The Research Continues

Balance translates into healthier body and mind. According to Harvard Health Letter published in July 1997, Tai Chi can reduce stress hormones, reduces risk of falling and improves overall balance. The Mayo Health Letter published in February 1998 also cited that Tai Chi has gained attention as a method for improving balance, reduced the risk of falling by about 40%.

Other studies also conclude that Tai Chi may delay the decline of cardio respiratory function (Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 1995) and improve the performance of one’s joints, heart, blood pressure and stress endurance (BC Medical Journal Reports, May 1997). With all these research conclusions, Tai Chi Chuan has been proven to provide its practitioners with excellent results in overall mind/body health.

Tai Chi 101 for Beginners

In general, Tai Chi Chuan is known as the exercise with the movements of body in coordination with one’s mind and respiration. For beginners, the most challenging starting point is keeping the correct posture.

The basic requirements are:

Suspending the head by an imaginary thread from above
Erecting the relaxed neck
Relaxing the whole body
Bending the knees
Inhaling breath to the dantian (a spot below the belly button, where the chi resides)
The most important and hardest part is inhaling breath into the dantian. A novice might feel virtually inhaling a deep breath in a normal way of breathing and imagining the oxygen is being channeled through all the way to a spot slightly below the belly button. It’s believed that this is where the chi resides.

This practice requires patience. One might not be able to reach dantian after 10 or 20 practices, but once you reach it, you’ll know.

Most people feel a warm feeling being channeled through their abdomen, as if a fireball is being flown. Once it’s attained, the chi is said to have balanced out your imbalance to make you a better person. Yet, it is an unfinished work. Practice makes the chi stronger. In the long term, a strong chi is your key to better life quality.

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