Establishing a Foundation
The first priority of all Tai Chi students is to establish a baseline of health that assist them in performing throughout each day. Some students come in excellent physical health and spend more time learn to integrate their body with intention, others may come in overweight, unstable, some students are battling disease or even facing a wheelchair. We work to help everyone to find where they are and move forward.
When Tai Chi is performed with lower stances and move through purposely, or moved through swiftly, it has been shown to have similar health benefits as walking, jogging, and other activities.
Tai Chi performed in higher posters is ideal for those striving to improve balance and coordination. Studies have shown these people benefit by having less falls and accidents while performing daily activities.
Many insurance carriers have recognized the benefits of Tai Chi and provide reimbursements or coverage for people who participate regularly.
The Tai Chi -USA Today published an article on the health benefits of Tai Chi. Including the observed physical health benefits, there were several other important gains.
UCLA Study on Tai Chi demonstrates that Tai Chi exercise can develop a resistance to Shingles through regular training.
The health benefits assoiciated with the mind and the electrical activity of the mind has also been researched. People who practice tai chi report benefits such as 'developing calmness', 'less fragmented', relaxation, and many others.
Dr. John Gilbert performed studies on tai chi practitioners that demonstrated an amazing ability to manage and alter their mind in such a way, that electrical recordings were extraordinary. Some of these findings were written in the "Journal of Neurotherapy".
Beta mind waves are our 'active thinking' electical impulses. They are rapid waves that occur with the stress of dealing with everyday life. Beta waves are also associated with negative, analytical, and angry emotional mind sets.
Alpha mind waves are slower and are associated with a relaxed mind, internal and inward focus, such as when we daydream or meditate. It is during this state that we are mindful of our surroundings, yet the deeper sub-conscious mind can signal and produce visualization in our state.
Theta wave occur usually right before sleep, the nod-off period. Delta waves occur during only the deepest sleep.
Tai chi has shown the mental health benefit of increasing Alpha waves and reducing Beta waves, bringing us into harmony with ourselves and our environment. It has also been shown that physical healing can occur during this reduced chaos and that symptoms such as high blood pressure can benefit.
The health benefits of Tai Chi have also been witnessed on many occassions. We have one student who that when she first started could hardly move without fear of losing her balance and falling. Now she can stand with one foot extended in the air for 30 seconds.
Years ago, a young man who inflicted with multiple sclerosis worked started with tai chi and the standing meditation in hopes to slow the process. He would come to class shaking uncontrollably, sometimes even fall to his knees, but he would gather himself, stand and perform his meditation exercises, and we would witness the calming move through his body. I would often observe him practice and it would inspire me to stand and practice, to move further. As many of the people that were diagnosed at the same time he was, would pass away, he would come to practice. He regained much of his indepence and lived a much fulfilling life with his practice. I think of him each day I don't feel like practicing, and I get out there.
A lady came to practice to get her energy and health, as well as to move through grief. One night in a resturaunt a gunmen came in and began shooting. Her husband put her on the ground and covered her, as well as their unborn child. A bullet passed through him, then into her. He died that evening. She understandingbly was having difficulty coping with the loss, and feared for the sake of the child to come. She worked, we worked and I remember her talking about how much better she felt after get assistance. To my knowledge she had a healthy child, and regained the movements in her hip.
The Benefits of Tai Chi are studied, but mostly we see them in life. It is not a magic remedy, yet it is therapy that allows us to cultivate, acknowledge, and grow.