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Taijiquan is not a therapy. You should not commence classes hoping to be pampered, fussed or given a lot of attention. This is a mistake. The art encourages self-reliance.
Many health problems can be remedied if addressed soon enough...
For example: when a person gets a bad back it is most often caused by a lack of daily exercise, poor habits of body use and too much sitting. This is not yet a medical problem.
It is a lifestyle problem and the solution is in your own hands.
Do it yourself
People who seek out therapies are probably not best suited to taijiquan. A kung fu student recognises that many of the problems we experience in life are of our own making.
By looking at how we live and what we do, new approaches can be found. We take responsibility for our own fitness and wellbeing instead of going immediately to the doctor or seeking out a therapy.
Balancing the body
Taijiquan offers no direct solution to health problems. Instead, it improves the overall strength of the body and teaches people how to use their body in a skilful way.
Usually the health will improve as a consequence of daily training.
In class, students are shown material and then expected to work on it by themselves unsupervised. The teacher will come back later to see if they have got the hang of it.
For improved results they should practice at home between lessons.
A quick fix
The drawback with quick fixes is this may appease the symptoms but they seldom address the cause. Over time, the very same symptoms will re-emerge because the problem was never actually fixed.
Only by carefully exploring what we do with our bodies throughout the day and whether we rest or eat sensibly can we begin to figure out the cause.
When a kung fu student commits to their own fitness and wellbeing they find themselves interested in other aspects of their lifestyle.
They begin cooking food from scratch, making time for wholesome activities, they rest. Often the student starts reading constructive books that foster lifestyle change.
Slowly, there is a tide of positive change that rejuvenates everything.
18 March 1997
Last updated 12 July 2021