes into even, you know, four ti daily practice.

You're right. Daily practice to train that brain. That's what I, that's what I teach , you're. Hundred percent. But there's some people that, No, I know, I know. When I was a single mom working full time, I mean, some days it was a struggle, but in any case, um, you start where you are, right? Yes. And, and so anyway, and so the thought was is if she had found this, that maybe it never would've manifested in her body.

Hmm. Like it did. True. So that's where, you know, the goal is that we keep our body, because another thing I haven't even mentioned about Tai Chi, especially when you have a regular practice, it establishes that communication pathway between the body and the mind. Right? So that you know when you're not feeling right.

So like for example, if, if you do establish a Tai Chi daily pattern, then you know how you feel today. So let's say you do it tomorrow and you're sluggish. It's like, why do I feel different today? Oh, interception. Yes. Yes. I had that sugar, I had ice cream before bed last night. That's why I'm not feeling so up.

Or you know, whatever else may happen that you're like, I just don't wanna do this, or whatever. That it makes you have the feelings. The other thing that's interesting about the form, because the same movements, we do it the same way every time we do the form, but because we're organic beings having a, a live experience, it's never the same.

Right. Never the same. Yeah. It's never the same. True. But it still gives you that place. To springboard, to know, to have a point of comparison to where you are. So if you're not feeling as good as you were yesterday, or again, what I was gonna say, and something that's really interesting with people is there's certain movements that, for whatever reason, they always forget.

They may have remembered it, you know, five movements ago, but now, today for some reason, you're, you're just not remembering that brush left knee, are you? You know, it's like, what is the block? You know, there's something going on. I'm block. You haven't dropped it at the door. The point is, especially people with trauma that are trying to break those walls down and live in their body again and have that positive experience, it can give them that relationship and that that foundation to com of communication because you do it so often that you know how it feels and how it felt last time and how it felt two weeks ago versus how it's feeling today.

Mm. Maybe I need to do something a little. , You know, and maybe at that point, yeah, you might wanna drop into a little bit of cheek home breath work or you might wanna do a little yoga or you might wanna do something to help raise your vibration back to where it needs to be. Open. Open up the wall and have a great day.

Right, ? Well that's

Chris McDonald: it cuz I know trauma, a lot of times people are cut off from their bodily sensations cuz it's not, doesn't feel safe anymore to be in their bodies and. You know, I say people live above their shoulders, right. For often in their heads way too much. But I think these practices

Tish Oakley: can also help you get back into your body and develop that interception, which you're talking about, so knowing when something's

Chris McDonald: wrong, and then you can do something to address it.

Right. To address your bodily needs. And

Tish Oakley: 100%, And it's in a very kind way. Yeah. Right. So your body, it's not forcing it. Yeah. You're not gonna force it to go to the gym and be on that treadmill or whatever, you know? Yeah, exactly. You know, you're gonna move the way, because that's the other thing about Tai Chi, and you know this about Chi Kong.

A lot of it was put together actually by physicians, you know, thousands of years ago, because that's how, not only the meridians in your body work and, and flow, but also how your joints flow. So there's a lot of movements that even you're just opening up your joints. You know what I mean? Yes. And, and so it, it, it.

You know, just in, in so many ways. But one thing that's really funny about mind and body of Tai Chi, this almost, this happens to almost to every student, right? What's the way to really have muscle memory is repetition, right? Mm-hmm. . But we live in our brain, so there's so many students that are like, Can you just gimme a list of the movements?

And I'm like, That's not the way this works. You know what I mean? I'm not just, don't just memorize the list. You have to, Your body has to feel it. Feel it. Yeah. Cause you want. Benefits to open up the body. So what's funny is, so we'll do a movement of at least three times cuz there's a magic in doing it three times with your muscles.

But in any case, and so, and then they'll tell me like the next class, they're like, I just can't remember what we were supposed to do. And I was like, Well, just show me what you got. And they're like, Yeah. I don't remember what hand's supposed to be on top or which way we're supposed to turn. And they're doing it their brains.

They're doing it, but their brain's telling 'em Yeah. That they don't know because they're not listening to their body. Because, but because their body knows just be just, just getting up here too much. Yes. So, and it can show you that.

Chris McDonald: So what's the difference between Tai Chi and

Tish Oakley: Chi Kong? What a great question.

That is a wonderful question. Some people say there's very, To me, the biggest difference, let me put it that way, is uh, that Chi Kong seems to be from, there's so many chi Kongs out there, so I only know from my experience, it's simple movements. With repetition and breath work, you know, now, and I'm not talking about Medical Chi Kong, it's got the self massage and it's got all the other points.

I'm just saying in general, if you're looking for a movement part. Yeah, yeah. Movement Chi Kong so many times, and I teach 'em how to movement Chi Kong and there's a lot of people that, that suits them better. Like there's this Shahi Chi Kong that if we don't do it in the beginning of every Ta Chi class, I have students that are like, Why didn't we do the Shahi

You know? And then there's others that I do like the five animals and sometimes they're like, Can I do the animals today? But. So it seems physically a lot, I'm not gonna say simpler, but you don't really have to commit to it like this. We're gonna do this four times. So you've got this. Mm-hmm. You know what I mean?

And then we're gonna do this and you've got this. So it's not that they're simplistic, but to a certain extent. Right. It's repetitive and you can pick it up pretty quick. Whereas Tight chi, we, we don't do the same thing over and. , You know, it's one movement. Then the next movement, then the next movement, then the next movement, then the next movement, and there's transitions between each movement.

One thing about Tai Chi is it was based on the eing. Are you familiar with the eing? Yes. Yeah. Yes. So everything, and the only thing constant is change, right? Yeah, Uhhuh . So in Tai Chi we see that because we're constantly, there's only three points in the form that our weight is evenly distributed. We're constantly moving back and forth.

And some people may say that also helps our brain hemispheres, right? Because we're doing things with our opposite hands, with our opposite Yes. Waist collateral. Yes ma'am. So we're doing, and then we get our feet involved at the same time, . So you know, it's, and you really need, if you're really gonna pick it up, you really need to practice.

You need to find your time and your space and your peace. Cuz there's a lot of people, a lot of my students, they're like, I ask 'em, you know, Are you practicing morning that? And they're like, I have this special place in my day where I do my tight chi. You know what I mean? But in any case, it, it, it. It's just a beautiful system to give yourself, and there's a lot of movements that we do, so it keeps the brain engaged.

At the same time, also helps your balance physically, mentally, spiritu, I mean in, in so many the holistics , it really is. So I think it was Harvard that said that it's the perfect exercise, you know, because it's got everything to it. It would be like if, if the sun salutation, if that had maybe about 30 more movements to it.

he did. the same every, the same, every, yeah. Right. So that's kinda how I see that. Okay. As a comparison. And again, it's got different components to it because Tai Chi, we. Typically do like self massage when we do our Tai Chi to be straight up with you. I combine the two because as you know, my students, there's some chi cones they really like, like again, back to Sabahi, that warms your body up.

It's a perfect exercise so it warms everything out Nice. So by the time you're, And it feels so good and so, and your breath work too, cause we can connect everything up. And so by the time we're ready for Tai Chi, everybody's. Everybody's focused. Everybody's NICE's calm, everybody feels safe cuz it was something easy, relatively easy to follow.

Whereas once you go into Tai Chi, if you miss something, then you know, sometimes those stress hormones can start to creep up. You know, because you don't know what you're doing. Yeah. You dunno. What foot is that? What arm is that? What is she doing? You know, and so again, the biggest difference I think is that Tai Chi is the same series of movements, same series, okay.

Yeah. And it's not as repetitive as Chi Hong. So is Tai Chi on American?

You know, I wonder, and in order to really know that, we'd have to establish what does it mean to be American? Right? What does that mean, ? Yeah. What does it mean to be American? But, and I look at it, and again, as I I've said before, you know, I have, I've only been out of the country for a couple days, so I don't have a good point of comparison here, but it does seem with, um, the amount of ADHD that's in our society Yeah.

With the amount of, you know, with the, the fact that attention span. Seven or eight seconds, you know, less than goldfish. The fact that, uh, our pharmaceutical use that is the highest in the world of for Cub. And that to me means that we're looking for things outside ourselves to heal ourselves. And so Tai Chi, again, it's that secret to life is in you.

Right? Right. It, it's you, it's, and it's whatever. Everybody's got a different way. For me, it's your. Right. Your energy, you know, is your secret. And what are you doing with your energy and how are you managing that energy? Are you using it to heal yourself? Are you using it? You know, what are you doing with it?

So I think that's where, again, it's inside ourselves. And so many times with Americans, I'm guilty, Scrolly, Scrolly, Scrolly, Scrolly, Scrolly, , you know, versus working on what I need to be. Right. You know, to make myself much more whole and healthy. So,

Chris McDonald: Or Netflix? Netflix. Netflix. , oh

Tish Oakley: my gosh. Like one of my friends just texted me and I was like, Oh, it's gonna be rainy this weekend.

Netflix and chill. And. And even though, you know, I should be working on the new, Hey brocade, she calm, . Um, you know, but there is a balance at the same time. Yeah, there is, there is for sure. But that's where I'm like, you know, when we look at what it means to be an American, you know, there's a lot of things that I think definitely fit, you know, the freedom of expression and that's true, those type of things.

I mean, making it your own too, right? Because you said it's

Chris McDonald: your

Tish Oakley: practice , boom, boom, boom, all day long. And so, you know, I think our original bill of. I think it probably fits well, right? Yeah, yeah, for sure. But I think today, the way you know that we've got the, nothing against Kim Kardashian, but we've got, you know, the Kardashian folks and we've got, you know, people attacking our capital and you know, we just have a lot of things going on and it's like we're fighting ourselves.

And that's where, in Tai Chi, you don't fight anything. Arguably, one of the most, not popular, but one of the things we do, movements we do quite often in Tai Chi is we withdraw. And you know, Tai Chi's based on external martial arts where you're boom, boom, boom, right? But in Tai Chi, if somebody's coming at you strong and hard, you just kind let 'em go.

Mm. You know, you just let that energy go right on by. You're not gonna, you're not gonna waste your energy on that business. Right? Yeah. So, you know, you, you kinda let things flow. And I think that a lot of times that's not what we see. We see people True. You know, boom, boom, boom. Right. A fight, you know, and the whole Red Bull business and you know, just all of that kind of stuff.

And I don't know, and even this is an awful statistics. The fact that, you know, the government spends how much money, uh, the military spends, how much money on erectile dysfunction drugs. Right. I mean, you know, so what is our society focused on? Yeah. Is it

Chris McDonald: focused on the

Tish Oakley: important things and on our health, our true health, our balance, you know, as humans and as a society and culture?

And that's what Tai Chi, I think can give you is, is the balance part of it that, that overall wellness. Yes, Yes. And being, you know, it sounds catchy, but feeling good in the skin that you're in. You know how many of us, especially with trauma and different, you know, being very sensitive is stress or having other chemical imbalances, you know, you've, you've got, you're just not comfortable.

It's like you're, Oh yeah. That your skin is prickly and, you know, it's just, it's physically. You know, tally and spiritually. And so I think that, uh, you know, it can help you love of being in the skin that you're in.

Chris McDonald: Sure. Well, what's a takeaway you could share today that could help listeners who may be just starting their holistic

Tish Oakley: journey?

You're not your age or your situation. Your your energy. So you're your energy. Yep. Yeah. You're your energy. So no matter what's going on around you, what are you doing with your energy? And you know, a lot of holistic practitioners can teach you how to protect your energy if you're around toxic situations.

Cause there's some of us, unfortunately, that are stuck in toxic situations. Yeah, for sure. And very few options, let's say with, with the exception of what's within, you know? Yeah. So if you can find that piece. and that balance and that stability, it may help you change what's out here. Yeah, right. Exactly.

And it's all about that energy, so,

Chris McDonald: mm-hmm. . Yeah, for sure. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. I really

Tish Oakley: appreciate it. T this was awesome. Thank you for inviting me. So where can listeners learn more about you? Uh, Earth McKee Energies dot. Instagram, Earth Monkey Energies, Facebook, Earth, Methy Energies, LinkedIn, Earth Monkey Energies.

Also Event Bright and Meetup is where I post a lot of my events. Oh, you do? Okay. Mm-hmm. , Good to know. Mm-hmm. . So in October I've got quite a few workshops coming on, um, as well as some new series session classes. So, yeah, so those are on Event Bride and Meetup. Nice. And, um,

Chris McDonald: So I'd love to, and we'll put that in the show notes so too, especially if you're in the, the triangle in North Carolina.

Definitely check her out.

Tish Oakley: Please do. So I'm also starting, so just now, starting, uh, online classes. Oh, so I did those back with Covid, but I gotta say they were real rudimentary and they were just, You know, it was a major kind of situation. Right? Yeah, yeah, of course. But now I've even got a link on my website.

Nice. That you can go to to book a session with me if you'd like. And if you have a small group, one thing a lot of people don't think about is how nice it is to do yoga or Tai Chi or Chi Kong with your friends. Yeah. I think about back in the day with my friends, we used to go to bars, . Maybe if we did a little less of that, a little more tights, our life, you know, might be a little different.


Chris McDonald: the American lifestyle, ,

Tish Oakley: you know, singing, I'm a animal, but sometimes Chris. I know. I know. Well,

Chris McDonald: awesome. So we'll have all that in the show notes so that you can find her, and this has been very informative. I really do appreciate you coming.

Tish Oakley: Thank you so much, Chris. Take

Chris McDonald: care. Thanks. And listeners, don't forget to hit the plus button on Apple Podcast so you don't miss an episode.

If you're loving these episodes, please do a favor and leave a five star rating review for the podcast. I could really use some more, and this will help us reach even more holistic therapists. And again, this is Chris McDonald's, sending each one of you much light. Until next time,

Tish Oakley: take care.

Chris McDonald: If you're loving this show, will you rate, review and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. This can help us to reach more holistic therapists and bring even more impactful guests to the show. And once again, thanks for being a show supporter.

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