Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner
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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:40 p

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person."

"Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

- Albert Schweitzer

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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:40 p

Slanted Flying

Tai Chi Chuan As Physical Therapy For Knee Pain

Posted on December 30, 2017 by Joe Fleming in News

Tai Chi or T’ai Chi Ch’üan is a Chinese martial art that started in Chenjiagou aka Chen village.

Since it was originally conceived as a martial art, many people don’t know that it’s also used for several health benefits and personal reasons such as improved life expectancy, competitive wrestling, demonstration competitions, and so on.

An even little-known benefit of tai chi is its ability to be used as a form of physical therapy for rehab injuries.

In case you’re having knee issues, tai chi might be the ideal form of therapy to get rid of the pain and stiffness.

Study suggests Tai Chi is better than physical therapy

A 2016 study conducted by Boston researchers – that also appeared on Harvard’s blog – compared the impact of standard physical therapy vs. tai chi on 204 patients.

These people were aged 40 or more, had knee pain and their knee x-rays had shown osteoarthritis.

Here are some takeaways from the results:

• The study continued for 12 weeks, and the subjects experienced the impact for at least 12 months

• Both the groups saw more or less the same degree of improvements

• While the health benefits were similar, the Tai Chi group saw better results in terms of reduced depression and improvements in certain measures of life quality.

This seems to second the claim of tai chi practitioners that it’s a holistic body-mind practice.

Tai Chi exercises to alleviate knee pain

No matter what exercise you do, remember you don’t want to rotate your knees.

Unlike your hips or ankles, your knees are hinge joints and not designed to rotate.

Also, there can be several different reasons that can cause knee pain.

If there is an underlying issue, exercises may or may not relieve the pain but that will not be long lasting, so know and treating the cause is important.

If, however, there is no underlying condition, some simple exercises can bring instant relief and help regain strength.

Massage and friction

Sit down on a chair with both feet flat on the ground, put one of your legs out and rub the outside your patella (the kneecap) in an up and down motion with your palms vigorously.

If it feels uncomfortable, elevate your extended leg but keep it lower than your hips.

Friction increases blood flow and helps remove any gases stuck around the patella.

Stand up, and you will instantly feel a difference.

Avoid doing this exercise if you have swelling or inflammation around the knee.

Use ice to get the inflammation down first and also talk to your doctor.

Horse stance

Probably one of the best tai chi exercises for knee rehabilitation.

Just as the name suggests, the workout mimics the stance as if you’re riding a horse.

Stand with your knees stretched slightly wider than your shoulders, feet right under the knees and pointing straight ahead, and from there try to round your crotch like you’re on a horse by bending a little and relaxing the knees.

Hold your arms in front of you at the level of your heart, with elbows bent at about 40 degrees as if you’re hugging a tree.

This stance gives this exercise it another name, i.e. hug the tree.

Sink your shoulder, avoid leaning forward, keep your back straight, and gently pull your chin in.

The goal is to hold this stance for 20 minutes, but as a beginner don’t worry if you get fatigued far earlier.

Tai Chi squatting

This is one of the several different tai chi squat workouts and is a hard exercise that will take some practice.

It will not only help with knee pain but also strengthen your knees.

Stand with your feet a little wider than your shoulder width apart.

Extend your arms in front of you and squeeze them as tight as you can, tighten your core, and sit back as you’re sitting in a very low chair.

At the same time, bend your upper body as far back as you can.

Hold for about 30 seconds and then stand up straight on your toes with your weight on your big toe for stabilization.

Hold there for about 10 seconds and then keeping your weight on your toes and arms stretched, sit back as you’re sitting on a bar stool – don’t go down too much.

You’ll feel your quads burning, which is a good sign.

Try to hold it for as long as you can.

Stand up, relax, and repeat ten times.

In the end, always remember this one little tip when practicing Tai Chi routine: your knees should feel better and not hurt.

If you do feel any pain, it means you are not doing it right.

About Joe Fleming

Joe Fleming is the President at Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces...the goal is help others “rebel against age”. ... knee-pain/

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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:40 p

Beyond Counting Blessings - Being Truly Thankful

by Madisyn Taylor

Our gratitude deepens when we begin to be thankful for being alive during this time and living the life we are living.

Often when we practice being thankful, we go through the process of counting our blessings, acknowledging the wonderful people, things and places that make up our reality.

While it is fine to be grateful for the good fortune we have accumulated, true thankfulness stems from a powerful comprehension of the gift of simply being alive, and when we feel it, we feel it regardless of our circumstances.

In this deep state of gratitude, we recognize the purity of the experience of being, in and of itself, and our thankfulness is part and parcel of our awareness that we are one with this great mystery that is life.

It is difficult for most of us to access this level of consciousness as we are very caught up in the ups and downs of our individual experiences in the world.

The thing to remember about the world, though, is that it ebbs and flows, expands and contracts, gives and takes, and is by its very nature somewhat unreliable.

If we only feel gratitude when it serves our desires, this is not true thankfulness.

No one is exempt from the twists and turns of fate, which may, at any time, take the possessions, situations, and people we love away from us.

Ironically, it is sometimes this kind of loss that awakens us to a thankfulness that goes deeper than just being grateful when things go our way.

Illness and near-miss accidents can also serve as wake-up calls to the deeper realization that we are truly lucky to be alive.

We do not have to wait to be shaken to experience this state of being truly thankful for our lives.

Tuning in to our breath and making an effort to be fully present for a set period of time each day can do wonders for our ability to connect with true gratitude.

We can also awaken ourselves with the intention to be more aware of the unconditional generosity of the life force that flows through us regardless of our circumstances.

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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:40 p

"The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body."

- Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief

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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:40 p


By Ian Cameron

Some time ago, a student asked me “when do you get good at this?”

This was someone with quite a bit of experience.

My answer was, ”Practising is more important than being good at it”.

Everyone, obviously does their best when practising, becoming proficient comes with the practice, to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon the person.

You do not have to be “good” at it to have the right spirit.

We always seem to equate the physical side of Tai Chi Chuan with being good or not.

But, the spirit of Tai Chi Chuan isn’t exclusive to those that are physically more gifted.

It is the forging of the spirit, that is to my way of thinking much more important, this is the beauty of Tai Chi Chuan.

If done with the right spirit then everyone can benefit from it.

I remember two of our class members, sadly no longer with us, but what courage they showed.

Both were very ill but still came to class and gave everything they could.

We can all learn so much from these great demonstrations of spirit.

This also showed me another side of having a firm internal core.

Take any aspect of Tai Chi Chuan, although quite different, they all in the end, come down to training the mind and spirit.


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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:40 p


By Ian Cameron

With time, we will all know our way through the various forms.

There must, however, come a point where Tai Chi Chuan feels comfortable, in other words, it fits.

Where the gap between the doer and the thing done disappears.

At this point, you have stillness in movement.

You know where the form is going, well, allow the form to go there.

This allows for the free flowing movement of the forms, it is not so much a technical exercise, more a feeling process.

It is very important to feel your form.

Cheng Tin Hung always said that it was about feeling.

Intuition plays an important role in this respect.

I do think that Tai Chi Chuan should be learned from the ground up, and not from the head down.

Intellectual understanding is not the experience itself.

The direct experience of physically doing Tai Chi Chuan is where the learning is.

Understanding comes through the physicality of practice.

If it is always of a technical nature the spontaneous aspect will never show through.

Get yourself out of the way and become one with the flow of Tai Chi Chuan.

Spontaneity means that there is no outside influence.

To practice until you can be spontaneous does not mean that you do anything you like.

It takes discipline.

It must mean that thought and action are one, with no conceptual thought to interfere.


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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:40 p


By Ian Cameron

Any expression of Tai Chi Chuan must as far as possible be devoid of ego (Who can you impress in your back garden?)

Genuine expression comes from within, from a realization that anything done for show, in reality means nothing at all, it is here that you have the separation between the doer and the thing done.

Spirit is not concerned with this in the least.

Pure action is the thing that I am interested in.

This I believe comes from having nothing attached to the practice other than the art itself.

Whatever the reason for practising Tai Chi, it still remains a thing of beauty, a thing of beauty for the person practising.

Never for the watcher, they have nothing to do with it.

It is not for the outer appearance that you practice, by that I mean that there should be no decoration added to the forms to please anyone.

Everything lies within the practitioner, if you just have the spirit to quietly persevere.

We are thinking beings, and will always have thoughts.

It is no use trying to eradicate thoughts, this won’t happen.

It is the attachment to thoughts that create distractions.

That is why, as with any discipline, it is the focus on the activity or “one point” that allows thoughts to pass bye, and not get caught up in a train of thought.

Let them come and let them go.


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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:40 p


By Ian Cameron

Thoughts are like tools, pick them up when you need them.

It is the small mind that gets in the way and clutters up, and distracts you from the going deeper into self-examination.

It is easier to be “out there” showing, teaching, and getting a reputation than it is to face yourself.

What we are expressing is a motiveless universal principle, which will always be greater than the performance of it.

Being a beginner in what you are already doing is a way of furthering your practice.

The thing that is farthest away always seems more attractive.

The classics constantly warn against this way of thinking.

The oft quoted classic ”The longest journey starts with a small step” is so true it has become a cliché.

To my way of thinking, it means, that this small step, is every step you take.

The Chinese arts are very attractive, where the choice can appear limitless.

If you are practising a comprehensive system, it too is limitless.

There is of course nothing wrong with gaining experience, but you must have a core practice.

Being a beginner means that what you already have is always fresh.


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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:40 p


By Ian Cameron

“Will to one thing” (Erich Fromm, The Art of Being).

This is an important principle to keep in mind.

As you get older, and we all do, your T'ai Chi Ch'uan becomes a very great friend, something you can practice, and take with you anywhere.

The spirit to carry on, no matter what gives you vitality for living, resilience, and a life-long interest.

Being “tough” isn’t always what it seems.

Toughness is doing a practice all of your life, no matter what that practice might be.

True spirit is not for show, it is impersonal and it lies within.

When, through time our physical abilities diminish, it is the mind that is important.

To still practice in old age is a priceless gift.

It mentions in the Classics, about an old man defending himself against many attackers.

My way of interpreting this is, that it is pointing to the mind/spirit.

Through training over time, it is use of the mind/spirit that overcomes an opponent, and not just physical ability.

To develop and train the mind until it becomes a clear mirror, reflecting and not grasping, is the way of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

Author: IAN CAMERON ... hi-spirit/

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Re: Inward Bound - The T'ai Chi Corner

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:40 p



Mind–body interventions - Applications in neurology

Helané Wahbeh, ND, Siegward-M. Elsas, MD, and Barry S. Oken, MD



Half of the adults in the United States use complementary and alternative medicine with mind–body therapy being the most commonly used form.

Neurology patients often turn to their physicians for insight into the effectiveness of the therapies and resources to integrate them into their care.

The objective of this article is to give a clinical overview of mind–body interventions and their applications in neurology.


Medline and PsychInfo were searched on mind–body therapies and neurologic disease search terms for clinical trials and reviews and published evidence was graded.


Meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques, yoga, tai chi, and qigong, hypnosis, and biofeedback are described.

Mind–body therapy application to general pain, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, muscular dysfunction, stroke, aging, Parkinson disease, stroke, and attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder are reviewed.


There are several conditions where the evidence for mind–body therapies is quite strong such as migraine headache.

Mind–body therapies for other neurology applications have limited evidence due mostly to small clinical trials and inadequate control groups.

Neurology patients frequently ask their physicians about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as options for treatment.

According to a 2002 survey, 62% of people in the United States used CAM, with mind–body medicine being the most commonly used form.

A small survey showed that 40 of 216 neurology clinic patients at an academic center used CAM.

Mind–body therapies focus on the relationships among the brain, mind, body, and behavior, and their effect on health and disease.

Many of the techniques are associated with relaxation and thus may be helpful for disorders where psychological stress is a factor.

Mind–body approaches encompass a large group of therapies such as hypnosis, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, tai chi, and visual imagery.

Some aspects are not discussed in this article, either because they have been integrated into common practice (e.g., group therapy or cognitive behavioral therapies) or there have been no neurologic intervention studies (e.g., spirituality).

Mind–body therapies are often implemented by patients because of the low physical and emotional risk, the relatively low cost, and their ability to allow patients to take a more active role in their treatment.

Furthermore, expanded research on the interactions between the CNS and the endocrine, immune, and peripheral autonomic nervous systems provides a mechanism by which mind–body medicine may be influencing health.

The objective of this article is to briefly define various mind–body interventions and assess the published evidence on their potential application to neurology.

Other aspects of CAM with varying degrees of biologic plausibility and evidence are not discussed.


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