Today, everyone knows that practicing Tai Chi Chuan can improve the practitioner's health.
In the following I will explain how the Tai Chi Chuan Classics make this clear.
1. The Tai Chi Chuan Classics say "Use intent, not physical force." and
"Intent ahead of movement." These quotes point out to the practitioner the
significance of the brain and the nervous system. When one uses the brain often,
this will improve the blood supply to the brain, delay aging and have additional
When the Tai Chi Chuan Classics emphasize applying the intent over physical
force, it is but to review the information that muscle contraction can inhabit
blood flow. When the blood does not flow smoothly, vessels hardness and pressure
The Tai Chi Chuan Classic puts emphasis on the concept of intent ahead of
movement, this means a practitioner should always pay more attention to the
internal over the external. When one is focusing and concentrating, all the
negative factors resulting from living in a stressful society will be forgotten.
This will prevent bad emotions from affecting the practitioner's health.
2. The Tai Chi Chuan Classic also says "Suspend the head from above" and "Sink
the chi down to the dantien." This points out the importance of posture in
breathing. These requirements also work to improve the condition of the central
nervous system, skeletal and muscle systems.
When the breathing is deep, soft and slow, it helps to stretch the diaphragm
muscle to increase the lung's capacity to take in more oxygen, massages the
internal organs and improves the blood circulation. When the head is suspended
from above, it works on the skeleton, joints and muscles to improve the vertebra
and the nervous system. When the chi sinks down to the dantien, the upper body
is more relaxed and the lower body is more balanced. One will be in a natural
and comfortable position.
3. The Tai Chi Chuan Classic also says "Pay attention to the waist in all
movements." This highlights the importance of the waist in motion. Besides the
waist's functions in mobility and coordination, regular rotation of the waist
provides gentle massage to the kidneys, the vertebra and releases qi to
circulate throughout the body.
The waist is the location of an acupuncture point called "ming men" (gate of
life) a point where qi is stored. The waist is emphasized so that the qi will be
released from this point and will begin to circulate throughout the body to
supply nutrients for the body's organs and physiological functions. When one
regularly exercises the kidneys, this will improve the kidneys' function to
filtrate the blood and absorb nutrients, a vital function for all life. The
spine is a very important axis connected to all the internal organs. When one
regularly exercises the spine, it will improve the nervous system's
communication among physiological organs and their functions.
4. The Tai Chi Chuan Classic also says "The movement should be soft, relaxed,
circular and spiral." These are the characteristics of being natural, and alive
and at the same time prevent the body from becoming too stiff. In order for the
body to work against gravity in the Solo Form's movements without difficulty
or injury, slow, relax and soft movement is the best method. The concept of
relaxed, soft, circular and spiral combine with the suspension of the head from
above to improve the condition of skeleton, joints and muscles. "The concept of
walking like a cat", demands that the practitioner slowly shift the body's
weight with control. This benefits the smaller units among the bones, muscles
and joints. This results in the bones becoming more elastic and dense; one way
to prevent osteoporosis. If there is flexibility in the joints, all movements
will be more fluid and coordinated. There is a saying that goes like this, "in
order to determine how quickly one uses his brain, all you need to do is observe
how efficient and coordinated his lower body is."
When the whole body is twisting, turning, and this is combined with the
process of contraction, and relaxation, the concepts of suspending the head from
above and the sinking of the chi down to the dantien, and also coordinated with the
up and down, left and right, open and close motions in the Tai Chi Chuan's Solo
Form, this will improve the body's organs and their physiological functions. The
circulatory, musculo-skeletal, respiratory, nervous and digestive systems will
be especially benefited.
When people age or get sick, it often happens because the physiological
functions failed. Tai Chi Chuan exercise was specifically designed to augment
these systems so that one will live longer. For its slow, relaxed and soft
movements, it is the perfect exercise for people with a sedentary job, or those
who are less mobile, coordinated or older.
Tai Chi Chuan is a complex art. It yields many potential benefits to the
practitioner. Each level of practice provides different benefits, information,
characteristics and inspirations.