Breaking Muscle Video – Tai Chi Warm Up

Tai Chi is one of the most popular forms of exercise among martial artists. Tai chi was developed over 500 years ago by Master Ip Man (1838-1916). Its origins are in China and it has been practiced there ever since. Today, tai chi is practiced worldwide, but its roots lie in Asia and it’s main practitioners are Chinese immigrants living in New York City.

The first recorded use of the word “chi” in English was in 1851 when John Henry Mackay used it to refer to the energy produced during a horseback ride. Since then, the term has come into general usage and is now used to mean any type of mental or spiritual practice.

It is believed that tai chi originated from the ancient art of qigong, which means “wind dance.” The two arts have similar concepts: relaxation, breathing techniques, meditation and visualization.

Although tai chi is primarily practiced in Asia, it has found many adherents throughout the world. There are different styles of tai chi and each style incorporates elements of other traditional Asian disciplines such as kung fu, Aikido and Qi Gong. Some believe that tai chi is a form of yoga; however, there is no consensus on this point.

The tai chi practitioner participates in a slow, gentle series of movements designed to promote relaxation and well-being. The practice of tai chi requires a quiet area where the patient can be alone.

The physical benefits of tai chi include:

increasing muscle strength and flexibility; improving posture, balance and coordination; reducing stress and tension; building energy and vitality; alleviating pain; increasing self-confidence and discipline.

The health benefits of tai chi include:

lowering blood pressure; strengthening the heart and lungs; building muscle; relieving back pain; improving mental concentration; promoting a sense of well-being.

Many people do tai chi for its spiritual benefits and to connect with the practitioner’s “true self.” Tai chi can help build a strong mind, body and spirit connection. It teaches patience, dedication and humility.

Sources & references used in this article:

A randomized trial of tai chi for fibromyalgia by C Wang, CH Schmid, R Rones, R Kalish… – … England Journal of …, 2010 – Mass Medical Soc

Tai Chi in Australia: acceptable and effective approach to improve balance and mobility in older people? by K Hill, W Choi, R Smith… – Australasian Journal on …, 2005 – Wiley Online Library

The development of a Tai Chi exercise regimen for the prevention of conditions requiring long-term care in Japan by T Nomura, K Nagano, J Takato, S Ueki… – Archives of gerontology …, 2011 – Elsevier

The Harvard Medical School guide to Tai Chi: 12 weeks to a healthy body, strong heart, and sharp mind by PM Wayne, M Fuerst – 2013 – books.google.com

Teaching balance with Tai Chi: strategies for college and secondary school instruction by DD Chen, CP Sherman – Journal of …, 2002 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com

Teaching Tai Chi to elders with osteoarthritis pain and mild cognitive impairment by JY Chang, PF Tsai, S Woods, C Beck… – American journal of …, 2011 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Explaining the ineffectiveness of a Tai Chi fall prevention training for community-living older people: a process evaluation alongside a randomized clinical trial (RCT) by IHJ Logghe, AP Verhagen, ACHJ Rademaker… – Archives of gerontology …, 2011 – Elsevier

A novel comparative effectiveness study of Tai Chi versus aerobic exercise for fibromyalgia: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial by C Wang, T McAlindon, RA Fielding, WF Harvey… – Trials, 2015 – Springer

Teaching Tai Chi to elders with osteoarthritis pain and mild cognitive impairment by JY Chang, PF Tsai, S Woods, C Beck… – … directors’ quarterly for …, 2010 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov