T’ai Chi – Gentle Does Exist

via Mary Ann Smith, Wellness Director, AVAC

tai chi exercise

Exercise without breaking a sweat.

Raymond Reid, 67, of Portland, Maine, was suffering from high blood pressure when his doctor told him it was time to get serious about exercising. Reluctant to jump into a vigorous exercise program, Reid instead signed up for a class in T’ai Chi Chih (pronounced tie chee chuh), a mix of meditation and movement that focuses on balance and the circulation of energy known in Chinese philosophy as chi.

T’ai Chi Chih is a variation of tai chi but simpler. T’ai Chi consists of 108 movements, while T’ai Chi Chih as 19 stand-alone movements and one pose.

“I loved the simplicity of it,” says Reid, a retired pastry chef who is now a certified T’ai Chi Chih instructor.  Within six months, Reid lost 38 pounds, normalized his blood pressure and with his doctor’s blessing, cut his medication in half.

Known to practioners as “the effort of no effort,” T’ai Chi Chih was developed in 1974 by T’ai chi master Justin Stone as a gentler form of T’ai Chi for older students. It’s easy to learn and offers benefits beyond fitness. A University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse study found that older adults who practiced T’ai Chi Chih for five weeks experienced less stress and greater well-being. – Roselee Blooston for AARP The Magazine.


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