Steady as You Flow – Part 2 of 2

The fine motor control developed by the practice of Tai Chi becomes part of our daily lives. As one continues the practice of tai chi, they become aware of consciously doing things in a stress-free manner. Tai Chi practice emphasizes spinal alignment and postural integrity. These particulars assist the body in efficiently conducting nerve impulses throughout the body. The movement combinations that comprise the practice of Tai Chi facilitate the lubrication of and the flow of nutrients to the joints. Tai Chi flowing movements comprise a high amount of combinations of joint rotations and body shifting, as well as limb extension and flexion. The elbows, shoulders, knees, hips, ankles spine and wrists are all simultaneously and continuously affected during the practice of the routine. In addition to increasing one’s range of motion and flexibility, Tai Chi practice can positively affect the health and functioning of the internal organs.

Those who have suffered some sort of trauma to their brain, or may have balance that is ‘sub-par’ or are functioning at less than an adequate level, can benefit from practicing tai chi. Tai Chi can positively influence the cerebro-neuromuscular patterning associated with balance and coordination.

That tai chi can be of benefit physically and mentally has been and continues to be documented. The literature is available for those who wish to find it. The deep breathing that is part of practicing Tai Chi brings fresh air (oxygen) into the body and expels carbon dioxide out of the body as diaphragmatic breathing is enhanced, posture is improved, balance is improved, the internal organs are aligned and massaged. Also, synaptic connections, associated with balance, coordination and movement, are improved. This is an exercise modality that can enhance many aspects of one’s daily life; in particular, individuals with certain neuromuscular challenges that are a result of brain dysfunction. These are just a few of the reasons to give Tai Chi a more comprehensive look.

Tai Chi has been likened to moving meditation; a system of exercise that combines relaxation, focus and intent through the use of flowing and rhythmic movement. Meditation, per se, is the bringing of the mind to a state of total awareness within the space between the thoughts. The mind is a thought factory. Many people allow their thoughts to wander without giving them much attention. This does not have to be. If thoughts can be viewed as being stepping-stones in a pond, then what we want to achieve, meditatively, is the ability to exist between and above the stones; to suspend the thoughts. In doing so, we are able to cross from one side of the pond to the other with no overt effort. We are able to rise above the mental chatter and clutter that is always with us. In suspending the thoughts we, in effect, uncloud the dross which pervades our conscious awareness and are able to perceive things in a more direct and clear manner.

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