Healing Arts

Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung for the Elderly

Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung originated in China thousands of years ago as a Martial Art, a form of self defence and health cultivation. They are a mind, body and breath-awareness practice; an alternate medical therapy which is referred to as Moving Meditation or Moving Medication, using slow deep diaphragmatic breathing and coordinated body movements for health and wellbeing. The breath is directed to below the navel.

Chi is vital energy that flows through all living things via energy pathways and a strong flow is necessary for healthy living. Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung practices redirect the flow of Chi Energy to help balance the energy flow in the body, balancing internal organ function, easing pain, helping stiffness, reducing stress and tension and creating overall health and total wellbeing.

Today Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung are practiced daily by people of all ages and have become the preferred exercise of elderly people for their slow, graceful, circular movements that open energy pathways in the body called Meridians. There are many different styles of Tai Chi Chuan designed by the great masters that are still taught and practiced today for health, wellbeing and longevity.

The practice of Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung is visible in parks in China and all over the world, with people of all ages intermingling and enjoying this social activity. It is practiced without much physical exertion or the high cost of fancy equipment or expensive clothing and can be practiced at home once the student has learned the basics.

Tai Chi movements are done at ones own pace, normally slowly, but can also be done fast with either high or low stances depending on the individualís strength, stamina and physical ability. It is a non-impact, weight-bearing exercise that even people experiencing joint degeneration, muscle atrophy, poor balance or low stamina can do and enjoy.

There are many benefits of practicing the art of Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung. Continued research is being conducted by clinics, hospitals, medical institutes, doctors and universities around the world on these benefits. This art of movement is fun and focused and will keep you fit, strong and healthy.

Other benefits of practicing Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung regularly include improved blood circulation; control of blood pressure levels; increased metabolic rate; increased oxygen intake; improved coordination; aids in sleep deprivation; improved balance which will help in fall prevention; increased flexibility; improved physical strength in muscles, ligaments and bones; decreased anxiety, depression and fatigue; alleviate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and rheumatism; improved mental faculties; improvement of the immune system and much more.

With the decreasing physical ability of the elderly, this program can prevent physical injury and even death as a result of falling as you become aware of every step you take and how the body really feels. People that take part in a regular program of Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung classes are more likely to resist viruses and infections due to an improved immune system. Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung are a safe and effective form of exercise to protect against disease and reduce the negative effects of ageing.

Keep in mind that learning Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung from videos, DVDs or books does not ensure that you are practicing the movements correctly and safely. Search the internet for research and studies on the subject of health and wellbeing for a particular interest or ailment you might be experiencing.

Always consult your health practitioner before starting any exercise program especially if you have not exercised for a long time or if you are unsure of a particular related ailment you may have.
Mannie Barstz © 2008-2013
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Healing Arts - Tai Chi Chuan