Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art with uncertain origins, but is gaining popularity much like yoga. Mary Nell Jackson, a tai chi practitioner in Iowa City, IA, descirbes the art as organic. She says: “My original thought about it was that it was just so beautiful to watch because it looks like flowing water, or plants in a breeze, and it’s like being that, too. There is something about the movement patterns, something about doing it that makes you feel at one with many other things you see in the natural world.”
Principles of Tai Chi are becoming used in different types of physical therapy. According to Lori Enloe, former physical therapist and owner of Breath and Balance Tai Chi, the core principles of tai chi translate easily into physical therapy. The core principles are:
• Relaxation: Let go of tension, inside and out. Breathe.
• Verticality: Stand up straight and lean from your core, rather than your spine.
• Balance: Like yin and yang, maintain balance in your limbs and core.
• Slowness: Move slowly with intention, purpose and minimal effort.
• Mindfulness: Be in the moment. Forget your to-do list.
Would you counsider using Tai Chi as a part of your physical therapy program? Share with us here or on Facebook!