The Benefits of T'ai Chi Ch'uan

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In many photographs and films of T'ai Chi being performed, the performers shown are generally older people. As a result many people have the impression that T'ai Chi is not for the young. This is quite wrong, for ideally a person should practise the art from early childhood onwards, so as to enjoy the best of health for as long as possible. Tai Chi is an ancient form of therapeutic exercise which can be practised by young and old alike.

The gentleness of Tai Chi ensures that anyone practising it does not suffer strains and other muscular injuries, but obtains greater strength while developing greater flexibility and suppleness. Dedicated athletes will find that T'ai Chi is one of the finest possible ways of gently warming up, and helps to offset any vigorous exercise that may follow. For a person practising T'ai Chi, sleep is deep and restful, and the nervous system will be soothed and calmed, so as to ensure tranquillity at all times. Those who suffer from certain forms of illness, such as arthritis, rheumatism, lumbago, sciatica or multiple sclerosis, can receive great benefit from practising T'ai Chi, as can anyone suffering from weight problems, for the exercise helps to break down the fat tissue, thereby reducing the body weight to its natural level.

Another of the great benefits from T'ai Chi is the way it sharpens the mental faculties, so that a very strong and purposeful mind is developed. Dynamic and exact control is maintained overall parts of the body, and by this means one also learns to keep control of one's emotions, and to develop a deep inner peace, thereby becoming at one with oneself and with others around you. This naturally leads to a greater awareness and understanding of oneself, and a greater appreciation and understanding of others. All this creates wonderful harmony within ourselves, and with the world around us.

Added to this, one becomes much more vital, learning to use one's energies to the full. A person who practises T'ai Chi develops the ability to work for long hours without suffering the slightest sign of strain, and eventually has so much energy that they can give some of it to others in many different ways. Constant practise of T'ai Chi also aids the development of mental and spiritual energies, thereby opening up the vast field of Taoist Meditation.

Thus there are enormous benefits to be gained from the practise of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. If you take it up and practise regularly and with dedication, you will soon find that your life is taking on a new meaning, and that you are becoming more positive and purposeful. Having started, keep on, for there is no end to the road in front of you.

When strains are no longer felt, strains disappear.

When stresses are not experienced, stresses vanish.

When aggression is not recognized, it does not exist.

When badness is not seen, it ceases to be prevalent.

When we no longer think of goodness, it disappears.

When we do not think of hate and evil, they both vanish.

When we do not recognize 'I', it does not exist.

When earth is not seen, then earth ceases to be prevalent.

When we no longer compare one with another, then all

disappear, and we understand the Tao.


The Chinese Art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan

by Chee Soo

Copyright ©Seahorse Books 2003 reproduced with permission