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Contents Dedication xiv Prologue: The Campaign for Graceful Aging: A Taoist Manifesto for Change, by Bruce Frantzis, xxv Author's Note xv Acknowledgments xv Foreword: Getting Older; Feeling Younger, by Diane Rapaport xvii Chapter 1:What is Tai Chi? 1 The Meaning of Tai Chi Chuan 3 The Meaning of Tai Chi 3 Chinese Pronunciation and Spelling 3 Chinese Cosmology 4 The Meaning of Chuan 5 The Integration of Tai Chi and Chuan 6 The Meaning of Chi (Subtle Energy) 7 Taoism-the Original Religion of China 8 Taoism's Literary Traditions: the I Ching, Lao Tse and Chuang Tse 9 Taoist Energy Arts 12 Chi Gung 14 The Different Branches of Chi Gung 15 The Differences Between Tai Chi and Chi Gung 16 Conclusion 17 Chapter 2:Traditional Chinese Medicine: the Roots of Tai Chi's Health Benefits 19 How Traditional Chinese Medicine Defines Health 21 The Primary Importance of Chi Circulation 21 The Mind and Body are Composed of Chi 22 Physical Health 23 Emotional Health 23 Psychological Health 24 Tai Chi: Health for Life Spiritual Health 24 The Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 25 Maintain 26 Enhance 26 Heal 26 The Eight Branches of Chinese Medicine 26 Chinese Medical Principles and Tai Chi 29 Balancing Yang and Yin Chi 29 Chi and Bodily Fluids 31 The Five Elements and the Seasons 32 Conclusion 33 Chapter 3:How Tai Chi Improves Health 35 Why Tai Chi is Done in Slow Motion 36 The 70 Percent Rule in Tai Chi: an Essential Principle 37 Body Movement 39 Improved Muscle Use 40 Increased Range of Motion in the Joints 40 A Good Leg Workout 40 A Two-Stage Tai Chi Exercise for Working the Legs 41 Body Support 44 Tai Chi Massages Your Internal Organs 44 Give Your Liver a Helping Hand 45 Stretching the Body 47 Reducing Pain in the Back, Neck, and Shoulders 48 The 70 Percent Rule for Recovery 49 Spinal Trauma 50 Postoperative Recovery 52 Pain Management 52 Recovering from Injuries 53 Concussion 53 Whiplash 53 Twisting, Turning, and Spiraling 54 Contents vii Regulating the Movement of Fluids in the Body 55 Blood Circulation 56 Lymph Circulation 57 Cerebrospinal Fluid 57 Increased Breathing Capacity 57 Good Biomechanical Alignments 58 The Importance of the Kwa 60 Increased Chi Flow 61 How to Release Stagnant Chi 62 Chi and the External Aura 63 Missing Body Parts and Phantom Pain 64 Chi Flow and the Lower Tantien, the Door of Life, and the Great Meridian 64 Conclusion 67 Chapter 4:How Tai Chi Reduces and Manages Stress 69 Practicing Moderation: Tai Chi's 70 Percent Rule 71 High Performance and the 70 Percent Rule 72 The Dynamics of Relaxation 73 Physical Relaxation 73 Neurological Relaxation 74 Emotional Relaxation 75 How Tai Chi Can Help Overcome Anger 76 Mental Relaxation 77 Energetic Relaxation 78 Understanding the Effects of Tension and Chi Blockage 79 Spiritual Relaxation 80 The Dynamics of Stress 81 The Eastern View of the Downward Stress Spiral 83 The Negative Stress Cascade 85 The Western View of the Dynamics of Stress 87 Type A Personalities: Preventing Burnout and Increasing High Performance 90 viii Tai Chi: Health for Life Tai Chi and Mental Health 90 Why Healers Need Tai Chi 91 Tai Chi and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 92 Conclusion 92 Chapter 5:Tai Chi and Longevity 95 Starting Tai Chi After Age Fifty 97 Tai Chi's Special Benefits for Practitioners Over Fifty 98 Physical Balance 99 Lowering and Regulating Blood Pressure 101 Improved Circulation 102 More Functional Biomechanical Alignments 103 Better Sleep 103 Increased Flow of Chi 104 Tai Chi's Social Benefits 104 Better Sex from Youth to Old Age 105 Light Weightlifting Training For Older People Using Traditional Weapons 106 Tai Chi for the Very Old 106 Conclusion 107 Chapter 6:Tai Chi's Benefits for Different Groups of People 109 Tai Chi for the Young 109 Tai Chi for People in their Late Teens, Twenties, and Early Thirties 111 The Benefits of Tai Chi for People Who Work 111 Sedentary Office Workers 112 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) 113 Managers and Executives 116 Other Professionals 117 Physical Laborers 119 Athletes, Dancers, Gymnasts, and Yoga Practitioners 119 Tai Chi for the Overweight 122 Tai Chi for People with Disabilities 125 Contents Hearing and Visually Impaired People 125 People with Neurological Conditions 125 Wheelchair Users 125 People with Mental Problems 126 Conclusion 127 Chapter 7:Tai Chi for Physical and Emotional Self-Defense 129 How Tai Chi's Slow Movements Create Fast Fighting 130 Push Hands Helps Manual Laborers Prevent Repetitive Stress Do You Have to Learn Self-Defense to get the Tai Chi as an Effective Martial Art 131 The Difference Between Internal and External Martial Arts 132 Seven Stages of Learning Tai Chi as a Martial Art 135 Practicing with Traditional Chinese Weapons 137 Straight Double-Edged Sword 138 Broadsword 139 Poles 140 Spears 141 Canes and Sticks 141 Push Hands 141 Injuries (RSI) 142 Fixed and Moving Push Hands 144 Is Tai Chi the Best Martial Art for Self-Defense? 145 Health Benefits of Tai Chi? 147 Emotional Self-Defense 148 Tai Chi's Value for External Martial Arts Practitioners 149 Tai Chi's Value for Older Martial Artists 149 Conclusion 150 Chapter 8:Tai Chi and Spirituality 151 How Tai Chi Touches on Spirituality 152 Will the Practice of Tai Chi Conflict with my Religion? 154 Meditative Movement: Secular Tai Chi 155 Secular Tai Chi Can Build a Foundation for Meditation 156 Tai Chi: Health for Life Secular Tai Chi Can Help Meditators of Any Spiritual Tradition 156 Exploring Non-Duality: Understanding the Underlying Nature From the External to the Internal: progressing from Jing (Body) Resolving Blockages by Transforming or Dissolving Energy: the Fire Taoist Moving Meditation: Taoist Tai Chi 158 of Opposites 159 The Taoist Tai Chi Tradition 160 Achieving Maturity 162 Finding Inner Stillness 162 Exploring Spiritual Morality 163 Inner Alchemy 164 Taoist Tai Chi's Meditation Techniques 164 to Chi (Energy) to Shen (Spirit) 165 and Water Schools of Taoist Meditation 165 The Cyclic Nature of the Three Treasures (Jing, Chi, and Shen) 166 Finding Spirit 167 Spiritual Relaxation 168 Connecting to Your Essence and the Tao 168 Taoist Tai Chi and Spiritual Stress 169 The Causes of Spiritual Stress 169 Spiritual Stress and the Elderly 170 Spiritual Tension Can Result In Poor Health 170 Taoist Tai Chi Requires Regular Practice 171 Conclusion 171 Chapter 9:Choosing a Tai Chi Style 173 Tai Chi's Five Major Styles 174 The Yang Style 176 The Wu Style 176 The Chen Village Style 176 The Hao Style 177 Combination Styles 177 Secret Styles 178 Contents Westernized and Non-traditional Tai Chi 178 History of the Tai Chi Styles 178 Large, Medium, and Small Frame Styles 181 Long, Medium and Short Forms 184 The Relative Advantages of Short, Medium, and Long Forms 184 How Long Does it Take to Do a Form? 186 Push Hands 187 The Best Style for Improving Health and Managing Stress 188 The Best Style for Beginners 188 Why Learn Tai Chi Instead of Another Discipline? 189 The Best Style for People Over Fifty 190 Conclusion 190 Chapter 10:Beginning Students: What You can Expect to Learn 191 Realistic Expectations 192 Tai Chi: Levels of Complexity 194 Body 195 Energy 195 Spirit (Mind) 196 What You Can Expect to Learn 197 Learning to Practice with Moderation: the 70 Percent Rule 198 Body Alignments 200 Learning Tai Chi Sequences 202 Coordination 203 Protecting your Joints 204 Challenges That Beginners Normally Encounter 205 The Challenges of Learning Large and Small Frame Tai Chi Styles 206 Breathing 207 Learning Strategies for Beginners 208 Practice Strategies for Beginners 209 Conclusion 210 xii Tai Chi: Health for Life Chapter 11: Intermediate and Advanced Students: What You Can Expect to Learn 213 The Greater the Challenge, the Greater the Rewards 214 Integrating the Three Treasures 214 Body 214 Energy 215 Spirit 215 More About the 70 Percent Rule for Experienced Students 216 The Transition from External to Internal Movements 217 Internal Movements 218 External and Internal Stretching 219 Taoist Breathing 221 Coordinating Movement with Breath 223 Circularity 223 Twisting, Spiraling, and Turning 224 Subtle Energy: Chi Development 230 Simple and Complex Chi Development 231 Gross to Subtle 232 An Example of One Kind of Progression in Chi Development 233 Chi Flow and Tai Chi Movements 234 The 16-Part Nei Gung System 235 Opening and Closing 240 Separate and Combine 243 Fa Jin - Projecting Power 245 The Tai Chi Classics 246 How to Practice for High-Level Performance 248 How Much, Where, and When to Practice 249 High Performance Teachers 250 Conclusion 251 Chapter 12:Choosing a Teacher 253 Benchmarks for Beginners 255 Credentials 256 Consider your Goals 256 Contents xiii Gauging Competence 258 Consider What Style to Learn 263 Personality and Substance 263 Choosing Teachers who are Healthcare Professionals 264 Where Do I Find a Teacher? 265 Benchmarks for More Advanced Students 266 Studying with a Master or Exceptional Teacher 267 Is Advanced Knowledge Being Shared? 268 Chi Energy Development 269 China's Five Levels of Competence 269 Martial Arts 271 Spirituality and Meditation 271 Developing a Relationship of Trust 271 Changing Teachers 272 Are Oriental or Western Instructors Better? 273 Studying Tai Chi in China 277 Conclusion 278 Epilogue: Why People Quit or Continue Tai Chi 279 Motivations for Change 279 Changing Established Rhythms 280 Deterrents to Practice 280 Tai Chi Raises Important Questions 281 Stages of Learning and Adopting Tai Chi 281 Success Flows from Perseverance and Continuity 285 Appendices 1: What Is the Difference Between Tai Chi and Chi Gung? 287 2: The Five Elements293 3: How Does Tai Chi Differ from Yoga? 299 4:Living Taoism Books, CDs and DVDs; Energy Arts Retreats, Workshops, Lectures and Instructor Trainings 303 Index 313
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Tai chi -- Therapeutic use.