Tai Chi Therapy
The teachings of Tai Chi revolve around the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which places emphasis on a perfect balance between the ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ of a person. Tai Chi, has receive recognition from TCM to promote physical as well as mental benefits for over hundreds of years.
The principles behind the practice of Tai Chi is based on the ‘chi’ or what is know as life energy that flows throughout the body. TCM believes that the only way to achieve good health is when the ‘chi’ is able to move freely in a person’s body. Since ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ are considered by TCM to be the opposite, as well as, complimentary forces, the practice of Tai Chi is said to harmonize the opposite forces in a person. By practicing Tai Chi, we will feel more connected to nature and its surroundings.
Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Chi as it is widely known, teaches one how to relax as it improves the flow of the ‘chi’ or inner energy. Historically, Tai Chi is branded as a form of martial art. Today, however, it is not only practiced by thousands across the globe as a form of martial art, but instead as a form of relaxation therapy.
Tai Chi is a perfect workout for those who have little interest for rigorous martial arts training. The slow yet intense stretching involved in Tai Chi provides a total body workout fro those who enjoy a slower form of exercise.
Unlike conventional aerobic exercises that place emphasis on strenuous body movements, Tai Chi on the contrary places more emphasis on the movement of joints. Thus, instead of muscular tensions, Tai Chi enhances ones coordination level and promotes relaxation.
Essentially, there are two features involved in Tai Chi. The first type stresses on a series of slow individual movements that places emphasis on relaxed breathing while maintaining a straight spine. The second feature revolves around various forms of ‘hand pushes’ that would require one to team up with a partner to achieve better timing, coordination and positioning.
This hand pushing routine, although not vigorous, is said to be a form of a self defense exercise. By practicing Tai Chi, a novice will slowly find his or her body tone and concentration levels improving. Evidently, not only those young at heart will find Tai Chi stimulating but those young in age will stand to benefit from it.
Different Strokes Of Tai Chi
There are numerous types of Tai Chi exercises. Among the various types of series of Tai Chi workout forms include:
- The 24 Posture Form
- The 42 Posture Competition Form
- The Combined 48 Posture Form
- The 88 Posture Form
- Sun Style Taijiquan Competition Routine
A normal Tai Chi session would usually last for an hour. Classes are usually conducted in groups. Guided by an instructor, a particular form may take around 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Revolving around nature themed movements, common actions or styles include ‘grasp the bird’s tail’, ‘wave hands like clouds’, ’embrace tiger and push mountains’, ‘part the horses main’ and ‘turn body and lotus kick’.
Each class would first begin with a series of warm up exercises in order to avoid possible injuries during workout. Usually, once a session starts, the teacher would tell students to focus on the point below the navel which is said to be the central section of the body where the ‘chi’ flows.
Essentially there is no rushing involved as students are commonly advised to perform slow movements almost like meditating. It is also vital for students to take deep breaths as this would help them relax and focus better.
A relaxation and meditation awaits students at the end of a Tai Chi session.
Total Body Workout
Despite being termed a non intense body workout, Tai Chi in fact works all major muscle groups of the body. It may come to the surprise of many that this fitness routine is in fact a low impact, weight bearing exercise, as Tai Chi aids in strengthening bones, slowing down bone mass loss and also decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
Benefits Of Tai Chi
- It aids in well being by reducing stress
- Improves posture and increases body mobility
- Increases energy
- Ideal workout suited for people with injuries
- Strengthens the body’s immune system
Offering a list of wonderful fitness and health benefits, Tai Chi truly lives up to its name in Mandarin as the supreme form of ultimate boxing!