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  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) incorporates acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM), Tuina (thereputic massage), Medical Qigong and Tai Chi. It is a 5,000 year-old healing art based on empirical data accumulated over the millennia through simple observation of natural phenomena, practical experience and good old common sense.

All this knowledge has been transmitted from generation to generation via the Chinese written tradition which has basically remained unchanged for thousands of years. For more information you can go to the British Acupuncture Council or to the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine web sites

The foundation concepts of Tai Chi Chuan, which come from Taoism and Confucianism, go back to the beginning of written history in China.  They come from Lao Tzu's monumental text, Tao Te Ching, from the I Ching and from various other health-promoting and breathing exercise treatises.  The actual art can be traced back only 300 to 700 years, however.  The founder is said to be Chang San-feng (Zhang Sanfeng). Tai Chi Chuan was originally taught as a martial art and longevity exercise. In the early 20th century the health benefits were discovered and it took on a new persona as a preventive medicine or wellness exercise.  It was later promoted by the Chinese Government to keep the citizens healthy. The martial art aspects then took a back stage to it being a health exercise in China. 

Smooth continuous movement is probably the most recognizable characteristic of traditional most styles of  Tai Chi Chuan. Anyone who has ever witnessed a Tai Chi player remembers this distinctive quality of their practice.

What is the benefit of  “practice continuously and without interruption” from a scientific viewpoint? There are unique results that occur as a result of applying this principle from the Ten Essentials. Slow, smooth, continuous movement produces special conditioning effects for nerves, muscles, and tendons.

Benefits

Consumer Reports (CR, Feb 2000, p 45) calls Tai Chi the "Ultimate low-impact exercise", an exercise that can be done by any one who can walk, the only caveat being people with knee problems may have problems doing it.  CR claims Tai Chi can improve cardiovascular endurance as well as improve posture, strength and balance.  CR sites a 1992 Australian study that found it had the same effect as brisk walking on heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones.  Scientific studies have found that it can lower blood pressure, improve balance, improve circulation and make seniors feel empowered.

According to Dr Robert Whipple, a gait and balance expert, "Tai Chi has come up with the best possible biomechanical scenarios for keeping a person stable.

Tai Chi Principles

Relaxation

Not relaxation as we tend to think of it - true relaxation is a nice deep sleep. This is more a controlled relaxation of the body, where only necessary muscles are working. As a consequence, the few muscles that are working, work extremely hard. Most Tai Chi postures are very strenuous on the thigh muscles.

Body Movement

Moving the body as a unit is easier said than done... but necessary. Tai Chi stresses using the whole body all the time.

 

Tai Chi masters teach Tai Chi in three stages: First they teach the routines; second the torso methods and martial art's application; lastly methods to cultivate qi and increase internal strength. Most Tai Chi students learn only the routines. Some manage to get to the second stage and can benefit from doing Tai Chi. Only a very small number are lucky enough to learn the top secret of Tai Chi - how to build Qi and increase internal strength.

Please look around around our site, there is a lot of information, and if you can not find what you are looking for, or have any questions mail me.

Tian Zhao Lin Tai Chi Association is an international promoter of Tai Chi with HQ in Shanghai, China, Phoenix Chinese Medical Centre is  a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) centre of excellence based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire in the U.K.  

Alternative sites:

www.simplytcm.co.uk  or

www.simplytuina.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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