What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is ancient forms of Chinese Martial Art, which use a series of gentle, graceful movements. Traditionally used as healing modalities, it is now also used as an effective way to relieve stress, balance the body and mind, and it’s an effective way to keep fit.

Tai chi is a type of low-impact, weight-bearing, and aerobic yet relaxing  exercise that began as a martial art. As it developed, it took on the purpose of enhancing physical and mental health. Practiced in a variety of styles, tai chi involves slow, gentle movements, deep breathing, and meditation. The meditation is sometimes called “moving meditation.”

Some people believe that tai chi improves the flow of energy through the body, leading to greater awareness, calmness, and an overall sense of wellness.

Tai Chi
Tai Chi Experience
Chris Hanche

Tai Chi is more than just an exercise for calmness and relaxation. It is a complex and highly developed art that gives the member a feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction which goes beyond that offered by other forms of exercise. This is because Tai Chi movement is smooth, refined, and elegant which creates a balance of energies both internally as well as externally. Over time the member will eventually sense the chi (energy) circulating within their body which will enable them to achieve the understanding of chi through the body. This chi understanding and work can then be used in self-defence too.

The principal that Tai Chi uses for fighting is different to “hard” style martial arts that rely on muscular force. Tai Chi uses the principles of ‘soft against hard’ and ‘weakness to defeat strength’. The more one person practices, the better one will become and the defence capability grows, not weakens, with age.

Within the art of Tai Chi there are several styles or branches which vary in focus and movement. The underlying theory is the same throughout all the styles of Tai Chi, but their application and practice differ.

The Purpose of Tai Chi

Tai chi can alleviate the problems that will arise from a dramatic reduction in health care services coinciding with an aging population. People of all ages must learn to relax and release nervous tension to mitigate the effects of the disease of the modern age: stress.

Tai chi is a form of self-healing in Chinese medicine. For millennia tai chi has existed as a sophisticated form of movement therapy that has helped hundreds of millions of people  live longer, reduce and even reverse the effects of aging, maintain their energy levels well into old age and feel good.

Benefits of Tai Chi
  1. Organs’ functionality is increased which means more vitality, suppleness and energy
  2. Increased strength in muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones
  3. Circulation is encouraged throughout the body
  4. Boosts the immune system
  5. Aids the healing of many ailments from backache, indigestion through to cancer
  6. Brings balance and harmony to the body which will aid in warding off sickness
  7. Relieves stress
  8. Uplifts and clears the mind
  9. Energises the body
  10. Increases memory and brain function
  11. Assists co-ordination and multi-tasking
  12. Detoxes body
  13. Increased back and core strength
  14. Decreases fatigue