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Stress Management for Health Course

Stress and T'ai Chi

 

"T'ai Chi is a natural and safe vehicle . . . to learn and experience the benefits of being able to channel, concentrate and co-ordinate their bodies and minds; to learn to relax and to neutralise rather than resist stress in their personal lives.  This is an ability which we greatly need to nurture in our modern fast paced society."

(Dr John Beaulieu N.D., M.T.R.S. Bellevue Hospital,  New York)

T'ai Chi Chuan or T'ai Chi as it is more commonly known, is an ancient Chinese series of exercises that have been used for thousands of years; it consists of fluid, gentle movements which are combined with relaxation breathing techniques.  Research has shown it helps to improve our psychological and physiological health making us more resistant to stress.

T'ai Chi when translated literally means Moving Life Force.  Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy says that we all have a life energy (called Chi) flowing throughout our bodies which must be able to flow freely to give us optimum health; when this energy is blocked then ill health results. T'ai Chi involves performing slow graceful movements intended to promote the flow of Chi throughout the body.

T'ai Chi has been described as moving meditation because it is practiced very slowly.  The movements involve every part of the body from the smallest joint to the largest muscle without creating any muscle tension.  It is easy to learn, any one can use it and it can be practiced anywhere.  T'ai Chi is ideal for people with mobility difficulties.  Once you have learned T'ai Chi you should aim to practice for 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. Your local Adult Education Centre will run beginners, intermediate and advanced courses in Tai Chi. 

 

Health Benefits of T'ai Chi

"T'ai Chi has helped our children to focus.  It really calms them down." (Ref Daily Mail October 2001)

The above quote is from Head teacher Sue Ellis at the Church of England primary school, Brand Town near Swindon, Wiltshire, where pupils aged from 4 years old practiced T'ai Chi for 10 minutes every morning in the playground to put them in a calm mood for lessons.  

        Improves balance

        Strengthens muscles

        Lowers muscle tension

        Increases energy levels

        Boosts immune system

        Reduces joint stiffness

        Induces relaxation

        Improves general health

        Lowers stress hormones

        Improves flexibility

        Improves lung function

        Improves co-ordination

Numerous scientific research studies have indicated that T'ai Chi can help in a number of health problems such as:

        Chronic pain

        Depression

        Gout

        Osteoporosis

        Stress

        Anxiety

        Diabetes

        Insomnia

        Aging

        Asthma

        Anger

        Headaches

        Bronchitis

        Emphysema

        Menopause

        Fibromyalgia

        Tension

        Diabetes

        Gastro-intestinal problems

        Gastric ulcers

        Back pain

        High Blood pressure

        Rheumatoid Arthritis

        Heart disease

        Multiple Sclerosis

        Fatigue

 

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