Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese art of relaxation, healing and self-defense all in one. Its gentle and fluid motions are suitable for everyone, regardless of athletic ability or age. Tai Chi is widely practiced for stress reduction, energy enhancement, preventing illness, improving concentration, strengthening the mind and body, and slowing the effects of aging. Tai Chi is a natural solution for stress.
Tai Chi has been recognized by medical experts as a practical, effective alternative to expensive drugs and therapies to control chronic disease. Tai chi is the fastest-growing popular exercise in the world today.
An article titled “Why Tai Chi is the Perfect Exercise” in Time magazine, August 2002 said: Practitioners praise Tai Chi’s spiritual and psychological benefits, but what has attracted the attention of Western scientists lately is what Tai Chi does for the body. Scientists at the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene reported that Tai Chi offers the greatest benefit to older men and women who are healthy but relatively inactive. Tai Chi combines intense mental focus with deliberate, graceful movements that improve strength, agility, and best of all, balance.
The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter in April 2002 said that people with osteoarthritis may benefit from Tai Chi. “A Korean study presented at the American College of Rheumatology conference examined the effect of this ancient Chinese exercise discipline in 31 inactive 64-year-olds with osteoarthritis. Seventeen of the participants practiced Tai Chi daily for 12 weeks; the remainder did not. At the end of the program, those in the Tai Chi group had significantly more abdominal muscle strength, better balance, and less pain and difficulty in performing daily activities than their sedentary counterparts.”
Health Journal Silver, a CIGNA Medical Group’s publication, said “The Ancient Art of Tai Chi Can Be Good for Your Health” on its Spring 2002 issue. “Regular Tai Chi practice can help you maintain muscle strength, lower your blood pressure, and relax. It can also improve your balance, which reduces your risk for falls. In a study of people ages 70 and older, 96 percent of those who practiced Tai Chi said they felt more secure in their movements. They also felt more confident, alert, energetic, and relaxed.
When examining the movements of very young children, we see that their movements of arms and legs often originate from their torso. Their movements are relaxed and without tension. As we grow older our movements tend to concentrate on our arms, legs and shoulders and less on our torso. Also, tension and stiffness start to creep into our movements. Gradually, we loose touch with the torso, and stagnation in the torso sets in. Tai Chi is considered as a means to return to our childhoods. Physically, the internal movements penetrate to the deep recesses of the torso, stimulating and invigorating the inner organs and the circulation systems in the torso.