HTTP://www.WorldTaiChiDay.org 已組織集線器上，太極和氣功愛好者、 教師、 學校和中國各地的組織提供組織工具組、 媒體工具組和如何獲得官方文告為它們的事件的資訊。WorldTaiChiDay.org 的免費資源説明了太極和氣功 (氣功) 愛好者合作夥伴與當地媒體教育公眾有關太極和氣功保健福利，以及局部的太極、 氣功類，在整個中國的可用性 （見底部的連結）...
世界太極與氣功日 WorldTaiChiDay.org 還提供了免費的圖稿，官方世界太極與氣功 (羅西貢) 天標語、 傳單和海報，以説明中國太極拳和氣功愛好者教育在中國他們本地的工作，並讓他們知道如何獲取整個中國偉大而美麗的國家世界太極與氣功日事件中涉及整個人民......
WorldTaiChiDay.org，世界太極與氣功一天，組委會集線器提供了官方電子報，包括翻譯成 18 種語言，以説明太極和氣功團體獲得最大的媒體覆蓋率為它們的事件 （請參見在底部的過去媒體連結)......
中國太極拳和氣功從業員一直健康 & 癒合意圖和教育，很多支援 WorldTaiChiDay.org 的工作，通過獲取官方世界太極與氣功日 t 恤、 達 · 芬奇 Vitruvian 男子方塊英楊符號來顯示如何西方科學上的標識，世界太極與氣功日全球浪潮的一部分和東部的頭腦和身體健康科學現在一起即將受益世界。背面有世界太極與氣功日座右銘的"一個世界......
一口氣"顯示如何太極和氣功的全球大家庭的從業人員在一起每年都來跨種族、 族裔、 宗教和地緣政治的界限，以創建個人和全球健康和癒合的遠景...
太極拳和氣功的醫學研究，收集世界太極與氣功天 WorldTaiChiDay.org 醫學研究圖書館，可以作為在 HTTP://www.worldtaichiday.org 免費資源説明中國從業人員教育他們當地衛生系統、 政府和企業的健康專業人員對越來越多的研究證明的意義深遠的好處太極拳和氣功提供中國居民和社會......
中國從業人員採取了美麗的照片和視頻展示其美麗回家的中國國家與通過 WorldTaiChiDay.org 的照片和視頻庫的世界太極與氣功日事件 （見底部的連結） 世界共用...
我們邀請並鼓勵所有太極拳和氣功執業醫生，在中國加入在現有的世界太極與氣功日事件，在中國，或組織自己與太極的世界舉行的中國事件及氣功每年的 4 月最後一個星期六作為大規模的太極和氣功展覽及補齊這世界波的宣講的世界性的一部分稱為世界太極與氣功日......
瞭解更多有關中國的事件和也 (見活在底部的連結） 的全球世界太極與氣功日事件...
醫學研究發現太極或氣功可以提高了近 50%的免疫功能、 減少青少年多動症症狀、 降低血壓高、 治療心臟病、 增加大腦的大小、 説明與帕金森病患者的症狀、 纖維肌痛、 抑鬱、 焦慮和其他健康問題的主機。太極、 氣功、 羅西貢，將我國的衛生、 商業和教育節目增加了強大，因為它已被全世界......
澳大利亞太極老師，名為杆弗格森，使用在 WorldTaiChiDay.org 提供的醫學研究和通過 WorldTaiChiDay.org 的通訊，創建一項建議，表明他當地州政府多少可以節省金錢的太極、 培訓長者和它導致在國家資助使太極供年長者在他們國家整個的太極程式 （見 WorldTaiChiDay.org 醫學研究資源在底部的活連結）...
世界太極與氣功日鼓勵中國居民利用 WorldTaiChiDay.org 來教育你的地方政府、 衛生機構、 高級護理和企業健康專業人員對如何納入太極、 氣功、 羅西貢，到他們的產品可以導致巨大的節約，避免了未來的健康問題，我們擁有龐大資源和使用的太極和氣功非常經濟緩解當前的健康挑戰......
是一個有趣的世界太極與氣功日全球慶祝的保健和治療，但也提供了一些非常嚴重的解決辦法，中國和其他國家和聯合國在世界各地所面臨的問題...中國居民請報名參加世界太極與氣功日官方電子郵件通訊 》 雜誌： WorldTaiChiDay.org 以獲取關於打破世界各地的醫學研究和太極和氣功新聞和從業人員的提示更新。存檔的過去 WorldTaiChiDay.org 電子郵件雜誌現在可以被看作 38 種語言。(見到 WorldTaiChiDay.org 雜誌存檔問題在底部的活連結)...
照片 / 視頻庫過去的世界太極與氣功天事件
過去的問題檔案 WorldTaiChiDay.org 電子郵件雜誌
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day events have been held in China for many years. Events in China have included Tai Chi and Qigong demonstrations and teach-ins at various lovely China locations…
Tai Chi and Qigong teachers and practitioners throughout the beautiful state of China have participated…
http://www.WorldTaiChiDay.org has been the organizing hub, providing tai chi and qigong enthusiasts, teachers, schools and organizations throughout China with Organizing Kits, Media Kits, and information on how to get official proclamations for their events. WorldTaiChiDay.org’s free resources have helped Tai Chi and Qigong (Chi Kung) enthusiasts partner with local media to educate the public about Tai Chi and Qigong health benefits, and about the availability of local Tai Chi and Qigong classes throughout China (see links at the bottom)…
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day’s WorldTaiChiDay.org has also provided free artwork for Official World Tai Chi and Qigong (chi kung) Day banners, flyers, and posters, to help China tai chi and qigong enthusiasts educate people throughout China about their local work and to let them know how to get involved in World Tai Chi and Qigong Day events throughout the great and beautiful state of China…
WorldTaiChiDay.org, the organizing hub for World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, has provided official Press Releases, including translations into 18 languages, to help tai chi and qigong groups gain maximum media coverage for their events (see Past Media Links at bottom)…
China Tai Chi and Qigong practitioners have been part of the global wave of health & healing intent and education, many supporting WorldTaiChiDay.org’s work, by getting Official World Tai Chi and Qigong Day T-Shirts, with the World Tai Chi and Qigong Day logo of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man overlayed on the Ying Yang Symbol to show how Western science and Eastern mind-body health science are now coming together to benefit the world. The back has World Tai Chi and Qigong Day’s motto of “One World … One Breath” showing how the global Tai Chi and Qigong family of practitioners come together each year across racial, ethnic, religious and geo-political boundaries to create a vision of personal and global health and healing…
Tai Chi and Qigong medical research, collected in World Tai Chi and Qigong Day’s WorldTaiChiDay.org Medical Research Library, available as a free resource at http://www.worldtaichiday.org helps China practitioners educate their local health systems, government, and corporate wellness professionals on the growing research proving the profound benefits tai chi and qigong offer China residents and society…
China practitioners have taken beautiful photographs and videos showcasing their beautiful home state of China to share with the world via WorldTaiChiDay.org’s Photo and Video gallery of World Tai Chi and Qigong Day events (see link at bottom)..
China has been a foundational part of World Tai Chi and Qigong Day’s global family of events year after year…
We invite and encourage all tai chi and qigong practitioners in China to join in existing World Tai Chi and Qigong Day events in China, or to organize their own China events to be held with the world of tai chi and qigong practitioners each year on the last Saturday of April, as part of the worldwide wave of mass tai chi and qigong exhibitions and teach-ins that make up this worldwide wave of qi, known as World Tai Chi and Qigong Day…
Learn more about China’s events and also the global World Tai Chi and Qigong Day events (see live links at bottom)…
Harvard Health publication has called Tai Chi “Medication in Motion” because of all the myriad health issues Tai Chi has been proven to help with or avoid…
Medical research has found that Tai Chi and/or Qigong 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 and Qigong, chi kung, would be a powerful addition to health, business, and education programs in China as it has been worldwide…
A Australian tai chi teacher, named Rod Ferguson, used the medical research provided at WorldTaiChiDay.org and via WorldTaiChiDay.org’s newsletters to create a proposal that showed his local state’s government how much money could be saved by training seniors in Tai Chi, and it resulted in a state funded Tai Chi program that makes Tai Chi available for seniors throughout their state (see live link to WorldTaiChiDay.org Medical Research resource at bottom)…
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day encourages China residents to utilize our vast resources at WorldTaiChiDay.org to educate your local government, health institutions, senior care, and corporate wellness professionals about how incorporating Tai Chi and Qigong, chi kung, into their offerings can result in massive savings as future health issues are avoided, and current health challenges are alleviated very economically by using tai chi and qigong…
Tai Chi and Qigong 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, states like China could save untold millions in future prison incarceration costs, and help inmates become calmer people before their release back into society…
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is a fun global celebration of health and healing, but also offers some very serious solutions to issues facing China and other states and nations around the world..
China residents are invited to sign up for World Tai Chi & Qigong Day’s Official Email Newsletter Magazine: WorldTaiChiDay.org to get updates on breaking medical research and tai chi and qigong news and tips from practitioners around the world. Archived past WorldTaiChiDay.org Email Magazines can now be viewed in 38 languages. (see live link to WorldTaiChiDay.org Magazine Archived Issues at bottom)..
China residents can sign up to receive our free valuable email magazines at…
Other Live links:
Past Media coverage of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
Photo / Video Gallery of Past World Tai Chi & Qigong Day events
WorldTaiChiDay.org Medical Research
WorldTaiChiDay.org Email Magazine Past Issue Archives
Below are excerpts from The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong 3rd edition.
Why Practice Tai Chi (and Qigong - Chi Kung)?
> The reasons behind Tai Chi’s exploding popularity
> The root of Tai Chi
> A brief history of Tai Chi
> ALL styles of Tai Chi can offer powerful benefits
Tai Chi comes in several excellent styles. While some chapters in this book relate to particular Tai chi styles, you’ll find this book to be a valuable resource to anyone exploring “any” form of Tai Chi or QiGong, which is why it is used as a primer and textbook by teachers of many styles worldwide, and in several languages.
Tai Chi is practiced by about 20 percent of the world’s population and is fast becoming the most popular exercise in the world today. Its rapid expansion is largely due to one important fact it feels really good. Although Tai Chi was originally a martial art and is increasingly offered by martial arts studios, it’s now practiced in businesses, hospitals, and schools everywhere. Tai Chi is not only a valuable tool for improving health, it is a powerful business tool as well. Companies see that T’ai Chi improves productivity by helping employees to be happy, relaxed, and creative. Hospitals see Tai Chi as a potent, yet cost-effective, therapy for nearly any condition. Tai Chi classes can be found nowadays almost anywhere. In this chapter, I’ll give you a whirlwind tour of the reasons behind Tai Chi’s growing popularity and what Tai Chi can do for you.
Exploring the Reasons Behind T’ai Chi’s Popularity
Do you ever feel like life is getting more stressful? It is. The increasing stress in today’s world is one reason for Tai Chi’s growing worldwide popularity. Tai Chi was designed to help people go through change with less damage by improving the way we handle stress. Studies show change is stressful, and even though change is often good, if the stress that change causes isn’t managed it can damage your health and outlook on life. Since about 90 percent of the discoveries made in the history of the human race have been made in our lifetime, we are all going through some serious change and stress. Therefore, Tai Chi’s ability to help practitioners “let go” of this stress more easily is just what the doctor ordered, literally.
Imagine life is a carousel upon which we ride. When life gets spinning really fast, Tai Chi seems to slow things down, like a hand pulling us away from the “edge,” back to the center of life’s carousel. Here, in the center, we can let life spin even faster and not feel like throwing up (hardly ever anyway). In fact, by practicing Tai Chi as you ride life’s carousel, you might even catch yourself going “wheeeeeeeeeeeee” a lot more often.
Whether you are stressed out, continually exhausted, treating a health problem, or just wanting to get in shape and feel young again, Tai Chi is just what you need. Tai Chi goes right to the heart of everything we do by healing and cleansing the central nervous system. Tai Chi helps us to let go of all the nervous tension that bogs down our mental computer system (like getting a general tune up every day). This makes everything inside us work better, which often makes the world around us seem better, too. So Tai Chi is really a self-improvement tool that will make you a better “anything-you-want-to-be.” Unless of course you want to be stressed out, exhausted, uninspired, and feel old and out of shape. In that case, Tai Chi won’t help.
People everywhere in the world are rapidly embracing Tai Chi as “their” exercise. Although Tai Chi originates from China, it is now seen so commonly in the West that soon it will be thought of as an American thing, a British thing, a Canadian thing, or whatever. If you ask American kids what their favorite American food is, many will reply, “Pizza!” (which is originally Italian). And someday, when asked what their favorite American pastime is, Americans will say, “Tai Chi!”
Tai Chi Relaxes the Mind, Body, and Our Lives
Just as we flow through the changes of life (or not), our life energy, or Qi, flows through us (or not, if we are stressed out). Qi is the energy of life and flows through all living things. Qi animates, heals, and nurtures life. When the stress of change makes us tense, we squeeze off the flow of life energy. Physically, this feels like tension. Tai Chi and QiGong are easy, simple, yet sophisticated relaxation exercises that encourage the muscles to let go of tension, the mind to let go of worry, and the heart to let go of angst. Tension, worry, and angst all block our Qi flow.
Tension, worry, and angst are usually the result of our mind, heart, or body being unable to “let go” of something. The goal of Tai Chi is to move through a series of choreographed movements like a slow martial arts routine, but very slowly and in a state of absolute relaxation. In order to do this, we have to let go of our mental/physical tensions, grudges, prejudices, and anything that keeps us tied to the past. This enables us to flow more easily into the future by clearing our mind and body of old stress so that we constantly get a “fresh” perspective on life.
Tai Chi is simple and easy to do, yet benefits us on many deep and complex levels. Tai Chi’s slow, relaxed movements incorporate breathing and relaxation techniques that cleanse our mind, body, and emotions each time we go through the gentle movements. T’ai Chi is designed to uncover and release every single place we hold tension or blocked energy. When our mind or heart holds onto issues (fears, obsessions, angers, and so on) our body literally squeezes itself with tension. Going slowly through the movements is like doing an internal scan of the entire body to clear and release any place the body is gripping onto tension. There is no exercise on earth that can help you go through this wild ride toward the future quite like T’ai Chi canwhich is why T’ai Chi is truly the exercise of the future.
Tai Chi Promotes Internal Strength for Young and Old
Tai Chi looks very much like slow-motion kung fu. David Carradine performed a form related to Tai Chi as Kwai Chang Caine on the television series Kung Fu. And although Tai Chi shares some similarities with kung fu, don’t let that scare you away. Tai Chi can be practiced by anyone at any age and in any condition.
In martial arts circles, it is known as an internal martial art. Tai Chi promotes internal strength physically, mentally, and emotionally, which is why it can be powerful training tool for martial artists. But you don’t have to be a martial artist to benefit from Tai Chi because it can also be practiced even by those in wheelchairs, with great results.
Unlike karate, Tai Chi has no belt or ranking system because the benefits of Tai Chi can only be felt and not seen. You practice Tai Chi to live better, more calmly, clearly, healthfully, and productively. Tai Chi is a tonic for life. You will see your progress reflected by how you feel, how spry you look in the mirror, how much you love life, and how healthy you are. Isn’t this much better than owning a black belt? However, if you do karate, Tai Chi can help you get that black belt by improving your internal function and grace.
Also, Tai Chi differs from most martial arts in that people of all ages can practice it. Many people with disabilities and ailments practice Tai Chi as therapy. No one is restricted from practicing Tai Chi, and yet Tai Chi can benefit the fittest athletes, just as much as it benefits elderly arthritis sufferers. Tai Chi clubs are sprouting up all over the world, with people from all walks of life.
Tai Chi: Finally an Exercise That Feels Good!
Tai Chi is popular because it is easy to do and provides a gentle workout that doesn’t leave you drained, but energized! Tai Chi’s “effortless” nature is a big stretch for most of us, however, because we associate exercise with force, pain, and tension. In fact, some exercise actually contributes to stress. When I played junior high football in west Texas many years ago, the coaches determined that we were through running when one of us started throwing up. That’s right, upchucking. It was the only time in my life I ever hoped to see someone throw up.
Tai Chi is helping the world get a healthy, enjoyable view of exercise. As a nation, we have adopted a mutant notion of exercise, exemplified by the mantra “no pain, no gain.” This has traumatized many Americans, including myself, leaving an indelible mark on how we view exercise. In Tai Chi we have a mantra, too, “If your exercise causes pain, you’ll get so sick of the thought of it that you’ll never want to do it again.” Ours isn’t as neatly poetic as “no pain, no gain,” but ours makes infinitely more sense. Tai Chi should always, always, always, feel good. And since it does feel good, you will look forward to it. Each morning you will find yourself grateful that you’re alive and able to practice this cool exercise called Tai Chi.
Tai Chi doesn’t begin with the premise that there is “something wrong” that needs to be “fixed, sculpted, lost, or burned off.” It is a very accepting exercise, and helps us remember we are already perfect … but our ability to get better is limitless. Everyone is qualified to do Tai Chi. You don’t have to look good in tights or Spandex to do Tai Chi, although if you do Tai Chi enough, you’ll look pretty good in whatever you like to wear.
Tai Chi and QiGong are for anybody who is dealing with stress. In other wordseverybody. Anybody can do Tai Chi. If you’ve picked up a book on Tai Chi, you’ve probably experienced the acute stress of imagining yourself in some of those incredible (seemingly impossible) positions the Tai Chi models pose in for the photos. Relax. Those people are models. Most people do Tai Chi just the way you will do it. Easily and effortlessly. Although Tai Chi was one of the original martial arts, it is now practiced all over the world as a relaxation technique by people of all ages in the same shape you are in, and sometimes in even worse shape.
When you begin an exercise class, you may have the illusion that everybody other than you “belongs” there, and that they are all “good” at it. You will find that everybody goes through the same trials and tribulations. As you lighten up on yourself, you’ll see struggling, growing, and healing are everywhere. Breathe and enjoy; you are among friends.
When you first begin practicing Tai Chi out in the backyard or in your local park, people may stare. Before long, your unique practice of Tai Chi becomes part of the rich texture of the neighborhood, and if you move away, they will miss you. Just as Tai Chi adds to your personal internal charm, your practice adds to the charm of your community.
Life is very complicated, and Tai Chi cannot solve all your problems. However, Tai Chi can help you simplify your life in a big and relaxing way.
Imagine that you’re a tree. While your mind and body are the trunk of that tree, all your “life stuff” is like the many leaves on that tree. Your job, relationships, hobbies, hopes, and problems are all dangling out there on the tips of your life. When your health is bad or you can’t sleep well, this affects the whole tree. You may have problems with your job that may strain your relationships, which in turn will drain the energy you need to pursue your hobbies, making you too tired to have hopeful dreams, and causing your problems to get seemingly bigger and bigger. When you are already beat, trying to figure out how to heal all these sick, shriveled leaves is too much to even think about.
However, what if you could pour some magic water on the roots of your tree? Magic that would heal all the sick leaves and cause them to grow larger, to catch more breezes and more sunlight, and more fun! This is what Tai Chi does. By nurturing the very core of your mind and body, Tai Chi makes you better at everything you do. You don’t practice Tai Chi to be better at Tai Chi (although that happens). Each time you practice Tai Chi, you pour healing water on the roots of everything you are. This healing water, or energy, is carried out to the leaves of everything you do, making you the freshest, greenest tree you could ever want to be.
One name does not adequately express everything Tai Chi is because Tai Chi nurtures so many aspects of our lives at the root. Although originally a martial art known as Tai Chi Chuan (“supreme ultimate fist”), the shortened name of Tai Chi reflects how it is now viewed, as one of the most effective mind/body exercises in the world. So Tai Chi now refers to “supreme ultimate health exercise,” “supreme ultimate relaxation therapy,” “supreme ultimate balance conditioner, muscle toner, beauty treatment.”
Tai Chi is the supreme ultimate because it goes right to the root of most health problems by relaxing the muscles and mind, aligning the spinal posture, and balancing the energy systems that run through the body, providing them with life energy. It is one of the most soothing, easy, and powerful things you can do for yourself. It is a profound self-improvement tool, a great toning exercise, and an incredible healing art. Whether you want to improve external beauty, mental outlook, or physical health and longevity, Tai Chi heals the roots of your being.
Tai Chi is a highly effective therapy for many injuries or chronic conditions, whether mental, emotional, or physical. The following chapters will discuss different maladies and how Tai Chi treats them. Tai Chi bolsters the immune system, as well, and can actually eliminate problems long before they become an actual physical illness.
Forget about covering up problems with makeup or surgery. Beautify from the inside out instead! Many cells are replaced daily, and almost the entire body is completely replaced every five to seven years. You are literally born anew on some level each and every day of your life. How those cells are reproduced is determined by how the life energy, or Qi, flows through your body. Therefore, you can have a terrific impact on how you age, look, and feel by promoting your Qi flow.
Have you ever sat back and noticed how small children never run down? Like the Energizer rabbit, on fast forward, they leap and spring, dance and chat, and chat and chat. Have you ever thought to yourself, “God, I wish I had that energy”? Well, you do have access to that energy (and without doing espresso shooters).
As human beings, we begin to block our access to that energy as we “mature” by holding onto past grudges, by shouldering responsibilities that are unrealistic, or just because of silly worries. Then we don’t know how to let them go, and we get used to having less and less energy. We can think on a mental level that we want to “stop worrying” or “let go of tension,” but that doesn’t really work. We need life tools that help us let go of these blocks on deep levels in our mind, heart, and body, so that we can open to your flow of life energy.
Tai Chi and QiGong will give you access to simple exercises, which feel good and can open a valve to that limitless energy you thought you had lost forever. The Chinese discovered long ago that these blocks, or our stress, are simply the mind and nervous system squeezing onto grudges, worries, or even desires. Just as our muscles can tighten when tense, our mind and heart can grip tension too, and we have to be taught how to let go of their squeezing grip on life issues. So the goal of these ancient exercises is to wash our nervous system clean, so our mind can be fresh and vibrant like a newborn baby’s, while still remembering the important stuff, like stopping at red lights and dressing before going to work.
Seriously, as we let go of most of the meaningless, irritating debris bouncing around in our mind, we have more space and energy for really important ideas to surface. Important memories like the bill we forgot to pay, or realizations like we forgot to tell someone how much you care about them. Tai Chi’s slow, soothing movements provide that calm open space, even in the very center of the rat race.
America is not into the “aging” thing. What Americans spend on cosmetic surgery attests to that. Tai Chi will help you get over that prejudice, while also slowing the aging process in many ways. The Chinese believe as we practice Tai Chi it returns us to a state of “child-likeness” (but not childishness), where we see the world with fresh eyes. This allows us the freedom to reinvent ourselves easily and constantly, just as children do, enabling us to flow with the changes of life. We can once again be flexible and exuberant, while still benefiting from the wisdom of experience (like being able to hit our mouth with the spoon, well, most of the time). So Tai Chi has the ability to renew us, and through that renewal enhance our strength, health, and creativity.
Tai Chi is based on the principle that the world doesn’t need to be held up by our worrying mind and tense body. In fact, we are much more helpful to the world (and far more enjoyable to be around) if we can let go of as much stress as possible. Realizing this principle is the first big step to letting Tai Chi reopen you to your own personal rejuvenating “fountain of energy”!
Tai Chi is unique. Although it is in a way 2,000 years old, it is at the cutting edge of modern Western medical research. Tai Chi is ancient yet modern, Eastern yet increasingly Western. Using Tai Chi is a way to get the most benefit out of all worlds, old and new, East and West. In fact, Western science is embracing Tai Chi very rapidly. Almost every month a new study seems to find yet another thing Tai Chi can treat, cure, or improve. A researcher at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell said Tai Chi is about to explode (in popularity) as medical practitioners discover the time-tested technique.
In fact each new Tai Chi player educates more people on Tai Chi, and sometimes in odd ways. One of my students was practicing Tai Chi in the park in a suburb of Kansas City one morning when a police officer approached him to ask if he was all right. The officer said someone had called and reported somebody was having a “problem” in the park. So it may behoove you to know a bit more about Tai Chi in case you need to do some fast-talking. The following will help.
For an exercise that is so made to order for modern life, it is amazing to realize that Tai Chi is thought to be about 1,200 years old. Furthermore, Tai Chi is an expanded version of a more ancient exercise called QiGong, which may be at least 2,000 years old. Tai Chi’s moving exercises are done very slowly, like slow motion kung fu. In days of old, Tai Chi (or Tai Chi Ch’uan) was primarily a martial art. It is believed that Buddhist and Taoist monks began practicing Tai Chi forms in monasteries (yes, like the Shao Lin Temple) for two reasons: One, to promote health because they were out of shape from sitting around meditating all the time; and two, because they were so out of shape, they couldn’t defend themselves, and bandits would come and beat them up before taking their valuables. (And you thought you had stress!)
When most people first join a Tai Chi or QiGong class, they are not quite sure what they are getting themselves into. Most have a mother, a doctor, a friend, a daughter, or son telling them, “This Tai Chi stuff is the greatest thing since sliced bread and you have gotta try it!” However, these enthusiasts can’t quite explain why you’ve gotta try it. So the following is for you, or whoever’s been trying to explain it to you.
In modern terms, Tai Chi and QiGong are ancient systems of biofeedback and classical conditioning. Traditional Chinese doctors of long ago noted that our natural tendency is to hold onto stress, which bogs down the brain. They therefore created exercises that would train the mind and the body not only to continually dump stress, but also to actually change the way the body handles future stress (not the way your kids change the way you handle stress, but in a good way).
As Tai Chi players move through their slow motion movements, their mind becomes calm, their breathing deepens and slows, and their muscles relax. All this happens while the muscles are toning, making it a very efficient exercise. But, forget about efficiency, Tai Chi should be done as though you were going to do it forever. If you try to “hurry up and relax,” it doesn’t work as well. By proceeding slowly with Tai Chi, and making it a game, you will be much more likely to enjoy it and to stick with it. Chapter 2, “Let’s Get Physical,” explains how even in Tai Chi’s easy going way, there is great power and dramatic physical benefit awaiting you, no matter what style of Tai Chi you enjoy.
Refer to this book’s valuable insert DVD to view non-instructional exhibitions of a Mulan Basic Short Form and a Tai Chi Long Form, to get a feel for the soothing un-hurried flow of Tai Chi motion, with a calmness that all styles promote.
> Tai Chi reduces stress and slows the aging process.
> Everybody can do Tai Chi.
> Tai Chi restores the power of youthful exuberance.
> Tai Chi is an efficient therapy that can improve all aspects of your life.
> By clearing the mind, Tai Chi reminds you that life is a miracle.
Above are excerpts from The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong 3rd edition.