The Fylde Tai Chi Association is a friendly and informal group of practitioners who have promoted the principles and practice of Tai Chi and Chi Kung on the Fylde Coast since 1996.
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‘To counter the unhealthy effects of the frantic pace of modern life, it is imperative that, in our free time, we try consciously to pause and slow down… slowing down is helpful in reducing mental and physical tension… Beyond the immediate effects of an exercise session, slowing down exercises influence the pace of the daily rhythm in what we do, how we talk and think.’
An Holistic Exercise
Throughout China and increasingly in the West, people of all ages practice the ancient methods of Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Gung. The apparently effortless, rhythmic postures and associated mindfulness encourage harmony of mind, body and vital energy (known as Chi in Chinese medical theory) to engender a state of mental and physical well-being.
Unlike other forms of exercise, it is not limited by the weather, time or space, and because it does not rely on strength, speed or prowess, it can be enjoyed by people of all abilities, age and gender.
The relaxed, flowing movements of the exercises are pleasant to behold and practice. They provide regular exercise with a definite emphasis on mental calm.
Tai Chi – An Ancient Understanding
Tai Chi derives its name and principles from the Chinese symbol of harmony and balance, termed Tai Chi or “Great Ultimate.” The mindful nature of the methods involved, calm and stabilise the mind and encourage the harmonious flow of energy within the body and its organ systems with a resultant beneficial effect on health.
Benefits of Practising Tai Chi
As the ancient physician Sun Simiao informs us,
“Flowing water does not stagnate; active hinges do not rust”.
The real benefit of Tai Chi, for most people, is found in regular gentle activity.
Some beneficial effects include:
- Being a whole body exercise.
- Gently maintains and develops strength of muscles.
- Weight bearing postures contribute to bone strength.
- Mobilises joints and tissues to help maintain flexibility.
- Breathing methods encourage relaxation and oxygenation of tissues and removal of waste.
- Rhythmic bending and stretching movements aid circulation of fluids.
- Slow and controlled movements help improve posture, balance and mobility.
- Develops mindfulness, helps one to relax, and reduces stress.
- Provides a little space from the frantic pace of modern life.
- Can be practised anywhere, any time.
Research suggesting health benefits of Chi Gung and Tai Chi is growing rapidly. However, the real benefit of practising is found in its ability to help maintain one’s constitution and feeling of well-being.
As Master Chen Man Ching is reputed to have said when asked about the reason to practice Tai Chi:
“…so that when you are old enough to understand what life is all about, you are still able to enjoy it.”
If you wish to see a summarised background of Tai Chi, please view the “Tai Chi Summary” video on the Gallery page.
If you would like more detailed, yet down-to-earth understanding of the theory underlying Tai Chi and Chi Gung, along with a detailed analysis of research, you can find more information in the book “Understanding Chi Kung, 2nd edition” (Farrell, J & P. 2014) ISBN 978-1546835899.
Tai Chi is an aid to health and should not replace medical treatment. Certain conditions may be exacerbated by Tai Chi, in which case the postures should be adapted by a qualified teacher. It is recommended that an appropriate health care provider should be consulted before embarking on any course of practice.