The Physical and Spiritual Benefits of Tai Chi
T’ai Chi Ch’uan or Tai Chi have been around Chinese culture for a very long time, with debates regarding its history is even being discussed by scholars. According to modern research, the history of Tai Chi and its three philosophies started out in the 17th-century article called “Epitaph for Wang Zhengnan” (1669), composed by Huang Zongxi (1610–1695 A.D.), as the earliest reference indicating any connection between Zhang Sanfeng and the Tai Chi philosophy.
The study of t’ai chi ch’uan primarily involves three aspects:
- Health: An unhealthy or otherwise uncomfortable person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use t’ai chi ch’uan as a martial art. T’ai chi ch’uan’s health training, therefore, concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. For those focused on t’ai chi ch’uan’s martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective self-defense.
- Meditation: The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of t’ai chi ch’uan is seen as necessary in maintaining optimum health (in the sense of relieving stress and maintaining homeostasis) and in application of the form as a soft style martial art.
- Martial art: The ability to use t’ai chi ch’uan as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student’s understanding of the art. T’ai chi ch’uan is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces, the study of yielding and “sticking” to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force. The use of t’ai chi ch’uan as a martial art is quite challenging and requires a great deal of training.
In our modern society t’ai chi ch’uan classes that purely emphasize on the health benefits have become popular in hospitals, clinics, as well as community and senior centers. This has occurred as the baby boomer generation has aged and the art’s reputation as a low-stress training method for seniors has become more popular.
The important reasons to choose Taichi chuan as a daily exercise may cover as follows: could be sustainable for years, could be performed even in bad health condition or during illness, could form a good habit, could help others, and could create an accomplishment mood. Regarding the effects to their life are also positive, such as more creative thought, feeling optimistic, more social relationship, and enthusiastic, higher persistence to the frustration, as well as to encourage the learning motivation.
Taichi exercise can provide a positive benefit in both body and spirit to improve your quality of life. Due to the sporting characteristic of Taichi, it is easy to perform by all ages; therefore, it is an excellent sport from medical perspective. However, to enjoy a remarkable benefit from Taichi is only through daily practise and can take a longer time, therefore, young people or people with a lack of understanding of the Taichi culture may not show interest immediately. Nonetheless, the prevention concept of medical treatment is the most powerful so we need to form a learning environment so that young people engage in Taichi chuan and other low impact exercise and learn how they are valuable for their later years.
Harvard Health publication has called Tai Chi “Medication in Motion” because of the myriad of health issues Tai Chi has been proven to help with or avoid. Medical research has found that Tai Chi can boost the immune function by nearly 50%, reduce ADHD symptoms in teenager, lower high blood pressure, treat heart disease, increase brain size, help with Parkinson’s symptoms, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, and a host of other health issues. Tai Chi would be a powerful addition to health, business, and education programs in Canada as it has been worldwide.
Tai Chi, the Canadian Experience
There are many styles of tai chi, which can vary in terms of the pacing of exercises as well as the number and types of moves. Taoist tai chi was developed by the late Master Moy Linshin, founder of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society based in Toronto. There are 500 branches in 25 countries around the world, making it one of the most accessible forms of tai chi. Taoist tai chi involves a set of 108 moves (don’t worry, many of them are repetitions) and seven basic foundation exercises. They are designed to improve your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. To many people, this form of tai chi looks like a gentle martial art or a low-impact exercise. Others describe it as slow-moving meditation.
The beauty of Taoist tai chi is that the sequence of moves engages every muscle, ligament and tendon in your body. You could feel your body relaxing and your flexibility improving within the first few weeks of practice.
The recovery program of this society attracts people from around the world who are looking to deal with a variety of health conditions, such as recovery from heart attack or stroke, arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. Some participants were grappling with emotional issues; others just wanted to improve their overall well-being. The program also entices those who are stressed out from their jobs and need some sort of rejuvenation.
During the week you will focus on 17 moves, doing them repeatedly over the course of each day. The benefit is that it is not only you who is exercising for there’s also a psychological boost from doing tai chi in a group, a spillover of positive energy from the other people who are doing the moves with you.
Canada and the World Tai Chi Day
World Tai Chi events have been held in Canada for many years. Events in Canada have included Tai Chi demonstrations and teach-ins at various lovely Canada locations… Tai Chi teachers and practitioners throughout the beautiful state of Canada have participated…
Canada Tai Chi practitioners have been part of the global wave of health & healing intent and education, many supporting WorldTaiChiDay.org’s work. Tai Chi medical research, to be found on http://www.worldtaichiday.org is available as a free resource that helps Canada practitioners educate their local health systems, government, and corporate wellness professionals on the growing research proving the profound benefits tai chi and qigong offer Canada residents and society.
Tai Chi have also been used in penal facilities to improve the behavior of inmates, and to dramatically lower their recidivism rate. Most inmates come back to prison, costing society dearly in prison costs. By incorporating tai chi and qigong into penal and rehabilitation programs, countries like Canada could save untold millions in future prison incarceration costs, and help inmates become calmer people before their release back into society.
For Videos regarding Canadian World Tai Chi Day: