Two taiji concepts for a lifetime of practice

Talk to any master practitioners of tai chi and they will tell you that zhong ding and dantian are the two most important concepts in tai chi and Chinese internal martial arts. They are also the most basic. They are the two things you will work on for as long as you do tai chi. Hopefully, that will be a lifetime. It doesn’t take long to understand the concepts, just a lifetime to develop them and enjoy the benefits almost immediately.

On Healing and the Mind, Bill Moyer’s show, Volume 1, The Mystery of Chi, the teacher of my lineage (Grandmaster Ma Yueh Liang) told him that it took him 10 years to understand what Chi is and the rest of his life to learn what to do with it. He was in his eighties at the time. This is how it is with everyone who delves into the vast universe of the supreme ultimate art of movement.


Tai chi and chronic disease

I collect statistics related to my wellness studies and want to share a few with you that I found recently. Tai chi is part of my wellness plan, along with nutrition awareness.

Chronic diseases account for more than 75% of national health care costs, and for 7 out of 10 deaths. Many chronic diseases are preventable because they are related to lifestyle choices. For example, 2013 was the first year that more people died from symptoms of overeating than from starvation. Talk-show host Montel Williams, who has multiple sclerosis, said this in a video I recently saw.

Eating fruits and vegetables and exercising can have immense positive impacts on your psychological health.

We can use conscious thought to change our physicality. This is pure tai chi thinking.

People may think they can rely on medical treatment alone and give up their own responsibility for their health. So true and I believe that taking up tai chi is a way to overcome this tendency and make healthcare “Self-Care.”

What is the fastest growing demographic group in the United States? People who are 100 and over years old. From Dan Buettner TEDed presentation:

You don’t have to learn it all at once

I think many would-be tai chi practitioners quit or don’t even get started when they see how much there is to learning it. It certainly takes some effort to learn, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I learned about the concept of “tiny steps” from the Institute of Wellness Education, where I’ve begun working on earning a wellness coach certificate. I think tiny steps applies to anyone considering learning some tai chi. Check out this link to read more about it on the institute’s blog.

Tai chi and MS Research

I’ve practiced with people with MS (as well as Parkinson’s) in the past and have seen them change in positive ways. Research in MS appears to be going in an optimistic direction, maybe even a cure or even prevention someday. But tai chi as far as I’m concern will always be a useful¬† and powerful tool. The article about this study shows how. By the way, check out the photo in this article. It’s not tai chi, rather a yoga pose. Typical.