Tai Chi: Health for Life: How and Why It Works for Health, Stress Relief and Longevity

Tai Chi: Health for Life: How and Why It Works for Health, Stress Relief and Longevity

by Bruce Frantzis, Yun Zhang


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According to Time Magazine, tai chi is “the perfect exercise.”

Tai chi’s incredible powers are reflected in its popularity. Over 200 million practitioners worldwide—young, old, athletic, sedentary, chronically ill, overweight—are using tai chi’s slow, graceful movements as a potent preventative health care practice to regain control of their health, boost high performance, manage stress and reverse the effects of aging.

Tai Chi Health for Life is in effect a comprehensive consumers’ guide to tai chi, by international authority and teacher of Taoist health, martial arts and spiritual practices, Bruce Frantzis. Citing clinical studies and the practical experience of practitioners, this inspiring book persuasively argues why everyone should consider taking up tai chi.

Tai Chi: Health for Life is not a how-to exercise manual nor does it teach any particular style of tai chi. Instead the book tells people exactly how tai chi works, revealing why tai chi is so effective at relieving such chronic health problems as high blood pressure, asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and anxiety. It explains how to choose a tai chi style and what to look for in a teacher. The book links the underlying energetic principles of tai chi to traditional Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture, and shows how its philosophy is derived from such ancient Taoist texts as the Tao Te Ching and the I Ching.

In Tai Chi Health for Life you will discover:
—Why doctors, nurses and alternative health care professionals are recommending the low impact movements of tai chi to their patients
—Why senior practitioners call tai chi the ‘elixir of life’
—How tai chi improves workplace productivity and boosts mental stamina
—Tools to combat repetitive stress injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome
—How tai chi enhances sexual, athletic and intellectual performance
—Why tai chi, as ‘moving meditation’ can create inner peace
—The difference between tai chi, chi gung (qigong) and yoga
—How tai chi teachers and advanced practitioners can upgrade their skills.

Tai Chi: Health for Life peels away the mysteries surrounding the concept of chi–life-force energy—which is fundamental to both tai chi and chi gung. These chi-building practices supercharge other exercise methods, such as sports, weight-lifting and yoga. Developing chi inside the body, mind and spirit is the most important determinant for achieving health, relaxation and vitality.

“Bruce Frantzis is a true master.” —Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583941447
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 02/09/2006
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 640,371
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Bruce Frantzis is reputed to be the first Westerner to hold authentic lineages in tai chi and other Taoist energy arts. He studied healing, martial arts and meditation with renowned teachers in Asia for 16 years–including spending more than a decade in China. There he trained in the three main styles of tai chi—Yang, Wu and Chen—and in combination styles, as well as studying chi gung and chi gung tui na therapeutic bodywork.

Frantzis used tai chi and other chi practices to dramatically heal himself: first from a life-threatening form of hepatitis in India and more dramatically from massive spine injuries that he received in a car accident.

Since 1987, Frantzis has taught tai chi, chi gung, martial arts, TAO yoga, TAO meditation, and energetic-healing therapies to over 15,000 students in the United States and Europe. His teaching methods are spread by a growing number of certified instructors that he has trained in the United States and Europe.

Frantzis’ experiences have made him a teacher with a mission: teaching people how the ancient self-healing chi practices can help them achieve health, relaxation, inner peace and longevity. He aims to help avert a major health crisis that threatens to engulf the Western world.

Frantzis is the author of several widely praised books about the power of chi including: The Power of Internal Martial Arts and Chi; the chi gung books, Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body and the Dragon and Tiger Medical Chi Gung Instruction Manual; and two volumes on the water method of TAO meditation, Relaxing Into Your Being and The Great Stillness. Two CDs, The Tao of Letting Go and Ancient Songs of the Tao, shed valuable insights into the power of TAO Meditation in helping people let go of their deepest emotional blockages and move closer to becoming truly alive, balanced and joyful.

Read an Excerpt

P. 73-78. P 73 ON ITS OWN WOULD DO
1. The Dynamics of Relaxation
In China, the Taoists discovered that physical relaxation is only the beginning of relaxation’s potential. There is also the need to relax your chi-energy, emotions, and mental activity and discover what it means to you to be a spiritual being. Complete relaxation integrates all of these kinds of relaxation…
Neurological Relaxation. All good training in tai chi strongly emphasizes relaxing every nerve in your body. By relaxing the nerves, muscular relaxation can go deeper and become a permanent part of you, rather than being just an intermittent, fleeting experience... It is an antidote capable of healing the all-pervasive damage that anxiety and stress produce, and it increases both physical and mental stamina, making you more productive than heaps of caffeine ever can.
Emotional Relaxation. As your nervous system opens up and loses its resistance to change, tai chi begins to help you gain access to, and let go of, the nastier emotions that tear up your insides–hatred, jealousy, self-pity, greed, inappropriate anger, etc. Maintaining emotional negativity requires tension that can destroy much of life’s joy.
Mental Relaxation. Stress usually causes the mind to speed up, often uncontrollably, and to have jangled, disassociated thoughts -- what the Chinese refer to as “the Monkey mind.” The more you relax, the more your conflicting thoughts begin to slow down and lose their force. You begin to see things with more clarity and less frustration.
Energetic Relaxation. Most Westerners do not relate to the concept of energetic relaxation and tension. Relaxation causes chi to flow smoothly and fully. Tension causes chi to flow erratically, in a jerky, spasmodic manner and with significantly less power. When chi moves smoothly, it has a natural balancing quality that helps the body to regenerate. The smoother the chi flow, the stronger and healthier the body becomes.
Spiritual Relaxation. The practice of tai chi may turn you towards meditation and spirituality. You may begin to gain the true strength and confidence to attempt to relax the obstacles that have bottled up truth, honesty, faith, kindness, generosity, love, and whatever other qualities may be stunted. These obstacles prevent the full flowering of your soul. (Chapter 4: How Tai Chi Reduces and Manages Stress)

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