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What is Tai Chi?

hand form 1

Tai Chi Chuan is a form of exercise derived from Taoism, one of China's oldest belief systems. It is an Ancient Chinese Martial Art based on the use and development of Yin and Yang energy through breath and movement. The practice of Tai Chi Chuan is beneficial to health in many aspects, as well as being an excellent method of self-defence.

Tai Chi means : "Supreme Ultimate" . The term first appeared in the "I Ching" (Book of changes)  Quote " Therefore the I (Changes) has Tai Chi, It gives birth to the two forms (Yin and Yang). This book is used for divination dating back to the Zhou Dynasty (c 1027-221 C)   

the 5 aspects of practising Tai Chi are: The Hand Form (Tao Chuan), Pushing Hands (Tui Shou), Self Defence (San Shou) , Weapons, Internal Strength (Nei Kung)  

Who is it for? 

Tai Chi is suitable for people of all ages and has gained a hugely enthusiastic following all over the world. This ancient Chinese Martial Art has evolved to help people improve their physical health, equip them to defend themselves as well as improve their powers of meditation. It is an activity that everyone can benefit from and many scientific research projects have found to prove there are numerous benefits to practicing Tai Chi, even helping with sufferers of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart problems, blood pressure, and old age, to name a few, (see links further down the page for further reading and articles).

What are the benefits? 

  • helps release tension, develops flexibility and core stability

  • helps promote relaxation and calmness as well as an alert state of mind

  • helps develop concentration

  • good for developing balance and co-ordination

  • helps promote deep breathing by using breath with slow relaxed movement

  • internal organs are gently "massaged" by the diaphragms slow movement

  • increased blood circulation and oxygen around the body

  • helps improve strength of muscles and tendons and stimulates the central nervous system

  • helps develop mind/body awareness with yourself and with others  

  • suitable for all ages

  • requires no special equipment

  • can be practised in a relatively small area, indoors or outdoors

 

Useful research &  information in the media of the benefits of Tai Chi....see links below:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/alternative-and-complementary-medicine/tai-chi-for-osteoarthritis

http://www.health.harvard.edu/alternative-and-complementary-medicine/tai-chi-and-chronic-pain

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,332063,00.html?artId=332063%3FcontType%3Darticle%3Fchn%3Dworld
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9348795/Tai-Chi-makes-your-brain-bigger-and-improves-memory.html
 
http://cpr.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/04/04/2047487312443483
 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2125328/How-Tai-Chi-later-life-good-heart-Elderly-perform-exercises-lower-blood-pressure.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
 
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch/2009/May/The-health-benefits-of-tai-chi
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9069156/Tai-Chi-may-improve-Parkinsons-symptoms-research.html



 

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