Taiji Classes – the benefits
How beneficial are Taiji classes? In the United States, medical researchers analysed 47 studies looking at Taiji classes and the impact that Taiji had on people with chronic health problems, like heart disease or MS.
Their findings were that Taiji classes could improve balance control, flexibility and even the health of the heart.
Their findings, published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, state that Taiji also reduced stress, falls, pain and anxiety.
This art originated in China, centuries ago, as a martial art but its health giving properties were such that it is now widely practiced purely as a health and wellbeing exercise.
Combining abdominal breathing, relaxation and fluid movement between postures, Taiji produces a bio-feedback loop that gradually deepens this relaxation, slows the respiration and produces a deep feeling of wellbeing.
Taiji players know through experience that it can have a profound, positive, effect on their health, improving memory, concentration, digestion, balance and flexibility. It is also beneficial for people with psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety or stress through the inner calmness that it produces.
The study (by doctors at Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston) suggests there is medical evidence to back up those claims.
Their findings, based on a review of studies published in both English and Chinese state.
“Overall, these studies reported that long-term Taiji practice had favourable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in elders”.
Taiji helped to reduce “pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects”.
Importantly, they also recognise that Taiji also has benefits for people with serious, chronic, conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.
“Benefits were reported by the authors of these studies in cardiovascular and respiratory function in healthy subjects and in patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery as well as in patients with heart failure, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.”
Taiji has been used in Chinese hospitals for years in the treatment of chronic illness and also prescribed to people who have had heart attacks and heart surgery. It used to be the case that this type of treatment regime was written off as “quackery” by western doctors. Not so now! Now we see Taiji being recommended as a post heart bypass, etc. exercise. Not only that but many doctors are also joining Taiji classes and practicing this art to benefit their own health.
Taiji Shibashi Qigong
At these Taiji classes we also practice the Taiji Shibashi. These are a set of 18 Qigong exercises that focus on health and well-being, directing and promoting the flow of Qi through the meridians. Although each of them can be practiced individually, or in any variation, the set flows beautifuly, from one posture to the next,producing a feeling of inner calmness and wellbeing.
The health benefits, from these Qigong exercises, becomes clear when they are practiced regularly and, in effect, you are being proactive with your health and wellbeing. The Shibashi are easy to learn and can easily be done in restricted space where practicing the Taiji forms would be impossible.
One example of the health benefits related to the practice of the Shibashi is: -
The Commencement: This is good for regulating the breathing allowing the resipration rate to lower. It is also good for maintaining the balance of the blood pressure, it strengthens the function of the Kidney meridian, calms the nerves (Shen), and it has a therapeutic action in the alleviation of arthritis in the knees.
- The Commencement
- Broadening the chest
- Painting rainbows
- Circling the arms to part the clouds
- Pushing to the diagonals
- Rowing the boat
- Holding the ball in front of the shoulders
- Turning to gaze at the moon
- Twisting the waist and pushing the palms
- Waving hands like clouds
- Scooping from the sea to look at the sky
- Playing with waves
- The flying dove spreads its wings
- Punching with outstretched arms
- The flying goose
- Spinning wheels
- Bouncing a ball with steps
- Pressing down in calmness
Taiji Classes Details
- Location – United Reformed Church, Old Coach Road, The Village, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.
- Day – Monday.
- Time – 12.00 till 1.00 pm.
- Type – Taiji and Qigong
- Details -This class is geared towards retired people who wish to learn the Taiji form and Qigong in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Instructor – Des Lawton
- Further information – ‘Phone Des on 01355266011 or use the form on the Contact Us page.