Tai Chi Chuan
T'ai Chi Ch'üan is an internal Chinese martial art that is practiced for health, longevity and the linking of mind and body. T’ai Chi uses steady slow movements that promote relaxation and sensitivity rather than tension and hardness. Teachers say the study is, more than anything else, about challenging one’s ability to change appropriately in response to outside forces.
Traditional T’ai Chi training is intended to teach
- awareness of one's own balance and what affects it
- awareness of the same in others and
- an appreciation of the practical value of having the ability to moderate extremes of behavior and attitude at both the mental and the physical level.
Variations of T'ai Chi Ch'üan’s basic training forms are well-known as the slow-motion routines that groups of people practice every morning in parks across China and other parts of the world. T'ai Chi Ch'üan incorporates Taoist principles in its practice. The explanation given by the traditional T'ai Chi family schools for why so many previous generations have dedicated their lives to the study and preservation of the art is that the discipline it seems to give its students to dramatically counter the effects of stress in their lives should prove useful for people living in a stressful world.
There is no health condition that cannot benefit in some way from Tai Chi Chuan and it is safe for everyone, including those with cardio-vascular, musculo-skeletal, and stress conditions.
The exercise of tai chi stimulates the flow of chi, or energy, in the body and it is chi that circulates through the acupuncture meridians, or pathways. When chi is stagnant or blocked, conditions arise that are contrary to normal health and support dis-ease leading to disease.
The movements of tai chi stimulate acupuncture points and chi flow through the body by gently but firmly moving the musculo-skeletal system. One should leave a tai chi practice with more chi than when you began.. it is not a gym-like workout that depends on energy expenditure and leaves you feeling exhausted. It is for this reason it is one of the only beneficial exercise systems for chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer patients, and other weakened conditions.