Originating in China as a form of self-defense, Tai Ji is an almost ballet-like series of smooth, graceful exercises that millions have practiced regularly for over 2,000 years. The very words, Tai and Ji, hint at its potential for healing. ‘Tai’ means ‘ultimate’ or ‘supreme’ and ‘Ji’ is the all-inclusive life force the envelopes the spirit of the earth and one’s soul. A regular regimen of Tai Ji can help reduce stress, build agility, and improve overall mental well being. Many have called it “yoga in motion.”
Tai Chi can help enhance one’s breathing system and gently exercise most joints and major muscle groups. Ideal for all ages, Tai Ji exercises involve the whole body and circulate internal energy. Tai Ji has more than 100 possible movements and positions. Executed properly, these movements promote strength, stamina and flexibility. In Tai Ji, a person’s arms, legs, neck and center mass all move as a single entity, stimulating the link between mind and body. Focusing the body in this way and moving fluidly free of distractions forces a person to breathe properly. It creates a calming, relaxed state that works to reduce anxieties and tensions.
Concentrating on Tai Ji’s many movement patterns exercises the memory, which is ideal for seniors as it can help them perform daily tasks more easily. The wide, gentle movements of arms and torso encourage deep breathing and allow blood to replenish vital organs and the brain with fresh oxygen, nutrients, and immune fluids.
Arthritis sufferers will notice the beneficial attributes of Tai Ji as an excellent way to stretch and exercise stiff joints. The simple, easy-to-learn movements can improve flexibility. Best of all, Tai Ji can be performed anywhere-indoors or outdoors, alone or with a group. Group Tai Ji encourages discipline and consistent practice. Older adults will be pleased to learn that Tai Ji activates youth hormones and immune cells. It helps elevate the mood and may even strengthen the heart. Practiced on a regular basis, it can also slim the waistline, sharpen reflexes, and improve balance. And yes, it can help lower blood pressure.
For more information on Tai Ji for agility, please contact Pacific College of Oriental Medicine at (800) 729-0941, or visit www.PacificCollege.edu