In China, Tai Chi is renowned for its powers of healing and maintaining health, wellbeing andin people of all ages. Older people in particular can benefit from Tai Chi because it loosens joints that have stiffened with age. The Chinese say that the regular practice of Tai Chi builds ‘the strength of a lumberjack, the of a baby and the wisdom of a sage’.
Tai Chi exercises the muscles, particularly those in the legs and the abdominal region. With regular practice over quite a long period of time, it also improves respiratory and cardiovascular functions. Tai Chi emphasizes calm, regular breathing (in the open air, when possible) and so slows the heart and breathing rate and helps reduce blood pressure. It also encourages balance, coordination and good posture, and facilitates fast, intelligent responses to challenging situations.
Concentrating on the movements of Tai Chi helps to calm the mind and alleviate insomnia, anxiety and stress. According to the principles of Chinese medicine, practising Tai Chi improves the flow of Qi in the body – the unimpeded flow of Qi throughout the body is essential for good health.