Tai Chi Chuan practice consists of an apprenticeship by repetition of a set of coded slow and circular movements which follow one another in a fluid way. This set chain is called « The Form ». It has three parts. Practised in a group during a lesson, it can also be pratctise solo. The apprenticeship and memorisation of the Form is suitable for everyone, male or female, sports people or not, young or old.
Tai Chi develops suppleness; stability; memory; composure; relaxation; flexibility of joints; coordination; concentration and vitality.
Great Master Tung Ying Chieh says :
" Before learning Tai Chi, meridian's are blocked, ligaments are tight and short, while energy is stuck in the shoulders. Through practice, circulation will increase in the meridians and tendons will loosen and stretch. Energy will move from the shoulders to the arms, then from the arms to the wrist, to the palms and fingers..."
Extract from the Red Book of Tung Family.
The Form can be learned in 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years...
Each has its own rhythm and its path. Every step of progress is a new experience, a source of well-being and personal development.
"Tai Chi is nourishment for the body. Humans are moving beings and movement is essential to our health and well-being. Tai Chi is the perfect movement, because it is an exercise that follows the principles of nature and uses the laws of physiology".
Great Master Tung Ying Chieh
Tai chi is an easy way to be active, reduce stress
By Jane E. Brody - New York Times
The many small studies of Tai Chi have found health benefits ranging from better balance and prevention of falls to reduced blood pressure, relief of pain and improved immunity.
The latest and perhaps best-designed study was conducted among patients with debilitating fibromyalgia, a complex and poorly understood pain syndrome.
Dr. Chenchen Wang and colleagues at Tufts Medical Center in Boston reported in August in The New England Journal of Medicine that tai chi reduced pain and fatigue and improved the patients' ability to move, function physically and sleep. The benefits persisted long after the 12 weeks of tai chi sessions ended.
The study was financed primarily by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
To be sure, documenting tai chi's purported health benefits is a challenge. As an editorial in the journal noted, it is virtually impossible to design an ideal study of tai chi. There is no "fake" version that could serve as a proper control to be tested against the real thing. Thus, researchers have to rely on less-than-perfect comparison groups. In the fibromyalgia study, for example, the control group was given stretching exercises and wellness education.
And unlike evaluations of drugs, tai chi studies cannot be double-blinded such that neither patients nor researchers know which group is receiving which treatment. Those guided by a tai chi master would undoubtedly know who they are and could be influenced by the teacher's enthusiasm for the practice.
Still, scientists have come to better understand and appreciate the mind-body connection, which for too long was dismissed as nothing more than a placebo effect, and most doctors are now more willing to accept the possibility that stress-reducing activities can have a profound effect on health.
A stress reducer
There is no question that tai chi can reduce stress. As the study authors described it, tai chi "combines meditation with slow, gentle, graceful movements, as well as deep breathing and relaxation to move vital energy (called qi by the Chinese) throughout the body." If nothing else, this kind of relaxing activity can lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve cardiovascular fitness and enhance mood. For example, a review in 2008 found that tai chi lowered blood pressure in 22 of 26 published studies.
Thus, it can be a useful aid in treating heart disease, high blood pressure and depression, conditions common among older people who may be unable to benefit from more physically demanding exercise.