The beauty of Tai Chi (or Taji) is in its gentle form of exercise, thus it is for everyone. It helps maintain strength, flexibility, and balance, and could be the perfect activity for the rest of your life.
As some put: no pain, big gains. Tai Chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion." There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health.
In this low-impact, slow-motion exercise, you go without pausing through a series of motions named for animal actions — for example, "white crane spreads its wings" — or martial arts moves, such as "box both ears." As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention — as in some kinds of meditation — on your bodily sensations. Tai Chi differs from other types of exercise in several respects. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched.
The benefits of tai chi are generally greatest if you begin before you develop a chronic illness or functional limitations. Although it is slow and gentle and doesn't leave you breathless, Tai Chi addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning.
Tai Chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery. It is very safe, and no fancy equipment is needed, so it's easy to get started. At Grace Family Acupuncture, we hold regular Tai Chi classes year long. Talk to Dr. Gong today!
Dr. Gong is regularly running Tai Chi classes in Kansas City areas. Contact her for current or future sessions.