Being healthy is really important to me — as it is to many of my fellow Tallahasseeans.
But it seems in our Western society, “healthy” can be increasingly based on taking medication — often lots of it. I am a hearty endorser of the right medication and I know that medication can and does save lives. However, I am equally convinced that a good amount of medication, prescribed and over-the-counter, is often only about addressing symptoms rather than the real problem. We often look for quick fixes to feel better, but they don’t typically solve the problem.
There are other ways to address health issues — in collaboration with medical doctors, and sometimes instead of them. I have found that in Chinese medicine, and particularly in practicing the Taoist Tai Chi™ Internal Arts, that these practitioners work to address the root cause of medical problems.
These challenges are often due to such contributing factors as living lives that lack balance and having circulation that is blocked by stress and poor structural alignment. Taoist Tai Chi™ is often not the fast way to address health challenges, but because it tends to address the true causal factors of an issue, the problem often disappears or becomes manageable with far less medication.
Almost eight years ago, I followed my husband in taking a beginning class at the Taoist Tai Chi™ Society on Thomasville Road, and I have continued my Tai Chi practice to this day. I have seen amazing things happen there — to me and to others — and I have heard of amazing things that have happened to others all over the world to those who have persisted in what is called the “dual cultivation of mind and body.” It is for those reasons that I persist.
What have I seen? A woman who no longer has to take heart medication. Another woman – over 60 — with two herniated disks who now is as flexible as a 40-year old. An elderly man who is able to flexibly move what used to be a frozen shoulder. A woman getting taller as she ages. People with MS, Parkinson’s, strokes, traumatic brain injuries — the list goes on — whose lives have been significantly restored because of a series of 108 specific, continuous movements that are designed to work with the body as a system to achieve better health.
Through diligent practices of these 108 moves over time, I have found my Type A personality has become almost a Type B+! Because of my work in Taoist Tai Chi™, I can actually relax, even during stressful times.
There are moments where I feel so connected to life, because I am so much more connected within myself. And as I get older, I know that with Tai Chi I have the best shot at remaining flexible, balanced and healthy.
True change typically doesn’t happen overnight. Turning the clock back on one’s health issues takes time and diligence. Like water over rock, the rounding of edges takes time. But the results I have seen and experienced have convinced me that the Tai Chi can address the root causes of problems, not just the peripherals.
If you’re interested, I hope you will join me at the society’s next open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the National Center, 2100 Thomasville Road. During the open house, you will learn how to do some Tai Chi, experience brief lectures on specific impacts of Tai Chi on your health, take a tour of the center and get a taste of this amazing art.
At 1 p.m., stay and join us for a free vegetarian meal (called a “jai”). Consider signing up for a beginning class – they all begin between Sunday and Sept. 13. You’ll be making a modest investment and potentially reaping phenomenal dividends. I hope to meet you there.