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/ by Tommy Kirchhoff /

The Yin and Yang of Tai Chi

Tai Chi Medicine

In the western world Tai Chi is a set of relaxing exercises that arise from Traditional Chinese Medicine (herbs, acupuncture, Tai Chi).

In the last 10 years many highly credible clinical-research studies have demonstrated that Tai Chi offers profound medical benefits across a broad range of health issues like chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, cardiopulmonary diseases, viruses such as shingles, and a significant reduction in the risk of falling of older adults. The benefits are far more extensive yet. 

Tai Chi and Taoism

Taoism is not a religion in the western world. It has no gods or goddesses, temples of worship, or ritual gatherings.

Taoism in the west primarily denotes the intellectual foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). If you read about Taoism you will find the word “religion” but virtually no evidence to support the categorization.

The ancient Taoists studied the medical benefits (and detriments) of every plant in the world for thousands of years; when you read about Taoist alchemy, it refers to TCM and the careful selection and preparation of herbal remedies. These ancient Taoists also developed unparalleled techniques for improving one’s health through special coordinated movements and breathing.

Tai Chi Yin and Yang

Most people have way too much Yang in their lives. When you exert yourself, employing strength and effort, that is Yang. When you eat a potato, it turns into sugar, which turns into acid, that is Yang. When you worry and stress, your blood pressure goes up and your body releases corticosteroids to help with the trauma, that is Yang.

Too much Yang makes you sick and shortens your lifespan. So if people need Yin to create balance, what is Yin. When you hug your child and feel something special, that is Yin. When you relax deeply and breathe, that is Yin. When you eat a fresh cucumber and it forms alkalines, that is Yin.

Because people’s lives are so full of Yang, Tai Chi offers an abundance of Yin. Tai Chi is is slow, relaxed, physically stable (many times on one leg), smooth, continuous, deep breathing, and nurturing. These attributes are to balance the overwhelming Yang of most lifestyles.

Tai Chi is also Yang but it presents a different flavor of Yang, something healthier than lifestyle Yang. When you stand on your right leg it becomes Yang. The left leg becomes empty and Yin, which allows you to step without effort and move about freely.

Tai Chi and Older Adults

Older adults do not have the vigor, flexibility or rambunctiousness of younger people. Older adults and seniors need very gentle exercise so as not to take any risk; they can get hurt pretty easily while trying to exercise.

Tai Chi offers the most gentle, relaxing and beneficial exercise for older adults. Tai Chi is the Yin medicine their bodies crave; and the movements are highly developed, organized and simple.

Our Sitting Tai Chi DVD is an ideal choice for seniors and older adults.

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