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Tai Chi: what is it, benefits and contraindications

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

There are different practices that facilitate the development of an optimal physical and mental state, and globalization has brought us closer to effective millenary tools, such as Tai Chi Chuan, or simply Tai Chi, inherited from Chinese culture as a practical component. of his philosophy about the human being, inner peace and self defense.

This discipline hides several secrets and wonders that can provide therapeutic effects to any type of person, regardless of age, sex or physical condition. In FastlyHealyou will know the most important things to know about Tai Chi: what it is, benefits and contraindications.

What is Tai Chi and history

Tai Chi Chuan originated in the Chinese empire, registering its origins and consolidation as a practice in the 16th century, and its literal translation is “heavenly maximum boxing” or “energetic shadow boxing”. Currently, it is more associated with healing, peace of mind and its use as a therapeutic tool, but what many do not know is that, in its essence and origin, Tai Chi is a martial art.

This practice is classified within the so-called internal martial arts , which are distinguished from the most popular today by the fact that you know yourself and your opponent in their energy dimension and not only physical. Originally, a Tai Chi practitioner studied Chinese medicine and Chi Kung at the same time, that is, their energy channels and the way to manipulate said vital energy (called Chi or Qi) within their own body, as well as using that of the rival against him. For this reason, this practice became a path of healing and spiritual self-knowledge, along with the development of personal defense.

Within Tai Chi as a martial art, at least 5 dynasties or main styles spread throughout China were developed. Then, from the twentieth century, its diffusion was widened, redirecting its teaching towards more therapeutic and calming objectives, thus giving shape to the Tai Chi popularly known today. His movements are still inspired by a martial art (and can be used for it), but modern masters focus on the power of the same for personal health.

Tai Chi: health benefits

There are different branches of modern Tai Chi, but they all share in the performance of a series of movements that evoke a simulated combat, and these movements, both isolated and in sequence, produce positive effects at the level of the body and mind, since they are carried out in coordination consciously breathing with motor skills, producing among its main benefits:

  • Greater aerobic capacity and better cellular oxygenation.
  • More energy.
  • Flexibility and balance.
  • Muscle tightening and strengthening, especially of the back, hips, buttocks and legs.
  • Postural adjustment and reduction of chronic back pain, sciatica and neck.
  • Effective in fighting arthritis .
  • Acute and chronic stress reduction .
  • Greater alertness and concentration.
  • Develops emotional intelligence by stimulating respiratory awareness.
  • Improves blood circulation.

Most modern Tai Chi Chuan practices begin with Chi Kung (also called Qi Gong): series of exercises that are originally therapeutic in order to “warm up”, taking with them greater energy and muscular awareness for the practice of the art. martial.

Tai Chi is often associated with practices such as yoga, as its effects and philosophies share similarities. However, a therapeutic characteristic in favor of Tai Chi is that it is performed standing up (without the need for a mat) and most of the postures are much simpler than those of traditional hatha yoga, thus being a tool suitable for anyone, although preferred by elderly or with very little flexibility. For those who cannot stand, some of the exercises of this discipline and of Chi Kung present variants in sitting posture.

In addition, although it has very clear philosophical principles, such as the belief in Chi and its channeling, mantras (vibrational or devotional songs) are not used, so it represents a much less cultural friction compared to Indian yogic practices.

Tai Chi contraindications and precautions

As Tai Chi is such a therapeutic and gentle practice, its contraindications are practically nil. What do exist are necessary precautions if you don’t want to have a bad time. These are:

  • Avoid practicing during pregnancy, except simple movements under supervision.
  • Do not practice after eating: Tai Chi Chuan is slow and calm does not mean that you can practice it while you are still digesting food. You have to rest for at least an hour after eating to practice.
  • It can be uncomfortable for women during their menstruation: in these cases, it is recommended to do more gentle individual exercises.
  • Physical problems: if you have suffered an accident, injury or present considerable discomfort, talk to your trusted doctor before doing this or any other practice.

Even today Tai Chi is cultivated to a lesser extent as a martial art, which is an extremely interesting discipline because, although even as a martial art it is fluid and smooth, it can be highly destructive and deadly in the hands of an advanced master, due to who has in his hands the power to not only physically injure, but to manipulate vital energy and even block meridians (energy channels). However, the wisdom attached to the path of Tai Chi teaches the beginner that everything that is done or desired to others will bounce back sooner or later in his life, since we are all connected to the same source.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Tai Chi: what it is, benefits and contraindications , we recommend that you enter our category of Physical Activity .

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