Taijiquan - Dance of Longevity
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. And do and I understand." (Confucius)
Taijiquan's benefits extend beyond modifying the content of consciousness; they apply to the health of the practitioners. His explosive expansion in the Western world, as well numerous scientific studies undertaken internationally led the World Health Organization, in 1988, to declare Taijiquan as the most effective means of maintaining health. However, the it’s development strategy of the traditional medicine for the period 2002-2005, the World Health Organization put together the practice of Taijiquan and Qigong as an important component of the traditional medicine.
Studies on processes triggered by practicing Taijiquan observed that during practice, part of the cerebral cortex (which runs the current activities) is inhibited, and a second is activated, aimed at regulating different processes within the body. In other words, the body is left and helped to heal and adjust itself. An adjustment is carried out to the internal secretions and operation of major systems of the body.
Nervous system bottlenecks are eliminated and immunity is improved.Senses (sight, hearing, smell, etc.) are refined, and perceptions gives a better orientation in space, loco motor balance, stability and flexibility in movement. Integration and harmonization of autonomic functions results in avoiding escalation of emotional conflict situations inside, improving the management of daily stress and encouraging response, both organically and mentally to adjust to the present conditions. Taijiquan also corrects neurasthenia, insomnia and light mental sufferings. In the category of people who work excessively, those suffering from neurasthenia symptoms often complain of restlessness, irritability, nervousness and lack of sleep. Taijiquan practice eliminates the tension and anxiety, being a very effective relaxation. This reduces cardiovascular effort, and it also regulates blood pressure.
Another beneficial effect is detoxifying the body and improving the functioning of the digestive system. Stimulating the muscles around the internal organs, Taijiquan exercise promotes better functioning (discharge, assimilation of nutrients and debris removal). Thus, it improves the quality of blood, which is crucial for optimal functioning of the entire body. Taijiquan's practice stimulates gastric and intestinal secretion, intestinal motility and improving blood circulation in different organs related to the digestive system. Controlled breathing and Taijiquan movements are producing a constant massage of the stomach and intestines, adjusting appetite and hence body weight. It also has a positive impact in tackling bowel.
Taijiquan's resistance increases strength in legs, back and chest muscles. Also, the muscles involved tend to use more lipids (fat) and less glycogen as an energy source - a change that emphasizes the well-known effect of regular exercise on reducing cholesterol, leading to reduced incidence of diseases affecting the coronary arteries.
Taijiquan corrects certain deformities of the spine and prevents osteoporosis, back pain, rheumatism and pains in the joints. Regular exercise helps the processes of growth and development of bone tissue and improves mechanics of different joints. Finally, the bones will be able to withstand much higher internal stresses, leading to improved resistance to mechanical forces that are manifested in the motor system. Taijiquan's practice strengthens muscles and ligaments around joints and induces articular cartilage thickening, resulting in greater resistance to injury and an increased robustness of the skeleton. Attention to proper posture and center of gravity of body movement are of paramount importance. Back pains are frequently associated with fatigue, overuse and incorrect body posture. In joint problems, avoids muscle atrophy, weakening of ligaments, reducing intra-articular fluid and osteoporosis. Also, strengthening and toning muscles causes an improvement in symptoms associated with back pain, rheumatism and arthritis.
In pregnancy, more than preventing back pains, Taijiquan practice will strengthen pelvic muscles, encouraging a light delivery. Specific breathing exercises improve blood circulation and oxygenation to the embryo, increasing the chance of bringing to world a healthy child.
Abdominal breathing practiced in Taijiquan stimulates diaphragm muscles. In people with smoking habits and those suffering from chronic bronchitis have often some of the air routes of the lung incomplete opened. Deep breathing improves the function of these small air routes, facilitating the absorption of oxygen and carbon dioxide removal. Over time, increases vital capacity and other parameters of lung function, resulting, as a corollary, a slower but more efficient respiratory rate.
It should be noted that these benefits cannot be achieved through erratic or sporadic practice. Longevity and full health which everyone thrives to obtain, cannot be obtained without thorough diligence, practicing Taijiquan as the foundation of the personal’s life plan.
As Chinese wisdom teaches us: "He who moves a mountain first moves a few stones”.
Serban Adina-Mihaela - President of the Sports Club Ming Dao Cluj-Napoca
CHINESE TRADITION AND CONTEMPORARY MAN
21st Century man is an alienated man, parted from his own nature. Vibrating life, aggressive and disturbing social life, increasingly individualized human destiny consumerism pushed to extremes, the need to master a whole horde of devices and accessories "badly needed" - all these cover with a whining voice the quiet and insistent whispering of our self.
Only a century ago mankind lived in a completely different rhythm. The pace was ancient, built in the tropical jungle and endless plains, accompanying herds, helping the earth to bear fruit and, from time to time, raising a pyramid or a cathedral. It was the pace before the assembly line (unnecessarily ridiculed by Chaplin in "New Times"), the production and purchases on line, audio-visual revolution and the affirmation of a "planetary village" so narrow that an explosion in Pyongyang panics Paris and Washington.
20th century changed so profoundly the functioning of the human community that city individuals lost almost completely from memory the recall of those times. His relaxation is always "active", spent watching TV or in socialized contexts, even the time spent sleeping is commonly haunted by dreams and nightmares born by the fears and irritations experienced in the state of awakening.
In this context we can clearly understand the role of Chinese martial arts in our lives.
Born of the rhythms of monastic life and patriarchal country, inspired largely by personal defense needs in a world that has not yet discovered the bullet cowardice, Chinese martial techniques have seen a remarkable evolution to the status of human self-fulfillment tools. Rigor of behavior, moral purity, self-reflection were inherent to the man who, in those days, wanted to add something of his natures.
To the scattered man of our time, the same techniques can be wonderful tools of self-retrieval. But meantime he is offered easy solutions, such as for example reading daily kgs of "wise" writings, pale teachings about how to live life in peace and harmony ... then being forced to plunge back in the whirl of everyday existence with the same worn body and with the same tormented mind!
If you want a life of bodily force, of spiritual purity and intellectual acuity, these books will help you lie to yourself that you do something for your well-being, but will not ensure anything, but the feeble and fragile security of that lie. Try to run a complex movement involving arms, torso and legs, and you'll be surprised at which point you become unwieldy and rigid. Try to spend time alone with yourself, and you'll see that you miss the information bombing that fills your spirit with ideas, concepts and attitudes of others, and not yours.
This is the way we must understand the meaning of the words above: self-retrieval. Taijiquan and Qi Gong can insure you with a first very important thing: control over one's body. The form of slow motion, carefully coordinated, charged at a rate that brings harmony and self-control, in conjunction with deep breathing, makes the whole body flexible, joints more mobile, muscles stronger, the body structure coping with the principles of biomechanics that eliminates physical stress born from inappropriate postures.
Then, and equally important, is asserting control over our mind. The dynamic and static forms of Taijiquan and Qi Gong set a subtle interdependence between body and spirit. Dynamic forms of movement relieve the tension of spirit inherent to daily living, thereby allowing devoting one’s energy to the moral endeavor of building a better life, in which the high moral leads the body to a life full of vigor, good humor and health.
Mihai E, Serban - Vice President of the Sports Club Ming Dao Cluj-Napoca