Tai Chi is a very effective health maintenance system and internal martial art from China, with its roots going back thousands of years. It emphasizes adding meditation and breathing techniques to postures and calisthenic movements, which most western exercises lack. When these tools are added, the benefits of exercise can significantly increase.
Based on the balance of opposites, Tai Chi is a movement art that is a kinesthetic translation of the principles known as yin and yang. It was initially devised as a martial art. Still, in modern times the energetic components have been distilled, and it’s primarily used as a movement therapy to reinvigorate and rejuvenate the body’s energy system. “Chi” is the life force or vital energy that flows through all things in the universe.
Practicing Tai Chi enables individuals to “recharge their battery” and helps them recover their energy from the demands of life and work.
The gentle, rhythmic movements of Tai Chi reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, and digestive functions and other benefits. Those who maintain a consistent practice find that it helps one regain youthful vitality, maintain health even into old age, and help speed recovery from illness.
Tai Chi combines the study of force, energy, and motion with the theories of the traditional Chinese Medical Theory, which holds that there are internal energy channels within the body in which energy flows. This systematic method for moving internal energy is in accord with the principles of Chinese Medical Theory. It is seldom seen in other styles of martial arts, sports, or athletic activities. It uses a spiraling method for moving internal energy, using a small amount of force to overcome a large amount of force and a weak force to overcome a strong force.