Define TaiChi

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Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese system, translated as the ‘Supreme Ultimate Force’. It is basically a physical exercise of slowly flowing movements that focuses the mind, while conditioning the body. It is said about it that one who practices Tai Chi for 20 minutes a day dissipates stress and reduces stress-related debilities, increases stamina, and strengthens the body and will.

Western sciences are also recognizing its health benefits. Number of Tai Chi classes and program has been set up in almost all-important cities of United States. To locate a class in your community, just contact your local senior center, YMCA or YWCA, health club or wellness center. In this program, you perform a defined series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner. Each movement or posture flows into the next without pausing. That is why it is also sometimes called as ‘meditation in motion’.

If a person is trying to improve his general health, he may find Tai Chi very helpful. It is generally safe for people of all ages and levels of fitness. This program is most likely to suit older peoples as compared to yoga or other physical exercises as the movements involved in this program are low impact and put minimal stress on your muscles and joints.

Tai chi is beneficial to both physical and mental health irrespective of your age. Below are some of its benefits:

* It reduces stress and gives you a peaceful mind

* It increases flexibility and improves muscle strength and definition

* It also increases energy, stamina and agility

* It increases the feelings of well-being

* It helps in reducing anxiety and depression

* It also helps in maintaining balance and coordination

* It improves sleep quality

* It slows down the bone loss in women following menopause

* It also helps in reducing high blood pressure

* It improves cardiovascular fitness

* It relieves from chronic muscular pain

* It also improves the working of internal organs

* It helps in better breathing

* It results in more strength and stamina

* It also improves the ability to deal with difficult situations

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

Copyright © Nick Mutt, All Rights Reserved. Nick Mutt is an active writer on alternative health and has published many ebooks on natural health. If you want to use this article on your website or in your ezine, make all the urls (links) active.

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Yoga, Tai Chi, And The State of Zen

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Nowadays, people are so conscious about their health and body figure. Many people regularly visit the gym for weight training, cardiovascular exercise, or to simply have friends who share their passion for fitness. Many fitness gyms offer the latest in weight and cardio-machines. Others specialize in special fitness programs or routines like Pilates, Tae-Bo, Belly Dancing, Hip-Hop Exercises, and even Pole Dancing.

But lately, Yoga and Tai Chi classes have been gaining popularity especially among women and above-40 fitness buffs. These Indian and Chinese methods of meditation and exercise are popular due to the health benefits experienced by those practice them. Many health buffs claim that they now enjoy a stress and anxiety-free lifestyle because of theirTai Chi and Yoga lessons.

Studies show that these kinds of exercise do have beneficial effects on the mind and body. These religious-philosophical movements gave emphasis to the state of Zen. According to Buddhism, the term “zen” refers to the attainment of a stage of “awakening.” This belief was introduced in China by a Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma in A.D. 520. According to studies, people who cling to the teachings of Zen endeavor to achieve “satori” which is also called “nirvana”. “Satori” in general can only be reached through a meditation called “zazen” which, in turn, leads to a state of mushin or “no mind”. Mushin is the ability to see things more clearly mentally. It means that one's judgment will not be blurred with negative thoughts. Although this belief originated from the south, many Western students and practitioners ofYoga and Tai-Chi are satisfied with the health and vitality it brings.

Yoga benefits

Practicing yoga increases flexibility because stretching exercises the different tendons, ligaments, and joints of the body. Studies also say thatyoga is probably the only form of activity that massages all the internal organs and glands in the body. These may include the prostate, which according to medical specialists hardly receives stimulation. This massage or stimulation may keep certain individuals from diseases and other forms of illness.Yoga ensures the best supply of blood to the body. This helps detoxify the body of toxins and, in the process, delays aging and renewed energy. Muscles are also toned because of repeated stimulation throughyoga.

Tai Chi benefits

Medical researchers and Tai Chi practitioners claim that immediate benefits occur from day one of practice. These may include a more relaxed and clearer mind. Clinical studies in the US show that improved balance and peace of mind took place after only eight weeks of training. These benefits were immediately evident after performing very simple set of movements taken from differentTai Chi styles. Other benefits of this “soft” martial arts include improved internal organ functions, improved breathing, and better sleep. Additional reports show that people who practiceTai Chi enjoyed improved strength and reduced stress, aside from gaining the ability to better deal with anxiety attacks.

However, people with a history of heart disease, back injuries, and those who have undergone recent surgery should consult a physician before starting aYoga or Tai Chi routine. In general, Tai Chi and Yoga are very effective routines to bring back health and a sense of peace of mind to a devoted practioner. Done properly, these ancient arts of exercise and meditation can help provide anxiety relief and alleviate other forms of stress.

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Tai Chi Kung Fu - Some Authentic Facts

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Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art which has a "legendary" history because some sources claim it goes back as far as 5000 years.

Tai chi chuan means Supreme Ultimate Fist or at a stretch, Grand Ultimate Boxing. Tai chi comprises of forms which consist of a number of postures which flow into one another.

When performed fast, tai chi looks just like a kung fu form or even resembles a "karate kata"

The kmain styles of tai chi are Chen, Wu, Yang Sun and Lee. There seems to be variable dispute between different authors and soruces as to which came first out of Wu, Chen and Lee.

Yang style tai chi is probably the most popular style and came from Chen style. Grandmaster Lu Chan Yang establishjed the old yng style which was altered and became the New Yang style by his grandson Yang Cheng Fu.

The yang family style of Tai chi chuan consists of 115 postures, some of which are repeated. The core postures can be learned by firstyl learning the Beijing 24 style which is not a porper tai hi form but came into existence in the last century.

The Chen style consists of slow and fast movements combined again it has an old and new form.

Other styles can be researched on the internet.

In tai chi there are important things one must do to get the most benefit and improve your tai chi. One is to relax the body. this does not mean "let go" as i the Western sense of relax. More it means relax the jpints and lossen the shoulders, especially relax the waist area - this efers to the internal aspects of the waist area which is the muscles which should control the movements in tai chi.

The second important thing is to "clear the mind" clear the mind of all extraeneous thoughts and motion so that it is clean and pure. This will put you in the meditative concentrating state for tai chi practice.

Practice every day and your tai chi and your health will improve, under the guidance of good instruction.

I think it is important that if you are thinking about tai chi to commit to learning it for the rest of your life, no matter what. This is required because tai chi takes more than one lifetime to master, so you will always have something to get better at.

My website has some good resources for instruction if you take the time to explore it and the recommended resources. Click HereThe new tai chi website I created is founding by clicking here:
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Online Kung-Fu School Teaches Tai Chi and other Internal Martial Arts

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No matter where you live, you can now study kung-fu online. Ken Gullette, a tournament champion who has studied martial arts for 35 years, has launched a video-intensive online school to teach Chen Tai Chi, Hsing-I Chuan, and Baguazhang—the three Chinese internal arts. The school is located at

“These are powerful martial arts for self-defense,”
said Gullette. “People think of tai chi as a slow-motion exercise for the elderly. That’s because tai chi is misunderstood and most teachers don’t truly understand it. In the video lessons on my virtual school, I unlock the secrets of tai chi and other arts toshow how to develop internal power.”

The online school has many hours of video instruction. Each lesson lasts between three and 15 minutes. For a monthly fee, members can study any or all of the three internal arts. Members join for a variety of reasons:
• Members can pursue certification in one or all of the arts,
• They may just study for personal information,
• They may study to back up what they’re learning from another instructor,
• Members may achieve rank through the website in a curriculum that takes them from white sash to black sash.

Members have joined the virtual kung-fu school from the U.S., Japan, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and other nations. Promotions are done through video coaching. Students send Gullette videos or put them up privately on the Internet. He reviews the video and replies with his own video coaching session, created just for the student. In this way, students can receive high-quality personal instruction.

“As long as you have a computer and Internet access, you can study high-quality Chinese internal martial arts anytime, anywhere,” Gullette says. The virtual school teaches fighting techniques for all three arts, plus the broadsword, straight sword, staff, spear, elk horn knives, and single and double sticks. Students are provided with all the instruction they would expect at any high-quality kung fu school, including hand strikes, kicks, blocks, and an emphasis on joint locks and takedown techniques.

Gullette admits there is so much information, video lessons and downloadable e-books, that students may be tempted to dabble in all three arts rather than putting themselves on a real learning path. He urges students to begin with a section on the site titled “Internal Strength.”

“Too many people believe the power of these arts comes from something mystical,” said Gullette. “They focus on this invisible energy called ‘chi’ and they miss, or aren’t told, about the physical skills they need. This site is dedicated to pulling back the curtain and showing principles for the physical skills that are required by these arts--skills that most Chinese kung-fu masters wouldn’t teach you for many years.”

Gullette has learned from some of the world’s best tai chi masters, including members of the family that created tai chi, including Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang and his brother, Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing, both direct descendants of the creator of tai chi, Chen Wangting. He has also learned from students and “disciples”
of the Chen family (a disciple is a kung-fu student who is “adopted” by a master and studies only from him).

“These people look like ordinary men, but they’re like Olympic athletes—extremely skilled at tai chi,” Gullette said. “They can break an attacker in half before you know what’s happening.”

The gratifying part of the online school is the feedback he’s getting from members. “They can’t believe all the information, and they’re very grateful someone is putting it online.”

# # #

Ken Gullette is a martial artist with 35 years of experience. He studies and teaches the internal Chinese martial arts--Chen Tai Chi, Hsing-I Chuan, and Baguazhang. He produces instructional DVDs that have won praise from martial artists around the world.

Why Proper Clothing Is So Important In Tai Chi

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Tai Chi requires fundamental meditation skills to execute properly. There are a variety of important aspects to your martial arts and exercise workout. Issues to consider in your session include:

Proper exercise clothing

Some of the experts argue that wearing proper clothing during the exercise session is every bit as essential as the mental preparation before actual session itself. They rationalize that:

Spiritual energy Qi flows from every pore in the body
Tight and inhibitive clothing can severely diminish the flows of energy in your body. This is especially important to those who are starting to learn the skills of the ancient art. Starters tend to have more difficulty in detecting and managing Qi.

This artistic martial art is a moving meditation, tough heavy clothing like jeans and jackets are, so rigid and not as flexible, that it will hinder body movement and encumber the practitioner.
Tight or heavy clothing tends to be uncomfortable, especially in the middle of a meditation.

Properties of the right exercise clothing

The proper clothing is soft, light, and supple. For best results the clothes should be:

Soft as not to distract the practitioner
Light as not to inhibit movement
Supple enough to accommodate the postures
Made of cotton, linen, or silk

Linen pants are a favorite choice since linen is thermo-regulating, strong, durable and more resistant to wear and abrasion. Traditional Chinese martial arts masters uses silk since, silk was plentiful in china. Cotton is also an alternative if silk and linen are not easily available. Cotton is cool and is also less expensive.

Colors and Uniforms

The most common color of Tai Chi clothing is black and white, but there are no restrictions to the color of clothing that you wear. If attending a specific school there may be a specific color that is required by students.

There are many other schools that do not require specially designed uniforms. Instead, they use a printed T-shirt as the school uniform. Usually, the shirt is white and the school's logo or Tai Chi symbols are printed on it. Trousers are the student's responsibility.

The right clothing does not define the skill in the art. Any person interested in the art of Tai Chi can try it. It is a really a state of mind and does not require specific clothing. You can practice the meditation in the middle of Sahara wearing only a swimsuit if you wanted to.

The proper exercise clothing only serves to make you comfortable while practicing your art, so getting uncomfortable clothes defeats the purpose. Tai Chi is suppose to help you balance your mind and body so whatever cloths you decide to wear they should not distract you from your meditation experience.

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Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about clothes and accessories at

The Importance of Alternative Health Tours

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The alternative health tours will give you the information on some excellent health clinics. These alternative health tours play important role because most of the people get a hope through the most effective alternative treatments, which are provided by these tours. These effective alternative tours are made for those people who are infected with lots of illnesses such as cancer and Immune Deficiency. From all these feature of alternative health tours, we come to know the importance of it.

You can get some finest cancer retreat program with the help of it. This program is made people from all over the world. This program will help them to cure cancer through treatment and therefore they are now finding ways to rekindle their spirit and can live their life having passion, meaningful, and joyful. Alternative health medicine plan generates medical approaches, therapies, and philosophies in general. You can share information related to the practical use of alternative therapies in order to cure and treat diseases and promoting health with the help of alternative health in medicine therapy.

You can get different medical herbs and herbal remedies. You can have some herbal remedies like Ginseng is a excellent herb and which is useful to give many herbal health advantage. There is use of Jewelweed in most of the herbal remedies. Alternative health and herbs remedies are included in alternative health herb medicine. Alternative health remedies do not give you any side effects. The reason behind this is the herbal tinctures used in alternative health remedies which wok effectively. The most famous herbal remedy is Truman's fiber, which includes psyllium, acidophilus and green food.

There are different therapies, which are included in alternative health in medicine therapy such as acupuncture, Anthroposophy, Ayurveda, massage, biofeedback naturopathy, and environmental medicine.

You can use some alternative therapy treatments for different kinds of health problems. The alternative therapy treatments you can use like meditation to face with the pressures of every day life. The other one is yoga, which can give you many advantages. Most of the people are using Tai Chi, which is a very famous form of alternative therapy. Tai chi helps people to reduce their stress levels.

You can have alternative medicine whose branch is quite broad and includes herbal medicine and the use of natural devices, which enlightens healthy living. The example of natural device, which is used, for alternative medicine is the salt lamp. These lamps give healthy living. Through cleansing properties, alternative health medicine gives concentration and focus in order to get excellent comprehension and alertness.

Alternative health medicine is considered as a controversial branch of medicine and still it is practiced by many people through their traditions and practices. Alternative health medicine is a good choice of natural health practices to have good health. - The Importance of Alternative Health Tours

About the Author

Are you interested in improving the health of your heart? If so, check out Michael Dixon's new advanced magnesium super mineral product pMg. Simply click on and learn more about this patented product.

The Four Secret African Martial Arts

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Martial arts in Africa? Yes, Africa, not Asia. It may seem unbelievable to some, but did you know that many African martial arts systems are actually over 50,000 years old? And today the applications are just as used and respected on the continent as they were when they first originated.

The Styles of African Martial Arts

There are four basic styles of martial arts that are practiced in Africa. They are:
* Hapkido
* Judo
* Ju-Jitsu
* Tai-Chi

Hapkido is a style of martial art that is characterized primarily by kicking without retraction. Hapkido is composed of three primary skills:
* Circular motion to countering and attacking
* Nonresistance when meeting force
* The water principle.

Hapkido emphasizes body and mind coordination. The techniques used here are applied by combining physics, geometry, psychology and physiology. Kicks are most important to learn and are used as defense against opposing kicks as hand techniques are used to defend opposing hand strikes.

The Second African Martial Art: Judo

Judo, also known as the gentle martial art form, is one of the most well recognized African martial arts. It is not used to promote violence, but rather to be able to overcome the attacker and defend either oneself or another.

Judo is a modern type of combat martial art sport in which the most prominent feature is its competitive element. In a Judo sparring match the basic object is to either throw the opponent to the ground or immobilize the opponent.

Ju-Jitsu: The Third Aftrican Martial Art

Ju-Jitsu is a martial art form that specializes in close encounter techniques including:
* Joint locks
* Chokes
* Throws and grappling

Ju-Jitsu students typically learn traditional Ju-Jitsu primarily by observation and imitation as patterned by the prearranged forms. The movements of Ju-Jitsu tend to emphasize circularity and as well capitalize on an opponent's momentum and openings.

Ju-Jitsu is known as a controversial martial art sport because there are some very dangerous techniques, such as throwing an opponent from a standing position while having an arm in a joint lock. This can result in the opponent sustaining serious injuries.

Tai-Chi: The Fourth African Martial Art

Finally there is Tai-Chi, which is another incredibly popular style within the African martial arts. Tai-Chi is practiced with the aim of promoting health and longevity, with its primary focus on breathing, meditation, and defending oneself with out the use of violent force.

As you can see, martial arts have been popular in Africa for centuries. African martial arts are great for anyone to learn as a competitive sport to improve their fitness, health, and mental well-being.
Author Resource:- Self-defense classes are great for kids and your fitness, but as Madison Greene knows first hand, those techniques are no match for a viscous street criminal who is intent on robbing, raping, or murdering you. If you would like to be introduced to techniques that are easy to learn and can actually protect you in the real world visit:
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The Tao of Da Vinci Code-Can Eastern Philosophy Contribute to the Da Vinci Code Controversy?

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What good is such practice? Some might ask in our busy yang energy go-get-em world. Creativity and inspiration come from the unseen, the yin, the receptive, the intuitive. Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important that knowledge." Einstein didn't devalue the masculine or yang consciousness, for he also defined success as "10% inspiration and 90% perspiration." However, he did exalt the yin, feminine, intuitive consciousness as the MOST important. For without that all important "spark" of awareness or inspiration which can only come from quiet contemplative thought, the 90% perspiration would be as purposeful as a "busy" hamster running around its endless wheel that leads nowhere. Just as many of the world's actions today are resulting in environmental and political messes that could easily be avoided, if preceded by deep "contemplation" before action occurs. Too often our endless business (busy-ness) is not purposeful at all as far as solving our global problems, but to the unaware observer the decision makers look "very important" and "very busy."

Mind/body sciences like yoga, and tai chi, and qigong (energy exercise), are designed to allow the flow of life energy to permeate the mind and body, and to create a "receptive/open state of mind in the practitioner," a passive alpha state of awareness. Qi, life energy in Traditional Chinese Medical science, is a subtle unseen power that emerges from the very fabric of the subatomic field that makes up all matter, and permeates all things including human beings. Acupuncture, and Chinese herbal medicine, as well as physical exercises like Tai Chi & Qigong are designed to open the flow of life energy through the mind and body. Yoga and Ayurvedic practices are designed to do this as well.

In this field of life energy all things are connected, and therefore insights from this pure consciousness can be powerfully complex solutions that seem simple and elegant and obvious, once they come to mind. Yet offer more comprehensive communally beneficial solutions to challenges facing the practitioner cultivating this "field" awareness in themselves through these ancient practices. Tai Chi may help cultivate such intuitive, receptive states of mind if taught to that end. Tai Chi, incorporated with gentle deep breathing, and physical loosening, and mental images of constantly "letting go" of everything enables this unseen force of the universe to flow through us, emanating from every cell and atom of our being, and expanding effortlessly from each airy fold of the tissues of our mind. We can allow every atom of our being to glow with and be permeated by this energy of life as we move through the flowing motions of Tai Chi "without purpose," "without analysis," "without grades, or self judgments." But rather, only for the sheer pleasure of being, while experiencing the thousands of wonderful sensations tingling and percolating through the body. Tai Chi becomes an effortless "self massage" that flows through the yielding heart, mind, and body. This state is not "directed" by the mind, but allows the mind to let go and be massaged by the pleasant sensations flowing through it, holding on to nothing, not analyzing or even naming the sensations caressing, washing the mind as they flow through receptive awareness.

Today's current knee jerk reactions which get us individually into such trouble on crowded freeways, or in global trouble as a nation in an increasingly crowded world, have been cultivated over centuries of under-developing our feminine or yin consciousness. Our television pundits automatically react and narrow dialogue without even being conscious of it. In a three month period leading up to the Iraq war, Fair Media did a study of major news networks coverage of the impending conflict. They found a disturbing reality, that over 90% of the talking head guests on their news shows were already assuming there was a war to be fought, and discussing war strategy. Only less than 5% of the talking heads were opposed to, or even skeptical, about the idea of going to war. This hard charging into action, rather than "contemplating", is an example of the result of centuries of male energy being accepted and extolled, and yin or feminine energy being dismissed and considered "indecisive" and "weak minded."

The pool of "receptive" sensation that Tai Chi or other ancient transcendental technologies can bathe us in again and again, day after day, enables the subtle possibilities and gentle power of the yin and feminine to permeate our being and consciousness, and through that, affect our actions in the world. It can change the way we function, so that rather than charging into personal, or social, or national decisions, we instinctively "contemplate" and "intuit" all the possible outcomes of that action "BEFORE" taking that action. This could keep us out of costly wars, and reduce futile quests to find where on earth to dump thousands of tons of highly toxic nuclear waste that will be poisonous for tens of thousands of years. It may open us up to more subtle "yielding" approaches to international relations, that can get us the desired results through the subtle dance of negotiation which entails "listening" before "acting," which is a very yin or feminine quality. It may draw us more to "passive" energy solutions like "solar" or "wind" that could easily solve all our energy needs, and we would never need to fight anyone anywhere over the sun or the wind, which is available to all equally.

Transcendental mind/body technologies like Tai Chi, Yoga, transcendental meditation, Chi Kung, etc. can today be made available to billions of people worldwide at a time when the world desperately needs to learn to find a balance in the deepest part of our being, a balance that extols the subtle and quiet power of the feminine or yin aspect of who we are individually and as communities and nations. Tai Chi and Yoga, for example, are now taught in virtually every nation in the world, and can perhaps now contribute to solving humanity's hunger for balance between the "male" and "female," between the "yin" and the "yang."

Generations may look back and see that Tai Chi & Yoga teachers of today played a pivotal role in human history. Or perhaps the changes they are making in the world are so subtle and gentle, that they will never be recognized but nevertheless . . . will ease the world into its next wave of evolution enabling it to survive the weight of six billion plus inhabitants, without creating chaos through rash actions.

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Bill Douglas is the founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, and author of the best selling tai chi book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong" (Penguin Putnam), and presenter in the world acclaimed DVD instructional "Anthology of T'ai Chi & Qigong: The Prescription for the Future." Contact Bill, or learn more about World Tai Chi Day at

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All About Physical Therapists

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Physical therapy is a broad sphere of medical practice that encompasses many needs and scenarios. Simply put, a physical therapist provides the service to the patient of helping him or her achieve, maintain, or restore maximum movement and functional ability. The patient and why they need physical therapy can be as vast as medicine itself. The old and infirm need assistance in maintaining movement. The injured need therapy to recover movement. Those born with a physical or neurological handicap need therapy to develop movement.

Just some of the conditions which a physical therapist may help with include: back and neck pain, spinal and joint conditions such as arthritis, biomechanical problems and muscular control, problems affecting children such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida, heart and lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia, sport-related injuries, stress incontinence, and neurological conditions such as stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Physical therapists usually specialize in a specific field. Just like a doctor, a physical therapist is a certified expert - in the United States requiring four years of college with an eye towards the specialty. Not many people realize this, because to watch a physical therapist work, you might at frst mistake them for a coach or a counselor.

In fact, coaching and counseling are a great deal of what physical therapy is all about. Physical therapists work in a very active role with the patient, guiding them through exercises designed to help build the patient's mobility. They may be working on the track or the gym with a sports injury case, in a hospital coaxing a stroke survivor to take their first few steps with a walker, or in a swimming pool using the water's buoyancy to help a recovering accident victim with a fractured pelvis to learn to walk again.

Physical therapy as a recognized profession goes all the way back to ancient China, though in that point in history it was more like a massage business. Physical therapists came into their first mass use in World War two, when soldiers coming home with spinal injuries provided new challenges to the profession. Orthopedic hospitals and chest clinics for veterans soon sprang up, with physical therapists running the show.

In many countries, the profession of physical therapy has grown to become the largest allied health profession, in third place only behind medicine and nursing in the number of graduating health care students.

Working with disabled children
Children are born with a mobility problem for many reasons. For just one example, there's cerebral palsy. A baby born with cerebral palsy has a very good chance of being able to partially recover by the time of adulthood. This is due to the brain's ability to patch itself by growing new neurons. But in order for those neurons to form in the first place, the child must have stimulus.

They say that riding a bike is something that once you learn how, you never forget. This actually applies to all mobile activities. Anything from crawling to surfing is a learned set of muscular co-ordination reflexes, and to develop them, we have to practice. Once the brain has learned how to guide the body through a set of motions, new pathways of neurons are formed in the brain to record the learned behavior. The act of learning an activity is actually one of providing physical stimulation to the body, which in turn is used by the brain as raw material to build a learned behavior from.

A physical therapist working with a disabled child who cannot crawl, for instance, may start by placing the child on his belly on a soft inflated ball. With just the feet and hands touching the floor and without the necessity to support the bodies entire weight on the limbs yet, the child can move themselves around on the ball by pushing against the floor with their hands and feet. Later the ball might be replaced with a padded board on wheels. Just like training wheels on a bike, the motion is practiced in gradual steps until the child can both develop the muscle tone and learn the gross motor skills necessary to carry out the task.

Water walking
Similarly, an older patient with a mobility problem due to a recent injury or stroke might need to teach their body how to walk again. By suspending their body in a shallow pool with a floatation vest on, they can walk around on the surface of the pool bottom and their body's weight is mostly carried by the water. In this way the legs and feet can rebuild muscle tone and the brain can learn to remap those neurons that may have been damaged or forgotten.

Tai Chi and Pilates
Tai Chi, a "soft" Chinese martial art, has made some popular gains in senior patrons of physical therapists. The gentle, graceful movements and slow pacing are a deliberate effort to force the body and mind to focus on it's mobility. As opposed to the "training wheels" model, this is more of a "slow and steady" model, but even those the Tai Chi class may look like slow-motion aerobics, the benefits are staggering.

Researchers have found that long-term Tai Chi practice had favorable effects on the skills of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and helped reduce the risk of falls in elders. The studies also reported reduced pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects who took Tai Chi. Other studies have indicated improved cardiovascular and respiratory function in healthy subjects along with those who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery.

Pilates is an exercise regimen with very different roots in Europe and America instead of the Far East, but with similar goals in mind. The inventor of this exercise named it "Contrology", which refers to the way the method encourages the use of the mind to control the muscles. It is an exercise program that focuses on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and are essential to providing support for the delicate muscles of the spine. In particular, Pilates teaches an awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, and strengthens the deep torso muscles which are important to help alleviate and prevent back pain.

There's more to physical therapy than meets the mind. Indeed, the benefit is mostly applied in the mind, although physical therapists speak almost as if the body had a mind of it's own, which the brain merely oversees. In a way, a physical therapist can be seen as a "brain programmer" - or re-programmer! No matter what your course of medical treatment in life, you're almost bound to require the services of a physical therapist at one point or another in your life.
Author Resource:- Freelance writer for over eleven years.

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What are Tai chi swords and how to select the best Tai Chi Swords

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The ancient Chinese schools of Tai Chi and Qigong teach the students the benefits of Chinese martial arts. According to many, Tai Chi is often regarded as a ‘moving meditation’. In theory and practice, Tai Chi has evolved considerably over the past few years. It now encompasses the essence of Chinese medicine which takes into consideration the mind, spirit and the body as a single entity. It is more known to the world for its overall health benefits. A lot of benefits can be derived from its practice including higher state of energy, positive lifestyle choices and so on. If practiced regularly, Tai Chi can induce tranquility and relaxation in both mind and body.

The ancient Chinese martial arts weapons used for self defense and other related purposes included Knives, Bows and Arrows, Swords, Sickles and Shields and so on. These weapons were widely used to practice the most traditional art forms in ancient China. These art forms of ancient China also referred to as “Martial arts” are of different types. Over a period of time, few of these types of martial arts have evolved into different art forms. Contemporary wushu or modern wushu is one such sport that has been derived from ancient martial arts. This sport is however a recent version introduced in China to popularize the traditional martial arts. Another term that is commonly used with martial arts is Kung fu. According to Chinese, both Kung fu and Wushu have different meanings. The former arts form refers to an individual accomplishment or skill that is cultivated through intense practice and dedication over a period of time.

You cannot deal with ancient Chinese art forms without mentioning about Chinese swords. While there are different types of them, Tai chi swords have significance of their own and stand out from the rest on many counts. These swords have to be carefully dealt with and should be practiced with only after intensive training in Tai Chi. Only then the body will feel comfortable in handling them. While practicing with tai chi swords one should focus on the movement of the body. The mind should be as calm as a lotus pond. Meanwhile, the body should float gently like a boat. Like many other swords in its category, tai chi swords are available in different varieties like wooden tai chi swords, collapsible tai chi swords, Hsu series tai chi swords and so on. It’s hard to find these types of swords these days. There are many cheap imitations of these swords in the market. You can consider few tips given below to select the best ones out of a lot.

A genuine tai chi sword is very sharp at its edge and its double-edged blade can extend anywhere between 28 inches to 30 inches in length. It will have a width in the range of 1 inch to 2 inches. Its handle will be of 9 inches in length. A tai chi sword can be custom made for the user. The sword of its kind will have a hole at the end of hilt to enable attachment of sword knot or a tassel. The weight of these swords will be between 1.5 to 2 pounds. The handle provided at the top of guard provides enough space to enable proper grip for the fingers. The sword uses high quality of wood that matches with the ones used in home furniture. It is advisable to buy these types of swords from your local dealer. But make sure you check all these features before buying them. For the best quality Tai Chi swords visit, - What are Tai chi swords and how to select the best Tai Chi Swords

About the Author

chinese swords is author of this article on wushu. Find more information about martial arts weapons here.

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How To Benefit To Your Health With Tai Chi

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There are many fitness regimes that incorporate breathing techniques, yoga being one of them. However, while other exercise programs, especially those which involve high impact and strenuous workouts depend on the fitness level of the individual Tai Chi is generally suitable for persons of all fitness levels. Of course the speed and intensity of its routines can be adjusted for fitness levels so as to maximize the benefit to each individual.

Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Chi for short is best known these days for its health benefits but its origin is as a form of martial art. This may be hard to reconcile with the gentle routines and dance like movements followed by its practitioners. It is an "Internal Martial art" - one that concentrates on building inner strength as opposed to demonstration of external brute force.

It operates on 4 levels - Physical, intellectual, spiritual and as a form of combat.

As a physical exercise the movements or forms involve a surprisingly large range of joint rotations and therefore promote flexibility and help improve metabolism, circulation and cardiovascular health.

On an intellectual level it involves relaxation and focus - awareness of your body, its posture, balance and co-ordination. It works on principles of qi (pronounced as chee). Qi assumes the existence of channels of bio energy - it is a life force that governs our being. This is by no means a concept unique to Tai Chi and is equivalent to the Yoga concept of "Prana".

Proponents of it believe that this life energy is transported throughout the body through 12 main meridians and 8 secondary meridians. As long as qi continues to flow uninterrupted through these invisible channels (meridians) the body remains strong and healthy. However, when passage of the qi is blocked by bad posture, inactivity, injury or other factors that's when problems set in.

You can see that there's practical value in learning more about tai chi. Can you think of ways to apply what's been covered so far?

Breathing techniques are an integral part of this process of distributing qi. Every movement involves collecting storing and distributing energy. Inhaling stores energy while exhaling delivers energy. Breathing is matched with appropriate movements. For instance when hands move apart in an opening movement or you step forward this is accompanied by inhalation and storing of energy while punching or when hands come together this coincides with exhalation and distribution of energy.

It teaches its students to breathe abdominally - to let the breath or qi sink to the "Tan Tien" i.e. the area below the navel. This gives the body a sense of strength and stability.

The spiritual aspect of it is also closely tied in with breathing techniques. A proficient practitioner of Tai Chi will no longer have to consciously control his breathing and match it with the movements of his body. Appropriate breathing will after some practice become second nature -a spiritual experience of communing with nature.

Hard as it may be to imagine, Tai Chi movements were intended as a means of combat and the movements or forms as they are called are geared to dislocate joints and cause internal bleeding in opponents. If Tai Chi were used as a dance routine then the benefits derived from it would be limited. To derive the maximum benefit from Tai Chi it should be approached as a martial art. Thereby deriving the attendant benefits of internal toughness and strength.

Although it is believed it was first practiced in China in the 1820's recent studies have shown that significant health benefits can still be derived from it. These include better balance and co-ordination (Of special importance to elderly people as this reduces falls and associated injuries), lowering of blood pressure and stress levels, strengthening of muscles and joints and improved cardiovascular health.

Given these benefits and its adaptability to suit many individual circumstances it obviously has much to offer the health conscious individual in the 21st century.

Now might be a good time to write down the main points covered above. The act of putting it down on paper will help you remember what's important about these old techniques.

Article Source:

Michael Hehn writes articles about various topics. Find out what he has to say about yoga at Yoga

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Why You Need To Have The Proper Tai Chi Clothing

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Tai Chi is a unique pastime, not only is it exercise but it is also consider both a sport and an art. One of the key factors in Tai Chi is the ability of the person practicing the art to focus and use basic meditation methods to execute the exercises correctly. Added to this are factors such as the environment, tranquility, and the proper clothing.

The need for proper clothing cannot be underestimated when practicing Tai Chi as the right fitting clothing is just as important as preparing yourself mentally. According to the experts the spiritual energy possessed by all human beings flows through every pore of the body and wearing tight and restrictive clothing can greatly reduce this energy flow. It is said that this is even more important for beginning practitioners of the art as these people are just learning to find and harness their energy.

The exercises in Tai Chi require a lot of movement and flexibility so clothing such as jeans and jackets are inhibiting and should not be worn. Clothing such as this will also make the wearer extremely uncomfortable while in meditation.

The best clothing for Tai Chi will be light, soft and flexible so that it doesn't inhibit movement and is also limber enough that it will allow the practitioner to easily hold the required postures. The suggested fabrics to use are cotton, silk, and linen. Pants made of linen are always a good choice because of its thermo-regulation properties and in contrast to silk is very durable and resistant to abrasion. With that said the old time traditional Tai Chi masters always wore silk due to it being so plentiful in China. Another good option for those who cannot get silk or linen is cotton which is cool and inexpensive.

As far as color goes, most Tai Chi clothing will be either Black or White or a combination of the two. Some schools will have colors that are specific to that particular school.

Some more casual Tai Chi schools do not necessitate uniforms be worn by their students and will use t-shirts or sweat shirts with the name of the school printed on them. In most cases the shirt is white and will have traditional Tai Chi symbols printed on it or it will be imprinted with the school's logo. In most cases the pants are left up to the student to choose.

The clothes don't make the man and this is also the case with Tai Chi, someone who is very skilled can practice the art in any clothing and in any environment. The point of this article is to show that the optimum choice is to have loose comfortable clothing, especially in the beginning when you are first learning. - Why You Need To Have The Proper Tai Chi Clothing

About the Author

Gregg Hall is an author living with his 18 year old son in Jensen Beach, Florida. Find more about fashion as well as name brand clothing at

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Doing Tai Chi or Yoga to Ease Back Pain

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People with back problems face challenges of finding really efficient solutions to their problem. Most Western countries and their medical sciences rely mainly on anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers to relieve back pain. While many people look for alternative methods to relieve back pain. Thus, we will take a look at some other available options for strengthening back muscles while diminishing back pain.

Physical exercises are worth while trying. However, due to the great variety of available options, one may have difficulties selecting the right form of exercise. Aerobics, for instance, may have too high impact for people with back problems, while isometrics are known for causing certain joint problems as well. Then there are calisthenics. One may find them good for muscle training. Though, you should be aware that calisthenics training has impact only on certain muscle groups, selectively. Keeping in mind the above mentioned information, what options are we left to?

We can try out Tai Chi or Yoga. Even though Tai Chi is a kind of martial art, it is efficient in relieving back pain. It was designed for enhancing body's resilience, improving flexibility, keeping one's weight in check and helping out through the injury recovering process. One of the reasons why Tai Chi is so effective is that it is based on slow arm, leg and upper body movements. A person has to move slowly using deep breathing technique as the aid in the healing process. Another one of Tai Chi advantages is that people in pain or those who go through their recovery process, can still resort to it. Tai Chi does not overstress the body. Moreover, Tai Chi, through its exercises helps people to work on better posture. It is well known that proper posture goes along with the healthy back.

Unlike Tai Chi, Yoga which takes its origins in Hindu teachings was designed to help people in restoring both their bodies and minds. Through Yoga exercises one may strengthen back muscles, improve posture and bring vertebral column into line. Yoga practitioners believe that through learning the ways of your body, in our case it is one's back, you may be able to gain a better understanding of your physical problems and find ways for fixing them before they give you more trouble.

Each and every one of the numerous Yoga positions is designed for attaining specific results. They are meant for strengthening, stretching or diminishing tension in the back area. They can also increase the blood flow, which is very positive for muscles. Another benefit of resorting to Yoga exercises is that they help in stretching your spine. Stretching is taking the pressure off the vertebrae, alleviating the compression. Such exercises will greatly reduce the back pain.

The affordability of Tai Chi and Yoga exercises makes them even more attractive. Both of these techniques are good for healing and recovering process and for sustaining your body's overall health shape. They are non-invasive and do not involve any medication or drug treatments. After your back pain is gone, either of them can remain useful for keeping up of your physical wellbeing.
Author Resource:- Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Back Pain .
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Young and Healthy Forever? Try Tai-Chi

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Chinese Tai-Chi exercises may have benefic effects on your health by increasing muscle resistance and self-confidence, according to American researchers. If you wish to maintain your health and strong bones even when you`re over sixty, try to include into your weekly workout a few Tai-Chi sessions. The highest benefit will be the reduction of the risk to suffer injuries or fractures.

Researchers compared the results from two groups of people with ages over seventy years old: one group that had for three months Tai-Chi exercises three times per week, and another group that didn`t followed a Tai-Chi workout at all. The experts concluded that the participants who had Tai-Chi exercises showed a remarkable increase of knees resistance, muscle strength, mobility, flexibility, and body balance.

Tai-Chi promotes a balanced lifestyle, is based on breath techniques, and you may keep your lungs healthy, especially if you have a stressful life or you`re a smoker.

Tai-Chi may also reduce the risk to suffer from cardiovascular diseases. This type of workout may be also efficient in case of people who cannot concentrate enough, or suffer from memory loss.

If you consider yourself an active person, willing to stay healthy and fit until old ages, it`s time to make changes to your lifestyle. One Tai-Chi session per week will make you look and feel great.

(c) Project Weight Loss 2008. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Visit Project Weight Loss and start losing weight today!
For free weight loss tools and diets, visit Project Weight Loss, a growing weight loss community featuring BMI calculator, calorie counter, carbs counter, diet planner, workout planner, and many other weight loss tools.

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Anti-Aging and Tai Chi

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Tai Chi is an excellent form of exercise that offers many benefits for people seeking to look and stay younger.

It is a very powerful form of stress management and that in itself can have a positive effect on your youthful look as stress can change the choices we make in food and drinks and also cause wrinkles from frowning.

Tai Chi is a low impact form exercise and is suitable for older people. The exercises help to build strength in the muscles and that is very important as people age and lose muscles mass through a lack of use.

Tai Chi also helps people to become more balanced and to be steadier on their feet which reduce the chances of falls as people age.

Posture is another area that is improved through the exercises that are performed in Tai Chi and this helps people to look younger as the ability to stand tall rather than stooped as many older people become will give the impression of being somewhat younger.

The strength that you can build through the exercises will improve many areas of health and that will slow the aging process and improve the chances of living a longer life and having the ability to enjoy that life better.

Many Tai Chi instructors will adapt programs to suit the various age groups and levels of fitness and there are moves underway in many areas of the country to encourage more elderly people to start doing Tai Chi as it has been shown to improve the quality of life for elderly people.

It can also help to reduce the impact that old injuries can have on pain management and the enjoyment that can be lost when injuries affect sleep and other areas of aging.

The social interaction of joining in with others to do Tai Chi helps people to stay alert and coordinated and the positive attitude that this brings with it enhances their life keeping them younger for longer.

About the Author: Carson Danfield is an "Under the Radar" Internet Entrepreneur who's been quietly selling various products for the last 8 years. Although you've probably never heard of him there's a good chance you've visited his websites in the past and even purchased some of his products.

For lots more unique tips on the powerful form of stress management , visit the website

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The Breathing Method of Tai Chi Chuan

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It is common known that Tai Chi Chuan is based on Chinese philosophy –Taoism, which attaches much attention on the method of breathing. The Taoists prefer deep and harmonious breathing. The founder of Tai Chi Chuan adopted this breathing method.

We all know that our heart and lungs must keep working incessantly to keep us alive and in good health. Once there is something wrong with these two organs, your health will in bad condition. Therefore, we need to protect them from too much stress and strain when we engage in exercise. When we are in some exercise, our lungs are expanded to increase the chest’s capacity to take in air. However, this is not good for us because this puts a great deal of pressure on our lungs. This breathing method is not suitable for the sick and the old people.

However, Tai Chi Chuan practices do not adopt this breathing method. Tai Chi Chuan movements are relaxed, natural and harmonious, so does the breathing.

If you practice Tai Chi Chuan regularly and constantly, you will keep a slow and deep breathing.

When you adopt this breathing method, inhaling makes your diaphragm expand outward as well as downwards to the abdomen, which can give you lung more space. When you exhale, your diaphragm will contract both inwards and upwards. The rising and falling motions of the diaphragm help our lungs to function properly.

When we practice Tai Chi Chuan, we should keep out mouth close and inhale and exhale at all times through the nose. We can avoid a dry throat by resting our tongue against the roof of the mouth.

Click to find more about Tai Chi Training Guide

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Tai Chi And The Elderly

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The ancient art of Tai Chi has been used to promote health in China for hundreds of years. This graceful art uses slow, circular movements to exercise the body, mind, and consciousness. In China, Tai Chi is regarded as one of the best overall forms of exercise. This martial art is especially popular with the elderly population because it is generally slower than other forms of exercise and can be practiced without too much physical exertion. The low velocity, low impact movements can be performed by older individuals experiencing joint degeneration, muscle atrophy, poor balance, and low stamina.

Many studies have been conducted to assess the effects of Tai Chi on metabolism and cardiorespiratory response, mental control, prevention of falls in the elderly and immune capacity. The measures taken in these studies include metabolic rate, heart rate, ventilation, maximal oxygen uptake, blood pressure, immune capacity, and number of falls. The results show that Tai Chi can be classified as moderate exercise, because it does not demand more than 55% of maximal oxygen uptake. After comparing the results of studies, these experts suggest Tai Chi exercise is beneficial to cardiorespiratory function, immune capacity, mental control, flexibility, and balance control. It also helps to improve muscle strength, leading to a reduced risk of falls in the elderly.

As stated earlier, practicing martial arts can increase strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. Inevitably, these physical properties dissipate with age. With decreasing physical ability, the elderly are susceptible to extreme injury and death due to falling. Falls are reported to be a leading cause of accidental death of the elderly.

While it is apparent that martial arts are good for health, it turns out they can also strengthen your immune system. We all know that the virus which leads to some sort of disease does not completely go away after recovery but remains dormant in nervous tissue. With age comes a weakened immune system. As one gets older, the virus is more likely to come back. Practicing Tai Chi can improve the immune system. Many studies suggest that the elderly individuals that take part in the Tai Chi program are more likely to resist the virus.

Proven benefits of Tai Chi training for the elderly include: increased strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and prevention of osteoporosis. Improvement in any of these areas leads to a decreased risk of harmful falls. Martial arts are a safe and effective way to protect against disease and reduce the negative effects of aging.

Click to find more about Tai Chi Training Guide
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Tai Chi Rejuvenates Immunity in Older Adults Against Shingles

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According to researches, Tai Chi, a Chinese exercise that uses both mind and body, can aid in preventing the shingles virus by increasing the body’s immunity against the VZV or varicella-zoster virus. Aside from preventing it, Tai Chi can also boost the body’s response to the vaccine for old adults. VZV is the virus that is responsible for diseases like shingles and chickenpox.

Understanding Shingles

Shingles is a kind of viral infection that causes debilitating rashes that are quite painful. It appears as blisters that can be seen at the middle of the person’s back turning to one side of his chest and overwhelming the breastbone. Parts of your body like the scalp, neck and face are also affected. Shingles can be excruciatingly painful.

One way to identify the disease is to pinpoint where it all started because shingles usually originates at one side of the body. Shingles is a sort of long term “side-effect” of chickenpox. It is because after having chickenpox, the virus within the body becomes inactive. After years, it gets to be reactivated as shingles.

Shingles is not a life-threatening situation but can be severely painful and can lead to a complication in which the skin remains painful and is very sensitive to even to the softest touch. It remains at that state until all blisters are gone. This kind of condition lasts for months or worse, years.

Shingles is the common for adults over 50 that is why it is important the old people be protected from the virus or have in them the prescribed tool to fight the virus out of their lives. For those who have not been affected with the virus, but is susceptible to, better be more cautious and maintain the immune system on a healthy level.

What the public needs to know

Although vaccination can be an effective method to prevent acquiring shingles, it can only last long. But if the vaccination for shingles is combined with Tai Chi, the results are promising. Good news is, out of 5 persons who have undergone chickenpox, only one person will get shingles sometime in their 50s. Shingles will be very dangerous for older people.

Researchers and doctors said that, although more studies should be further enhanced, it is proven that Tai Chi combined with immunization was made effective as an intervention to prevent the increase of the painful condition. The positive effects of Tai Chi helped researchers determine that the height of response by the human body is incredible.

Study has it that Tai Chi alone can increase the patient’s immunity to the virus same with the outcome of ordinary vaccine. The moment Tai Chi is combined with the vaccine itself, it produced a significant result with a high level of immunity amounting to over 40%. Studies also show that compared to those that only acquired the vaccine, Tai Chi’s effects are doubled in the increase.

Aside from the increased level of immunity, Tai Chi also manifested remarkable outcome that include decrease in body pain, improved physical functioning, mental health and vitality. Groups who engaged in Tai Chi showed a decline in the symptoms of the disease’s severity.

Therefore, for those who are experiencing or knows someone who is at their golden years, it is better to advise them to engage in Tai Chi.

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