On Saturday, April 27, practitioners of T'ai Chi and Qigong will gather on the Milford Green to celebrate the 15th Annual World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day.

The event is free.

Teachers and students from throughout the tri-state area will join a global movement in 50 states and 70 nations. “One World...One Breath” will begin locally at 10 a.m.

The organization will collect donations for the construction of Fisher House at the Veterans Hospital in West Haven. The house will provide long term residential facilities for families of seriously injured soldiers.

Residents can experience the power of “Qi” (vital energy) on the green near the gazebo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. No prior T'ai Chi or Qigong experience is necessary.  This ancient health practice is suitable for people of all ages, abilities and health conditions, organizers said.

Schools will include Aiping Cheng T'ai Chi & Qigong School of Orange; Qi & Tea of Milford; The Flowing Motion of Fairfield & Bridgeport; Qigong for Health of Fairfield; Chi Longevity Center of Fairfield; Harmonic Focus of Long Island, Moving Harmony of Norwalk, and Wudang T'ai Chi of Stamford.

“World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day provides a unique opportunity to share the beauty and healing power of a variety of styles of ancient Chinese healing and martial art practices,” said Lamont Thomas of Milford, who is on the committee organizing the local festivities. “There will be everything from traditional T'ai Chi Chuan, Integral Qigong and T'ai Chi Easy, Sheng Zhen Qigong. A growing body of research, Eastern and Western, argues that all forms of mind-body medicine promote health, mental focus, stress reduction, and enhanced vitality.”

These benefits are described in an article titled “The Health Benefits of Tai Chi, ” published in the May 2009 issue of the Harvard Woman's Health Watch.

The article states, “Tai chi is often described as 'meditation in motion', but it might well be called 'medication in motion.' There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health.”