Tai Chi began in China as early as the 1300s as a form of self-defense and military martial art, but it grew in popularity for its numerous health benefits. Now, centuries after its creation, doctors in China prescribe Tai Chi as a form of all-natural medicine, and many people practice Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan as a moving meditation.
The Yang family style of Tai Chi is practiced more slowly than the four other styles, to develop strength and balance. To accompany the slow pace of each movement, the breath is kept evenly paced to promote internal calm throughout the body. By incorporating the practices of deep breathing that are fundamental to meditation with movement, Tai Chi promotes both mental and physical health.
Tai Chi as a Mindfulness Practice
As a mindfulness practice, Tai Chi promotes stress relief, injury rehabilitation and pain reduction by calming and freeing the mind. The ability to move while meditating then supports improved coordination, increased strength, and weight loss. As a result of these benefits, Tai Chi has developed into a productive lifelong practice for improving overall health and wellbeing.
Musculoskeletal Benefits of Tai Chi
At the Eugene Yang Chengfu Tai Chi Chuan Center, Greg Moore, an instructor at the center and physician at the Neurospine Institute in Eugene, focuses on the musculoskeletal benefits of Tai Chi. Balance, spiritual attitude, circulation, and oxygenation are all key components to healing an injury, and Tai Chi allows for the cultivation of all these things.
The slow, traditional Yang family style is graceful, gentle, and relaxed, while still maintaining the martial arts aspects of its origins. It is an especially wonderful exercise for people living with injuries or chronic pain that would otherwise keep them from participating in physical activities. The center’s Gentle/Restorative Tai Chi class is a great option for persons with physical limitations such as back, neck and knee problems.
The Eugene Yang Chengfu Tai Chi Chuan Center is open to everyone because the benefits of Tai Chi are helpful for all, no matter their size, age or background. The center’s expert instructors help students decide which class is right for their skill level.
Neurospine Patient Program
From 2011 to 2017, Dr. Fox and Dr. Moore held classes for Neurospine patients as a part of their movement therapy program. What started as an informal class held in the lobby of the Neuospine Institute afterhours, grew into a physical therapy program that led to the creation of the Eugene Yang Chengfu Tai Chi Chuan Center. The program received accreditation from the International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association.
Dr. Moore still promotes the benefits of Tai Chi practice to his patients. He believes that patients who stick with Tai Chi as a long-term practice achieve significant health benefits in addition to injury rehabilitation.