Anthony teaching Tai Chi at Bodhizendo Zen Centre

Health Benefits of Tai Chi

Mind

  • Good practice requires a flowing, detached, conscious, meditational state of mind.
  • This state works to free the mind from static negative mental patterns and leads to greater consciousness.
  • This is very helpful with anxiety, depression and anger patterns.
  • Generally one develops greater stillness of mind in every day life and greater mental energy.
  • It is also normal to finish a session feeling happy!

Body

  • Performance of the Tai Chi forms requires a high level of relaxation and your body takes this out into every day life with all of its benefits.
  • Yi Quan Master Xie, Handan, China
  • During practice Chi / consciousness energy circulates throughout all of the energy merideans of the body.
  • Old physical tensions and trapped energy are opened up allowing the practitioner to recover their vitality.
  • The body gets exercised without straining the heart or anything else and so Yang Tai Chi in particular is ideal for people with weak health.
  • Tai Chi gently develops strength in the legs and so is very good for rebuilding physical health and developing grounding in a persons energy.
  • Balance & Coordination in particular improve. Useful for everyone, it is of particular importance in older age for reducing falls which are a major cause of serious health issues.
  • As well as the muscles, the joints themselves relax and open with long term practice and so it is of enormous value in maintaining bodily comfort and mobility, especially with the onset of arthritis.
  • In fact it is of all round benefit to the circulatory and digestive systems strengthening the internal organs including the heart and liver and nourishing the whole body.
  • Generally Tai Chi will assist in many conditions of dis-ease because it helps the mind and body learn to be at ease together.

How to achieve the Health Benefits of Tai Chi?

Tai Chi learnt and practised in a natural way is the most beneficial for health purposes. Forcing the body or 'pushing' with physical discomfort is not beneficial in the long run, except for people who learn from a young age and have a vitality able to cope with this.

Disciple of Chen Zhao Sen, Chenjiagou

Patience is required from both the teacher and the student, to keep to a stance appropriate to the student's health and level, generally high and to let go of ambition in terms of achieving a good visual performance of the form.

Tai Chi is not a performance art, but an internal movement art and the greatest progress may be had in learning just a few movements, the beginning of the 24 say, or the first stage of Yang 85 and doing them well with genuine movement from the dantian with the whole body moving as one.

This can bring about real change and health benefits in the body beyond what most people can imagine even.

Once the mind-body is more 'sung' i.e. able to be relax very deeply with capacity to sink ones Qi, then progress on to the longer sequences can deepen the healing process, so that each performance of the form turns into a transformative process with physical changes occurring during and just after the performance, and also at night as the body integrates the work.

Performance of the forms as outer or semi-outer exercises is also beneficial and not a waste of time, but the Tai Chi tradition goes much deeper than this and the consequent health benefits can be much greater.

The natural movement of life is circular or spiral in form. It can be found in every aspect of nature, but is generally weak in human beings who have moved away from their natural heritage. Tai Chi is about the body re-learning this movement or Dao within and it is this along with years of patient practice which produces the deep rejuvenative health benefits of taichi.

From the author's experience, a meditative practise such as Vipassana with a strong body awareness focus can work well alongside the taichi. I have also combined the work with spontaneous movement work, Katsugen from Seitai and Seiki. 'Miracles' are possible, but real change still takes time and much patience.

There are many ways to respond to a health issue that one might have. In Western society we are conditioned to seek out the fast fix and though at times this might release one from symptoms in a superficial way, the underlying weakness in your body-mind will still be there and will manifest later in another form.

When one turns instead to Taichi, Meditation and other Movement forms, every aspect of who you are changes. The journey is about growth and living who you really are in fullness, not about getting rid of symptoms or conditions.

In fact if one focuses on 'getting rid of the pain', then progress is likely to be slow or non-existant. Focus instead on each moment's Tai Chi and do it well. It may not be easy, but this is how it works. The rewards for your efforts are likely to be very great.

Slowly but surely, the symptoms of discomfort will fade away, their purpose as a form of guidance from the whole of 'who you are' having been achieved, and you re-aquire your original health and vitality.

Tai Chi is about achieving a comfortable body, quiet mind and grateful, happy heart and keeping this state through to old age until life is complete.

When you work to achieve this for oneself and make progress, you are also working for the same for those around you, those you meet along your way and for the nature surrounding you, so ultimately the health benefits of Tai Chi are what life is all about...

News / Events

New: The EasternPeace Tai Chi & Qi Gong Thai Island Holiday

When: January 25th - Feb 4th 2023

Where: Koh Yao Noi, Thailand

A 10 day, 20hr sunrise & sunset introduction to Small Circle Yang Style Tai Chi in an amazing setting. Maximum 5 people.

Fee: £400

Contact Me to join the list.


New: HeartTouch Training: Mindfulness & Compassionate Touch

When: October 22nd 2022 10am to 5pm

Where: The DOJO, Kensal Green, NW10 London

What: A mindfulness & touch based training for people experiencing extreme states and those who care for them.

Why: To come to a good feeling within yourself & enhance your capacity to hold safe space for others, even if you are an experiencer (at times) of emotional pain, trauma or 'psychosis'.

Who: For Psychotherapists / Clinicians, Shiatsu / Bodywork therapists, Family Members & Experiencers of Extreme States.

Fee: £90 / £45 Concessions. £120 Family of 2

More information...


New: Sei Ki HeartTouch: Trauma-Informed Touch Training for Therapists

When: September 18th 2022 9.30am to 1.30pm

Where: Shiatsu Milano Editore, Milan

A Sei Ki HeartTouch Training morning for Shiatsu therapists and psychotherapists

Fee: Please contact the school

More information...


New: Sei Ki HeartTouch: Trauma-Informed Touch Training for Therapists

When: September 23rd-25th 2022

Where: Kientaler Hof, Switzerland

An Intensive Sei Ki HeartTouch Training. Beginners and experienced therapists welcome!

Fee: See Kientaler Hof's website

More information...


New: HeartTouch: The Therapist & Clinician's Thai Island Holiday

When: January 25th - Feb 4th 2023

Where: Koh Yao Noi, Thailand

A HeartTouch training with a focus on 'self-nourishment' exploring the embodied foundations of co-regulation and trauma-informed care essential for assisting people experiencing complex trauma.

Fee: tba

Contact Me to join the list.


One to One Tai Chi Coaching

Sessions can take several forms:

  • General Tai Chi training for Health & Well-being.
  • Tai Chi Movement Therapy to help with a specific problem such as fall prevention, stroke recovery, heart attack recovery, chronic fatigue recovery or mental health recovery.
  • Adhoc sessions to support a student attending a group based course.

We usually have a good conversation at the same time. No topics are off the table. I am not a psychologist or counsellor. I'm a human being who has had plenty of tricky experiences and come through them.

I am happy to consider sessions with anyone whatever their state of physical or mental health.

Session Fee: £50 / hour

Contact me to book a session...


Hara Conditioning Online Classes

  • Tuesdays: 7.15-8.30pm - Hara Conditioning

These classes have much to offer us to develop greater embodiment and enhanced physicality which serve us well when we need to strengthen our physical or mental health resilience.

Open to people with any physical or mental health condition.

Class Fee £15 / session. £7.50 concessions. Maximum 5 people per class.

Contact me to find out more...


Tai Chi Qi Gong Online Classes

  • Thursdays: 7.15-8.30pm - Tai Chi Qi Gong

These classes have much to offer us to develop greater embodiment and enhanced physicality which serve us well when we need to strengthen our physical or mental health resilience.

Open to people with any physical or mental health condition.

Class Fee £15 / session. £7.50 concessions. Maximum 5 people per class.

Contact me to find out more...


Tai Chi based Movement Therapy (Online)

  • Wednesdays: 4.00-5.00pm - Fall Prevention & Body Confidence

This is a very gentle class inspired by the needs of a friend with osteoperosis and other health issues associated with advancing years!

Open to people with any health condition.

Class Fee: £15 / session. £7.50 concessions. Maximum 5 people per class.

Contact me to find out more...