ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: T’AI-CHI CH’UAN

Abbreviated frequently to Tai Chi, this is one group or set of movements among a vast number of exercise protocols that make up Qi Gong. Tai Chi can be practised at any age and allows the free flow of Qi through the meridians and channels, many of which are utilized by acupuncture.

Tai Chi works on the body and mind at the same time, relaxing the muscles and calming the nerves. The exercises consist of flowing movements that are performed slowly and gently, and each exercise begins and ends with standing still for a few seconds. It has been described as ‘moving meditation’. The emphasis is not on strength or exertion but on balance, grace, concentration and becoming centred. The knees are kept bent and the body’s weight slowly shifted from one foot to the other, while the hands make careful circling and pushing gestures. Attention is also paid to the breathing.

As well as helping to promote and maintain good health and well-being, Tai Chi is often recommended as a therapy for those suffering from high blood pressure, tension and anxiety and heart complaints, because of its relaxing effect on the body and mind .

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