Tai Chi

Pain Management
Mental Wellbeing
Immunity
Weight Management
Hormonal Imbalance
Digestive Health

Main benefits

Helps with stress and anxiety

Enhances optimal breathing – beneficial for COPD

Helps to regulate blood pressure

Helps with insomnia

Enhances cognition

Helps to stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic system

Helps to increase muscle strength and general mobility

Helps to improve posture and balance

Enhances overall sense of wellbeing 

What is and how it works

Tai chi as a healthful practice is a combination of low impact, slow-motion exercises, stretching and mindfulness, which is often described as "meditation in motion." This mind-body practice originates from a Chinese tradition based on the philosophy of martial arts training.  The practice follows certain sequences without pausing, often named after animal actions such as ‘white crane spreads its wings’. The movements are usually circular, never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, and the joints are not fully extended or bent, and the connective tissues are not stretched. These sequences not only encompass slow measured movements, but are also contrasted by faster, stronger paced exercises based on martial arts moves i.e., ‘box bot hears.’ All movements are rhythmic, graceful, and accompanied by nourishing controlled breathing, bringing many physical, mental and emotional benefits to the body.

 

By focusing the mind solely on the movement helps bring about a state of calm, inner balance and mental clarity. The ‘internal’ aspects focus on the mental and emotional factors, as well as the inner elements such as energy flow, feeling grounded, and enhancing the senses, while the ‘external’ aspects focus on muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness and coordination.  Medical studies support its effectiveness.

 

There are several styles of Tai chi, however most developed from one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu (Hao), Wu and Sun. All trace their historical origins to Chen Village (13th century).

Origins

The true origin of Tai chi is a mystery; however, the concepts are rooted in Chinese history, Taoism, and Confucianism. However, the founder of Tai chi is believed to be Zhang Sanfeng, a 12th-century Taoist monk who became a hermit creating a form of fighting based on softness.

 

The health benefits of tai chi were highlighted by several renown teachers of the art in the early 20th century. Since then, the practice has attracted a worldwide following, often with little or no interest in martial training, but purely for its benefit to personal health. Today, Tai chi is practised in almost every part of the world and is one of the most popular way to exercise with more than 300million participants.

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