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May 16, 2004

The Benefits Of Tai Chi On The Body

Monterey County Herald talks about the benefits of Tai chi and gives an outline of its history at the end of the article.

Tai chi is based on the Chinese thought that there exists in the body a ''chi,'' a vital force that animates the body. It is the center of a person's energy.

According to ''Tai Chi Transcendent Art'' by Chen Tin Hung, the movement of the muscles during tai chi exerts pressure on the veins forcing the blood flow to the heart. During the deep breathing, the muscles of the diaphragm act to massage the liver and the intestines, bringing improvement to their functions.

After a tai chi session, one often has a feeling of euphoria. ''That's because,'' said Chan, ''endorphins in the body are stimulated.'' Endorphins are hormones with pain-killing and tranquilizing ability that are secreted by the brain.

''Studies have shown it to relieve stress and lower blood pressure,'' Chan said. ''It also facilitates sleep. It aids the immune system.''

''Two great things about tai chi,'' Chan said, ''is that you don't need equipment -- not even a yoga pad -- and injuries are very rare. It's just something that makes you feel better.''

Posted by linda at May 16, 2004 10:46 AM

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