What are the health benefits of Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is a complete practice. It is a training method that allows you to discover your true potential, both physically and mentally. Based on martial arts movements, it is a method for harmonising the mind, body and spirit. As Chogyam Trumpa so concisely put it,
“Synchronising mind and body is not a concept thought up for self improvement. Rather, it is a basic principle of how to be a human being, how to use your sense perceptions, your mind and body together.”
The relaxed, flowing movements that epitomise Tai Chi, naturally loosen and strengthen both joints, ligaments, muscles and fascial tissue, especially around the hips and knees. This gives greater flexibility and mobility and helps to reduce natural age-related wear and tear.
Tai Chi is practised with conscious awareness of the vertical alignments. Gravity places subtle pressure on the body. Gravity is important for bone density and muscle growth, which, as a weight bearing practice, is enhanced by Tai Chi. Teaching encourages correct alignment, avoiding undue stresses on the system. Tai Chi’s practice of lowering your centre of balance down towards the hips, aids not only improved leg strength, but also physical balance, stability and co-ordination.
Tai Chi’s emphasis on deep breathing, improves digestion; helps to manage blood pressure and develops positive organ motility, which brings about ease and a heightened sense of well being.
Finally, a greater awareness of self can bring about a more confident, happier disposition. As one Tai Chi master answered, when asked if Tai Chi can make you live longer,
«Tai Chi can make you feel happy and being happy makes you live longer. »