How Tai Chi benefits me
by Lee Seok Lian
I cannot recall the reason for taking up Tai Chi. There is one benefit I would like to share. Tai Chi has helped to keep away the gastric pain I suffered frequently in the past. Now, I seldom experience gastric pain. If it does happen, it is subtle and recovery is fast.
I guess it has something to do with the Qi flow. The range of slow movements, stimulate the flow of energy from the feet to the organs, joints and various parts of the body. Each movement involves balancing and turning around the pivot (zhong xin dian). Probably, this is where it ‘grinds’ and strengthens the internal organs. It is a wonderful therapy. Anyone can practise and benefit from it, even an amateur like me.
Tai Chi is an art which is not easy to master. There are many intricate movements. To succeed, it can take many years of training and practice under a good master. Regular practice and self awareness of the movements are important. The intricate portion can be easily forgotten if not practiced diligently for some time.
In Master Chong’s Tai Chi class, we have warm up exercises before the Tai Chi training. The exercise helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles and loosens the joints. It improves my flexibility and reduces the stiffness at some joints. Toward the end of the warm up exercises, there are few minutes of meditation. It is an enjoyable moment, as the body relax and move slowly with the flow of Qi.
The combination of the warm up exercises, meditation and 37-step of slow Tai Chi movements are great. Can you imagine the enormous benefits one can get from each Tai Chi session? The only regret is, not enough time is allocated to Tai Chi.