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Health Benefits and Principles of Tai Chi

Tai Chi Chuan is a national treasure of Chinese heritage. As a martial art, it is very efficient in self-defense and combat. In addition, its special value in improving health is increasingly recognized in the West. Tai Chi is unique. It incorporates Chinese philosophy, and combines mental and physical exercise in one form.

  1. A health body requires a healthy brain. The brain controls the body. When we are doing Tai Chi, we are calm and relaxed; we concentrate and think about each movement. We mentally focus and become aware of all our faculties and their changes. This exercises our brain and increases our sensitivity. When the brain operates in this mode, the body benefits as well. It allows our nervous system to recuperate and improve, and relieves stress which is the root of many diseases. This also gives our internal organs the opportunity to recuperate and improve. For those with problems in the internal organs, Tai Chi may cut down some of the symptoms of these diseases. In short, doing Tai Chi rejuvenates our body, improves our circulation, lifts our spirits, increases our immunity, and makes the body healthy.

  2. Tai Chi helps circulation in the heart, the arteries and the lymphatic system. We exercise our muscles and joints in Tai Chi. This increases the circulation in our heart, arteries, and lymph. When the circulation improves, it lightens the burden on the heart, increases the blood flow, and strengthens the heart muscles.

  3. Tai Chi improves breathing and increases lung capacity. The movements in Tai Chi are slow, but vigorous. In Tai Chi, we breathe with our diaphragm, making breathing “deep, long subtle, intense, and soft”. It relaxes our chest, and strengthens our stomach muscles. Tai Chi stimulates lung activities and increases air intake. For those who persist in doing Tai Chi, the rate of breathing is lowered and the lung volume expands.

  4. Tai Chi improves our digestive system and metabolism. Not only is there improvement in the nervous system which thereby improves the internal functioning of our organs, in addition the breathing, circular movements and movements of the spine in Tai Chi have the effect of “massaging” the liver, kidney and stomach. These movements improve the circulation in the internal organs, exercise the intestines, and improve digestion and absorption. They regulate adrenalin secretion and improve the metabolism of these organs. These exercises increase appetite, prevent constipation, decrease cholesterol level and prevent the hardening of the arteries.

  5. Tai Chi increases mobility of the muscle and joints. We exercise every fiber in our body in Tai Chi. This makes the muscles firm and flexible. Because muscles strengthen, the bones benefit. Blood circulation around the bones increases, provides nutrition, improves the functioning of, and rejuvenates the bones. The bones become strong preventing bone loss, bending, deformation, or fracturing. Tai Chi exercises the muscles and tendons around the bones and increases the stability of the joints making them supple and flexible. People who do Tai Chi not only have strong bones, they also have good balance and coordination. This exercise is good for the elderly with weak legs and stiff joints. It prevents bone loss and strengthens their gait.


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