TAI CHI, the ancient Chinese martial art that you may have seen being practised in Bicentennial Park, can improve your general health and wellbeing, as well as treat stress, depression and anxiety.
According to US medical researchers the Mayo Clinic, tai chi was originally developed as a form of self defence out of kung-fu, that has now evolved into a graceful form of slow exercise motions, often described as meditation in movement.
It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused, and continuous manner, accompanied by deep breathing, with an emphasis on posture, although it can still be practised as a fast martial art, known as wu shu.
Tamworth instructor Brian Gregson said tai chi can revitalise body and soul, it can be used to gently loosen and strengthen muscles, as well as slow down and control heart rate and breathing.
“It can help people handle the stress of day to day life and depression by having a different, focused mindset, relaxing mind and body. It is also used to combat several medical conditions and health problems.” Mr Gregson said.
It is said to help the flow of qi, a vital energy force, by using the opposing forces of yin and yang to enable harmony in mind and body.
Tamworth student Dr Alan Avery said that it had become a lifestyle for him, with the philosophy of mind and body in harmony at the core of his commitment to the art and exercise.
An old Chinese saying states: “Whoever practices tai chi regularly, will in time gain the suppleness of a child, the strength of a lion, and the peace of mind of a sage”.