A successful and proven way of relaxing and relieving stress is provided through the practice of ‘eastern’ alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, and Tai chi exercises. Many people have tried all of them to alleviate stress and found the greatest outcome came from the techniques of Tai Chi.
If you’ve tried everything possible to diminish stress and if this issue doesn’t seem to dissipate, you should first try removing the stressors and modify your lifestyle. When you have less stress, you may find relaxing your body and brain a lot easier. In eastern alternative therapies including tai chi, this is the ultimate objective. Tai Chi provides the practitioner with techniques that can help you alleviate stress and promote relaxation, through the use of ‘body/mind’ therapy. Tai Chi methods are ideal for individuals who cannot stay in a seated position for a long time for yoga or meditation. These methods make up ‘Motion therapy’, which, if done on a regular basis, reduces your chance of illness and fosters activity. Tai chi can offer more health benefits than other western style exercises, such as high impact exercises and aerobics, and eastern therapies since it involves every part of the body. After they’ve been performing Tai Chi many times a week, people have found that they can let go of stress much better and be able to relax a lot easier. Tai chi movements are smooth and very slow, making it a perfect mental and physical exercise for persons young and old.
There are two techniques in Tai Chi that can help ease stress and help people relax. One of these techniques is called ‘pushing hand’ and it’s considered the most important tai chi exercise by many practitioners. Some people really think Tai Chi is an exercise program for older people that wouldn’t bring an array of benefits for younger people but once they try it, young people could immediately feel the results. In the States, Tai Chi is not usually performed as a form of martial arts but as an exercise routine instead. “Pushing hands” encourages a mental focus in moving with the enemies energies and rechanneling their force, with circuitous movements. Anyone, regardless age, can benefit from Tai Chi practice which is very simple to learn.
Using the “Pushing hands” techniques require performing three different steps. One step is to use a single hand method. The second merely integrates the use of both hands. The use of your two hands as well as specific ‘stepping movements’ makes up the third step. One should remember that the movements are gentle and smooth. This ‘smoothness’ enables the practitioner to be better prepared for the defense techniques of his style and concentrate on the martial art aspect of Tai Chi. When one has an understanding of the techniques, he can better control his inner chi at the proper moment in both self-defense and form, making his techniques much stronger and better controlled.
Most practitioners in the States have never needed to use their Tai Chi training for self-defense and for fighting. They instead us the techniques of Tai Chi to help them handle stress better and to relax.
Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.