The health and mobility aspects of martial arts have long been championed by practitioners – especially regarding Tai Chi – and this is an aspect increasingly of interest among older non-martial artists as this Tai Chi studies review by colleagues at The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living demonstrates.
Historically it seems clear that in the synthesis of Tai Chi many existing known elements of health, traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and body usage were taken into play as a foundation to enable Tai Chi practitioners to develop their martial skill. These included Taioist Phylosophy, Qigong, Daoyin and the Chi meridian concept of internal energy flow from TCM. It is these elements of health and good body usage that today many people focus on when looking at their Tai Chi practice.
“It’s all about the movement” – with beginners and older students it is important to practice the characteristic way of moving that is inherent in Tai Chi.
Tai Chi for Carers:
Tai Chi movement emphasises relaxed vertical posture with poise and balance. The movement is integrated, working segmentally from the centre with focus on good physical structure and so ensuring optimal use of joints and muscles. In particular there is much interest globally in Falls Prevention – an area where Ian has worked for some years. For a whitepaper on this please click here. There are many sources extolling the benefits of Tai Chi simply for this aspect – and it is good to have feedback from people seeking these benefits in their old age.