Tai Chi Exercises For Well-being

Tai chi (ताई ची) is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for its defense training, health benefits, and meditation. The term ‘Taiji’ is a Chinese cosmological concept for the flux of yin and yang, and ‘Quan’ means fist. So, etymologically, Taijiquan is a fist system based on the dynamic relationship between polarities. Though originally conceived as a martial art, it is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: competitive wrestling in the format of pushing hands, demonstration competitions and achieving greater longevity. Author of Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System considers tai chi healthy exercises, specifically created for the well-being of ageing people.

Tai chi Meaning (ताई ची का अर्थ)

Chinese martial art and system of calisthenics, consisting of sequences of very slow controlled movements.

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Exercises

Tai chi Overview (ताई ची का अवलोकन)

Since the earliest widespread promotion of the health benefits of tai chi by Yang Shaohou, Yang Chengfu, Wu Chien-ch‘üan, and Sun Lutang in the early 20th century, it has developed a worldwide following of people, often with little or no interest in martial training, for its benefit to personal health. Medical studies of tai-chi support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy. Besides general health benefits and stress management attributed to tai chi training, aspects of traditional Chinese medicine are taught to advanced students in some traditional schools.

Tai chi Study (ताई ची का अध्ययन)

The study of tai chi primarily involves three aspects:

Health (स्वास्थ्य)

An unhealthy or otherwise uncomfortable person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use tai chi as a martial art. Tai chi’s health training, therefore, concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the human body and mind. For those focused on Tai chi’s martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective self-defense.

Meditation (ध्यान)

The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect are seen as necessary in maintaining optimum health and in the application of the form as a soft style martial art.

Martial art (युद्ध कला)

The ability to use Tai chi as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student’s understanding of the art. It is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces, the study of yielding and sticking to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force. The use of martial art is quite challenging and requires a great deal of training.

Tai chi Health benefits (ताई ची स्वास्थ्य लाभ)

Meets the needs of different ages (विभिन्न आयु की जरूरतों को पूरा करता है)

Tai chi has soft movements, slower speeds, and not difficult to learn. The posture of high or low and the amount of exercise can be different according to individual physical fitness. It can meet the needs of different ages, physical and patent. Whether it is theoretical research or practice, it improves technical skills and maintains health. People who practice tai chi are mainly for physical exercise.

Stimulates blood circulation (रक्त परिसंचरण को उत्तेजित करता है)

As an exercise, it is suitable for people of all ages, especially those under 30 years of age. It essentially stimulates blood circulation, relaxation, and joints while promoting mental relaxation. A large number of clinical studies on specific diseases and health conditions have demonstrated the safety and health benefits of tai chi in physical and mental exercise.

Treats human ailments (मानव बीमारियों का इलाज करता है)

Tai chi has been reported as being useful in treating a number of human ailments and is supported by a number of associations, including the National Parkinson Foundation and Diabetes Australia. However, the medical evidence of effectiveness was lacking and in recent years research has been undertaken to address this. However, a 2017 systematic review found that it decreased the risk of falls in older people.

Chronic medical conditions (पुरानी चिकित्सा स्थिति)

A 2011 comprehensive overview of systematic reviews of tai chi recommended to ageing people for its various physical and psychological benefits. There was no conclusive evidence of benefit for any of the other conditions researched, including Parkinson’s diseasediabetes, cancer, and arthritis.

A 2015 systematic review found it could be performed by those with chronic medical conditions such as:

Improves the quality of life (जीवन की गुणवत्ता में सुधार करता है)

It has potential clinical benefits, including improving quality of life, mood and exercising self-efficacy. In the traditional concept, people only pay attention to the function of physical fitness, which can effectively hone people’s spirits, discover people’s psychological quality, and calm people’s psychology.

Sympathetic nervous system (सहानुभूति तंत्रिका तंत्र)

Tai chi has a soothing effect on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which is often activated when a person is under stress. Tai chi exercise, like an aerobic exercise, increases hormone and heart rate measurements associated with decreased SNS activity, which could partially explain its connection to a stronger heart and lung. It is also useful for the therapy of fibromyalgia, which combines physical and mental exercises to promote health and happiness.

Tai chi today (आज का ताई ची)

In the last twenty years or so, tai chi classes that purely emphasize health have become popular in hospitals, clinics, as well as community and senior centers. This has occurred as the baby boomers generation has aged and the art’s reputation as a low-stress training method for seniors has become better known.

As a result of this popularity, there has been some divergence between those that say they practice tai chi primarily for self-defense, those that practice it for its aesthetic appeal, and those that are more interested in its benefits to physical and mental health. 

Tai chi Training and techniques (ताई ची का प्रशिक्षण और तकनीक)

The core training involves two primary features:

  • The first being taolu (solo “forms”), a sequence of movements which emphasize a straight spine, abdominal breathing and a natural range of motion;
  • The second being different styles of tuishou (“pushing hands”) for training movement principles of the form with a partner and in a more practical manner.

Solo form (एकल रूप)

The taolu (solo “forms”) should take the students through a complete, natural range of motion over their center of gravity. The solo forms (empty-hand and weapon) are catalogs of movements that are practiced individually in pushing hands and martial application scenarios to prepare students for self-defense training. 
 
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Solo Form

Qigong versus tai chi (किगॉन्ग बनाम ताई ची)

It involves coordinated movement, breath, and awareness used for health, meditation, and martial arts training. While many scholars and practitioners consider tai chi to be a type of qigong, the two are commonly distinguished as separate but closely related practices, with qigong playing an important role in training, and with many movements performed as part of qigong practice. The focus of qigong is typically more on health or meditation than martial applications.

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Qigong Form

Partnered (भागीदारी)

Tai chi’s martial aspect relies on sensitivity to the opponent’s movements and the center of gravity dictating appropriate responses. Tai chi trains in three basic ranges: close, medium and long, and then everything in between. Pushes and open-hand strikes are more common than punches, and kicks are usually to the legs and lower torso, never higher than the hip, depending on style. 

Most aspects of a trainee’s tai chi development are meant to be covered within the partnered practice of tuishou, and so, sanshou (sparring) is not as commonly used as a method of training, but more advanced students sometimes do practice by sanshouSanshou is more common in tournaments such as wushu tournaments.

Tai chi for Seniors (वरिष्ठ के लिए ताई ची)

Limited mobility is not a problem when performing these exercises for seniors. Also, it has been found to improve medical conditions that often affect ageing adults.

Every movement of tai chi helps develop energy flow e.g. the tai chi prayer wheel is a cornerstone move that can rejuvenate and renew energy whenever stressed, anxious or tense.

Multi-ethnic group of seniors taking tai chi class | NCOA
Exercises For Seniors

Perfect exercise (सही व्यायाम)

It is associated with a low rate of injury and has a wide range of medical benefits, including:

  • Balance control
  • Improved fitness
  • Better aerobic capacity
  • Stronger muscles
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved mood
  • Less depression and anxiety
  • Better sleep quality
  • Improved immune system
  • Weight loss benefits for obese

In one study that looked at the exercise habits of more than 61,000 men in China, researchers found that it is relatively equivalent to walking and jogging for reducing mortality rates.

Improves immune system (प्रतिरक्षा प्रणाली में सुधार)

It can even help people control their type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that it lowers blood glucose levels and improves immune system response in people with this type of diabetes. Improving immunity is a great concern for older people during these days of coronavirus or covid-19, specifically affected by diabetes mellitus.

Not difficult to learn (सीखना मुश्किल नहीं)

Tai chi for seniors is not difficult to learn. You don’t need to know a special language, follow certain steps or have specific equipment. Simply wear comfortable clothing and turn on a video to learn some moves. It can be hard to develop new habits when you’re older. Try to set aside a specific time each day to practice.

Begin with 3 minutes (3 मिनट से शुरू करें)

If you can only do 5 minutes at a time, that’s fine. In fact, you should probably start with 3 minutes in that case so that you stick with the 70-percent rule. Once You don’t have to know a lot of moves to benefit. Trying to remember new postures can be challenging for a senior.

If you like to watch a video as a beginner, you may click here.

Tai chi for Youth and Children (युवा और बच्चों के लिए ताई ची)

Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression. The child is mentally free. We are the ones who place limitations on them. Treat him/ her as a champion. Train him/ her as a champion. Eventually, he/ she will be a champion.

T’ai Chi for Children offers healthy solutions to many of the challenges that children face growing up today. T’ai Chi training places great emphasis on healthy character development and ethical conduct.

  • Trains mind-body coordination
  • Teaches healthy postural habits and overall physical development
  • Cultivates self-discipline, self-control, and emotional balance
  • Develops mental concentration and the ability to focus
  • Builds self-esteem and a sense of pride to always give one’s best effort
  • Teaches mutual cooperation rather than competition with others
  • Eliminates hyperactivity
  • Encourages healthy food habits

 

Reference:

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12 thoughts on “Tai Chi Exercises For Well-being

    1. Very rightly said, Dr. Hemangi! Nowadays, it has reached all over the world. Now it is feasible for even Indians to undergo training in India. In my opinion, Tai chi is most beneficial for senior citizens.

    1. Rightly said, Gajanan! Tai chi are also motion exercises, which are quite beneficial for senior citizens. I hope, you should think of learning them for well-being.

    1. Yes, Ankita. This is the right age for you to decide a daily schedule and follow it meticulously e.g. regular exercises and a healthy diet. A good lifestyle will be of immense help during old age. Finalize your plan accordingly and start following it.

  1. The purpose of learning martial arts is to protect yourself and to take your health towards better direction. This article written by you is effective.

    1. So nice of you, Shubham! You’re very right in saying that Tai chi is for self-protection but what about old people? You will find the answer here.

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