Tai Chi is a martial art originating in ancient China. It is also based on Qi Gong (or Chi Gong), a system of traditional Chinese medicine which centres on the creation and regulation of ‘qi’– a form of pervasive energy which, in the body, represents the vital forces that sustain life.
The body has chakras (force centres) and meridians which transport the energy through defined channels to maintain good health and spirit. It is important that these channels remain clear, as it is believed that many illnesses result from blockages that have occurred within the body. As we age or suffer illness our ‘qi’ decreases, but practicing regular Tai Chi allows us to enhance it, thus improving and maintaining health.
Another important principle is that of the polar opposites Yin and Yang. Our Yin represents the more feminine features, softer and negative, while Yang is considered the harder, more masculine and positive part of the composite. The two work in complete harmony, totally complementing and balancing each other. Chinese medicine emphasises the need for our bodies to be in complete balance and at one with nature, not only physically but spiritually.
The deceptively gentle movements of Tai Chi bring students a multitude of benefits:
• increased flexibility and mobility
• more energy
• improved balance and coordination
• reduced stress
• an enhanced immune system
• better quality of sleep
• studies reveal improvements in a variety of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, fatigue and depression.
So it’s not surprising that today millions of people across the world are practising and enjoying the benefits of Tai Chi.