Taoism dates to the 4th century BCE. It is an ancient Chinese philosophy, much like Confucianism and Buddhism, that developed during the Warring States period as a quiet, natural outlet amid the chaos and warfare. Lao-Tse is believed by many to be the founder of Taoism. He wrote Tao-te-Ching in the context of the conflicts and coruption that took place in China at the time. Tao literally means way or path. The followers of Taoism do not worship a diety of any kind. They seek answers to life’s problems through meditation. Taoists believe in simple living, harmony with nature and, in modern parlance, “going with the flow.”
Life for a Taoist is thought to be a cyclical progression. The changing of the seasons, life and death, growth; it is an ongoing process that should not be disrupted. Meditation, martial arts, herbalism, and diet and exercise are topics studied by contemporaryTaoists as a means for self improvement on physical, mental and spiritual levels. Each person must nuture their Chi, or breath/energy. Various rituals of exercise, meditation and healthy eating positively affect physical and mental health, which enables Taoists to tap into their spiritual energy.
Tai Chi in particular is a practice studied by all Taoists. It is understood as an exercise regime that heals the entire body. The rhythmic movements help with poise, balance and strength. As one gains greater flexibility, the routine begins to stimulate the central nervous system, lower blood pressure, relieve stress, enhance digestion, and eliminate waste from the body to restore the balance of the body’s energy flow.
Lili Simons is a practicing Taoist teacher and healer located in Richmond and the founder of Divine Therapy. She began her training thirty years ago in Europe. She has studied with respected Shiatsu instructors and graduated from the International School of Shiatsu in 1988. Master Mantac Chia became Lili’s Tao healing instructor shortly thereafter, helping her attain certification for her studies. For a decade, Simons lived in South Dakota where she continued her studies at the Institute for Life Coach Training and established a healing practice of her own. She recently moved to Richmond to expand her business by offering classes in Tao meditation, Tai Chi, Shiatsu (finger pressure massage), and Chi Nei Tsang massage.
Divine Therapy currently has a staff of four in addition to Lili Simons who are certified in massage therapy, Shiatsu, and other healing methods. The small but tranquil building housing Divine Therapy has three floors with five private rooms where each staff member provides services. There is an open meditation area in the basement of the building that is used for group classes. The various services vary in price and classes vary in length. Fall classes included a six week Tai Chi program, a six week meridian (acupuncture) class and a pair of one time classes focused on Tai Chi and the Tao of healthy foods. Students can request one hour private sessions, the option that the majority of clients choose. Simons also conducts free Tai Chi clinics every couple of months at the Aquarian Bookshop as part of Divine Therapy’s teaching program.
105 Berrington Court
Richmond , VA 23221
Divine Therapy owner/instructor
Profile prepared by Veronica Bason