The benefits of Tai Chi

Improving physical, mental and emotional health with Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a martial art which benefits multiple parts of a person's being; not only are there physical positives to its practice, but it also improves mental and emotional acuity.

In a world experiencing an apparently ever-accelerating pace of ‘development’ and change and an ever-increasing consumption of things (which even a year previous we perhaps couldn’t have imagined needing or wanting to have), Tai Chi stands as a wellspring of sanity. Like a tree standing firm on its own ground amidst rushing traffic with its branches dancing beautifully on the passing breezes, Tai Chi offers teachings on how to be healthy and to stay centred in ourselves in our often chaotic environment. The practice of Tai Chi can ground us, bring us into a healthier relationship with our own energies and the world around us and open doorways to the contentment, clarity and wisdom to be found in being present in the moment.

Tai Chi teachings are strikingly radical and relevant to today’s world when we consider that as a martial art, Tai Chi does not train you to overpower an opponent, instead you work in overcoming yourself, your own ‘ego’, and operating in harmony with yourself and your opponent. Rather than arming oneself with violent means to overcome another, which is never a true or sustainable ‘victory’ anyway, ultimately Tai Chi eliminates dependence on brute strength by developing instead an acute awareness of self and others, an inner strength where an intention can be realized in a harmonious way.

Tai Chi practitioners typically find it difficult to put their experience of Tai Chi into words; it is something to be explored and known from the inside. However, despite the essence of Tai Chi seeming to be beyond words, there are many very tangible benefits to be gained from practicing Tai Chi, many of which are recognized by Western medical science.

Physical benefits:

  • Improved balance, suppleness and posture.
  • Relaxation.
  • Better coordination.
  • Increased energy with a more healthy, sustainable and smoother flow,
  • Stronger immune system.
  • Enhanced muscle tone and circulation.
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Empowering as a preventative medicine, being more able to recognize and release ‘dis-ease’ before it becomes disease.
  • Feeling more ‘in tune’ with your body: aware of nutritional needs and sensitive to injurious foods and addictions.

Mental benefits:

  • Reduced stress.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Awakens the senses.
  • Increasing creativity and the ability to get things done without struggle.

Emotional benefits:

  • Feeling more a part of the natural world.
  • Social skills. Increased awareness, becoming both clearer and more at ease.
  • Becoming better able to feel what is going on in yourself, and what part in a situation may belong to another person.
  • Self acceptance.
  • Letting go, freeing yourself from unhelpful expectations of yourself.

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