Tai Chi is medicine
It has been proven to reduce stress, reduce arthritic pain and improve joint movement. Its emphasis on balance is a vital tool for those looking for falls prevention therapy. Its meditative aspect calms your mind.
Currently I’m on my winter break and will be back in late March.
Starting January 8th, I have rented a room for my students to practice. Monday’s in room 05 at Taborspace 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215 from 6:30 to 7:30 under the name of the Tai Chi Co-op .
I’ll be asking a $10 donation via paypal on my webpage to help pay for the room.
In late March I will be back teaching my senior classes and having a new beginners class.
see you next year
Beginners Tai Chi Chuan Class
Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Intermediate Tai Chi Chuan
Mondays and Wednesdays 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
$80 for the month or $12 per class
Saturday morning workout
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
All levels welcome
The first thing I teach and most important principle in my mind is
that Tai Chi Chuan is all about understanding how to “relax”.
Anything thing we do, we do it better when we are relaxed.
We use the Tai Chi movements, which are very difficult to perfect
as a framework that we are trying to relax around. This can be a metaphor for those moments in life
when we are are put in difficult or stressful positions.
Those are the moments that having
the abilities to relax, breath deeply and focus are priceless.
Both the founder of the style of Tai Chi I teach and my teacher were Doctors of Chinese Medicine. This greatly influenced their interpretation of the form. Each posture, when done correctly, should be like an acupuncture treatment, opening the meridians and allowing energy to flow through the body. There is a strong focus on breathing into the abdomen because this stimulates the internal organs. 70% of American health issues have been traced to people only breathing into the chest area. Tai Chi’s strong emphasis on balance makes it a wonderful practice for falls prevention. Tai Chi has been proven to reduce arthritic pain and improve joint movement
In class, I explain the health benefits of the movements as well as the history and the philosophy of the movements.
I have an aversion to “just waving your hands in the air” so I explain what the application of each movement is, not that I expect that any one will have to use it but I think it helps the learning process when you know why your arm is in that weird angle.
My classes are a workout and no one is asked to go beyond where they are comfortable.
Here is a article by my teacher Dr. Martin Inn that might interest you:
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TAN TIEN IN T’AI CHI AND CHINESE MEDICINE
One of the most important phrases from the T’ai Chi Classics is, “Sink chi to tan t’ien”. We talk a lot about the tan t’ien in the martial arts and Chinese Medicine, but little is known of it. The first mention of the tan t’ien is in chapter 8 of the Nan Ching, the Han Dynasty classic of Chinese medicine. It talks about the “space between the kidneys that vibrates”. It didn’t call it the tan t’ien but was later given that name by the Taoist, who were the scientist in ancient China. There are three tan t’iens. The upper tan t’ien is located between the eye brows and is referred to as the “spiritual tan t’ien”. The second tan t’ien is located in the chest between the nipples and is considered to deal with the emotions. The third tan t’ien is the lower tan t’ien, which is located in the area below the navel and is considered to be the “true tan t’ien”. The true tan t’ien is linked to the kidneys, the brain, the adrenals and the immune system. The Han Dynasty Chinese medical practitioners believed that the true tan t’ien was like a map of an inverted head where the nose was represented by the navel, the eyes to the side at ST25, and the brain in the lower abdomen at CV3. Because of these associations, the tan t’ien is further linked to ones longevety, the bones and the building of blood, and ones sexuality and libido.
With respect to T’ai Chi Ch’uan, the first internal martial exercise is to “sink ch’i to tan t’ien”. This action is to accumulate the ch’i and fortify the tan t’ien. As a therapeutic function, this tonifies the kidneys and adrenals, strengthens the immune system and bones, and fortifies the sexual organs. In T’ai Chi all movements must originate from the tan t’ien. This means that with the shifting of the weight and the rotation of the pelvic girdle, the movements move outward like concentric circles to the arms and legs giving us the characteristic coordinated movements of the postures. The three aspects that make the tan t’ien powerful, are the sinking of the ch’i, the rotation of of the pelvic girdle which stimulates the acupuncture points, and the shifting of weight which acts like a pump to circulate the ch’i.
I often say to my students that when you practice T’ai Chi Ch’uan, you are giving yourself an acupuncture treatment. More specifically you are giving yourself a tan t’ien treatment.
Because of its importance in Tai Chi Ch’uan, we should really call it Tan T’ien Ch’uan.