|Tai chi for health|
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Simplified tai chi
Adapted from taijiquan, tai chi for health is a simplified, non-martial exercise suitable for most adults.
It can be practiced by people of all ages and serves as a daily 'tonic'.
The origin of health practice
Tai chi for health was first popularised by Yang Cheng Fu in the early part of the 20th Century.
This led to the widespread fame of tai chi for health throughout China.
Faced with a major health crisis, the People's Republic of China turned to Yang style taijiquan for a solution.
Just think about what that means...
Yang style taijiquan's reputation for health was so well founded that the government of China thought to employ the Art officially as a means of improving wellbeing.
The Art was introduced to schools nationwide.
Modern culture is rife with misleading information concerning tai chi for health.
Tai chi for health:
|Is exercise||Not therapy|
|Is preventative||Not a cure|
|Requires concentration, work and effort||Not easy|
|Needs daily home practice||Not a drop-in spa session|
|Addresses the functionality and wellbeing||Doesn't fix specific medical problems|
|of the whole body|
|Was not designed as a treatment||The teacher is not a doctor|
|Is about moving/using your body in a||Not dance or performance art|
|Is about learning||Not about copying the teacher|
|Is about taking responsibility for your||The teacher cannot fix you up|
|Takes time to have an effect||Not a quick fix|
|Requires practice, patience and dedication||Not a quick fix|
Can usually be practiced by most people
|People with notable health problems need to seek|
|out classes that specialise in addressing their issues|
Was never intended for the elderly
|Poor memory, balance, mobility and coordination will|
|hinder learning and practice|
|Biomechanics, alignment and sensitivity||Not qi or magic|
|Increased physical awareness||Not physiotherapy|
|The younger you commence tai chi||The later you leave it in life, the harder it will be|
|the sooner you gain the benefits||to learn, and the more limited the results|
Tai chi for health involves simple movements, easy stretches and cooperative partner work.
The onus is upon relaxation, balance, good poise and coordination.
Students learn how to move their body in a healthy, comfortable way without the risk of injury.
Tai chi frees the body and helps
with relaxation and overall circulation.
It activates muscles, sinews and joints in the body. It strengthens physical power without stress.
It maintains youth and aliveness, and slows down the aging process through rejuvenation.
Tai chi calms and collects. It clears and sharpens the mind to help us in focusing and centering our daily activities.
When the body and mind move harmoniously together, the human spirit soars.
The ultimate benefit of tai chi is to experience living in a healthy, wide-awake state of being.
(Chungliang Al Huang)
Prevention or cure?
Although many people seek to use tai chi as a means of curing illness, this is not where its strength lies.
Tai chi is best employed whilst healthy, not sick.
When a healthy person does tai chi they are more apt to remain healthy.
It takes far less effort to prevent something than to cure it...
Tai chi for health was designed to renew and refresh your body on a daily basis.
You unkink those unpleasant aches and pains, stiff muscles and sore joints. You gently, softly encourage your body to move freely and comfortably.
Instead of hammering and punishing your body, you treat it with respect and care. Your body must last you a lifetime.
The secret is to practice little and often.
The benefits of tai chi are significant, medically proven and long-lasting:
Develop your memory skills
Increased brain activity
Cultivate an unusual form of strength
Improved joint function
Increased stamina and endurance
Release deeply-held muscular tension
Meditation & awareness
Learn to relax naturally
Improved poise and posture
Long held to be an excellent
tai chi may indeed be the
perfect exercise (Harvard Medical School).
Harvard Medical School reports that most tai chi health trials last at least 12 weeks. They involve instruction once or twice a week supplemented with daily home practice.
By the end of the trial, most participants experienced an improvement in health.
This highlights a major consideration for new starters; it can take some weeks for the health benefits to occur.
The perfect exercise?
Tai chi offers a balanced approach to the cultivation of health, vitality and wellbeing.
There is no sweating, straining or panting for breath. There is gain without pain.
You can improve fitness without exertion.
Tai chi for health teacher
Expect a teacher to have:
• At least 5 years experience
• A professional teaching qualification
• Membership with a recognised body (i.e. The Tai Chi Union for Great Britain)
• 10,000 hours of practice behind them
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Page created 11 January 1993
Last updated 27 January 2017