Ask of the Month: All About Tai Chi

During the past few months, we received some questions from our members about Tai Chi, an exercise class we offer at some of EmblemHealth’s Neighborhood Care locations . We brought your questions to the Tai Chi Master at our Chinatown location, Sunny Tsang, and he explained the purpose and benefits of this ancient practice.

08/05/2019

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is based on the Taoist philosophy of Yin and Yang balance. It is a form of exercise that seeks to balance the mind, body, and spirit. In ancient China, it was used as a defense technique, but nowadays it’s used for wellness.

What are the physical and mental/emotional benefits of practicing Tai Chi?

The purpose of practicing Tai Chi is to cultivate chi, or your “life energy”, and to find a balance between the inner and outer self. When you practice Tai Chi, your mind and body flow as one, so you can relax and find balance.

Are there certain groups for whom Tai Chi is an ideal form of exercise (i.e. people with pre-existing health conditions, injuries, etc.)?

It’s good for people of all different age groups, but because the motions of are very slow and low-impact, it’s especially great for seniors and people with pain. If you’re starting your practice later in life, you might want to take it slow. If you have any chronic conditions, listen to your body and don’t push yourself – stop if you experience any pain. The movements of Tai Chi should not hurt, so if you do experience pain while practicing, it means your form might not be correct. Talk to your instructor to be sure you’re moving safely.

 

Interested in trying Tai Chi? Visit our Neighborhood Care page to find classes at a location near you.

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