Qigong is the Chinese expression for ‘energy exercises’. In a way, Taijiwuxigong can be called a Qigong system. However, the word Qigong has been used and abused for many purposes varying from weight lifting to gymnastics to magic tricks.
In the beginning of the eighties, the practice of Qigong was promoted by the Chinese government. In 1979 the Chinese government started to promote Qigong and a tremendous growth period began. Each morning millions of people gathered in the parks and practised all kinds of exercises. During this period Dr. Shen was invited by the Shanghai government to teach his system. At its height 50,000 people had been taught Taijiwuxigong. A year after he left China (1988), the first All World Medical Qigong Congress in Beijing introduced Taijiwuxigong to the world.
Some writers of Qigong books claim that Qigong is 5000 years old and the techniques have been taught by so-called ‘immortals’. Dr. Shen does not agree with this statement. His own system of exercises is relatively young and was formed by a series of recent (re)discoveries. Of course, Dr. Shens basic knowledge was taught by his teachers, but he acquired a profound insight by his own elaborate practice and observation of the reactions of his students. Qigong books often emphasise the ‘storing’ of Qi, in which the word Qi is translated as ‘vital energy’. Again, Dr. Shen strongly disagrees because this idea totally ignores the fact that this way Binqi is retained in the body and problems may arise from practicing, instead of improving the health.
Over time the perception of Qigong was heavily influenced by political changes. At one point Qigong was illegal and the next moment the entire (Chinese) nation had to learn Qigong. In this rapidly altering political climate some forms of Qigong had the chance to develop, while other forms did not. Dr. Shens occupation as a doctor and director of a hospital gave him beneficial circumstances to develop his system. However, he always kept a safe distance from massive manifestations, because usually, these show a fast rise and vanish just as quickly. He preferred a slow but secure and safe way to further enhance the quality of the exercises. For this reason he has registered Taijiwuxigong as a protected name.