All T’ai Chi methods are intended to cultivate an inner strength based on Qi (pronounced chee), a Chinese concept of intrinsic energy that courses through the body along pathways called meridians. Points along these pathways are Acupuncture points, and are used by some T’ai Chi practitioners as focus points to direct the internal energy. Two forms of T’ai Chi addressed in this chapter: T’ai Chi Ch’uan and T’ai Chi Chih
It is estimated that more than 100,000,000 people practice some kind of T’ai Chi daily in the world, and it is widely practiced in Australia, the United States, Canada and Europe.
T’ai Chi is described by many as joy through movement. With daily practice, you will discover: improvements in physical functioning, creativity, mental clarity, emotional stability, vitality, happiness, improved circulation, balance, energy, flexibility, relaxation and strength.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan The Chinese martial art called T’ai Chi Ch’uan – pronounced tie chee chwan – is valued for improving fitness, health and longevity. It originated at least 1,000 years ago in China, is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world. The slow movements train the muscles around bones and the elasticity of smooth muscles in vascular walls, which improves the stability of vascular motor nerves, as well as blood circulation.
T’ai Chi Chih Through regular practice of this non-martial art form, T’ai Chi Chih (pronounced tie chee chah), a person can experience the feeling of being calm in the midst of heightened activity. It is not by refraining from the activity that we will experience the calm, but by maintaining ourselves in a balanced energy state during those periods of stressful activity common in our day-to-day lives.
The T’ai Chi Chih form consists of 20 non-physically demanding body movements that are easily learned and practiced. The results are dramatic for those who spend 20 to 30 minutes per day on this series of energy building and balancing movements that are effective for all age groups.
Sources: Doug Olmsted, OTR, Englewood CO; and Margaret Manzenares, CMT, Westminster CO and Boulder CO
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