The Many Benefits Of Tai Chi

The Many Benefits Of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a gentle type of exercise that is known to maintain flexibility, balance, and strength. It is an exercise that both the young and the elderly can do without much negative physical impact. Tai Chi is often called meditation that is in motion. This mind-body exercise that originated in China is considered a low impact form of martial arts. It is known to prevent many health problems. Tai Chi has many benefits. Here are some of them.

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It is low-impact

Since Tai Chi is low impact in means that people can start doing it even if they are not in the best of shape. Doing Tai Chi will only improve their health with its circular movements that are not forced. In Tai Chi, the muscles are not tense but are relaxed and joints are not fully extended or bent so that connective tissues are not stretched. Tai Chi can be adapted for almost any type of body and physical activity level. Even people who are in wheelchairs can do a modified form of Tai Chi.

 

It improves muscular strength

Tai Chi is known to improve upper and lower body strength. When it is done regularly, Tai Chi can be compared to brisk walking and resistance training. Even though someone doing Tai Chi is not working with weights, they can still strengthen the back of the abdomen and their core muscular strength.

 

Balance is improved

Tai Chi is known to improve balance and reduce falls. This is helpful for the elderly since falls can be deadly for them. When doing Tai Chi, one’s ability to sense their position in space is improved and this is what improves balance. Tai Chi underscores this sense and improves one’s sense of balance by focusing on sensory neutrons that are receptors for ligaments and muscles. With improved flexibility and muscular strength that’s gained from Tai Chi, recovering from a stumble is easier.

 

It improves aerobic conditioning

Many people believe that Tai Chi cannot provide cardio benefits since it is not a rigorous form of exercise. This assumption is not accurate. Tai Chi can improve aerobic benefits in a low-impact manner. There are many cardio exercises that get the heart rate up such as cycling, jogging and aerobics. However, these exercises may be too strenuous for all body types. With Tai Chi, one can still experience cardio conditioning without having to exert oneself.

 

Tai Chi is known to improve muscular strength, balance, and aerobic conditioning. It is a great starter exercise for those that are trying to get back into shape. All of these go to show that this form of exercise has many benefits that are useful for all ages and body types.

 

Summary of The Benefits of Tai Chi:

  • It is low-impact
  • It improves muscular strength
  • Balance is improved
  • It improves aerobic conditioning

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The Health Benefits of Tai Chi: Art and Science

Dr. Paul Lam, a practicing physician and Tai Chi master for more than 30 years, provides an overview of the ancient art of Tai Chi, and discusses the scientific ...

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Qi Gong DVD

Qi Gong DVD with Qi Gong Master Daryll Mitchell

Nowadays, busy working people don’t have time during weekdays to go to a yoga or taichi sessions and prefer to stay home for an entire day of rest at weekends or holidays. It seems like aiming to be holistically fit and healthy are not being prioritized due to severe time constraints. Good thing there are yoga, aerobics and qi gong DVD which you could easily purchase online or on stores. Qi gong DVD is a series of instructional modules of practicing dynamic and static movements and even meditation. Qi gong DVD is very useful for individuals who want to stay at the comforts of their home to train.

Qi Gong DVD: What is Qi Gong?

Qi Gong DVD presenter and Qi Gong guru Daryll Mitchell defined qi gong as cultivation of qi in order to develop stronger intellect and achieve several health benefits. Qi gong is characterized by slow paced movements where both breathing and movements are collaborated together. You can see all the step by step process of qi cultivation and in Daryll Mitchell’s qi gong DVD.

 

6 Series of Daryll Mitchell’s Qi Gong

  • Qi Gong DVD Series One: Dragon Gate Qi Gong
Wan Chong Yang (960-1127 AD) had invented the technique which he named Dragon Gate Qi Gong. This was passed on to Yi Cheiu Liang and was handed down to Chinese generation for over 10,000 years ago. Before moving to the next series, this qi gong DVD should be learned and practice thoroughly first to strengthen the qi which can be easily observed by individuals.
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  • Qi Gong DVD Series Two: Seven Star Standing Pole

This second qi gong DVD series comprises of different standing static positions that helps to improve posture, health and strength. The seven star standing pole which is commonly used for its healing and martial arts component was invented by Zhuang Zhuang and later modified by Wang Xiangzhai.  Wang Xiangzhai carried with him the influence of his to great masters Ermei (Buddhist) and Wudang (Taoist).

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  • Qi Gong DVD Series Three: Wuji Qi Gong
Wuji Qi Gong is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine which was handed down by Master Duan Zhi Liang from Beijing. Same with all other Qi Gong routines, it stores, strengthens and develops stagnat qi in our body which is the cause of many illnesses.r You can find all the natural pain management and healing techniques in this third series of qi gong DVD.

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  • Qi Gong DVD Series Four: Zhineng Qi Gong
This qi gong DVD includes the pertinent forms of the Zhineng Qi Gong which aims to improve intellectual capacity, promote optimum health development and discover other hidden human potentials. Zhineng Qi Gong, also known as the “open style” of qi gong for the modern era. Pang He ming, the inventor of Zhineng Qi Gong was a genius at his masterpies. More than 2000 people who had undergone the Zhineng Qi Gong had 95% success rate with their diseases.

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  • Qi Gong DVD Series Five: Guigen Qi Gong
This 5th qi gong DVD concentrates on the exercise of the mind which is meditation. This is suitable for person who wants an escape from the stressful reality. It is a 2 hour sitting meditation which not only targets your brain but all other important body organs like the spleen, liver, kidneys, lungs, stomach, and others.
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  • Qi Gong DVD Series Six: Fragrant Gong Qi Gong
The best qi gong practice for beginners and all ages. Fragrant Gong Qi Gong is just like integration of aroma therapy and essences during practice. Aside from relaxation, fragrant gong qi gong has evidenced results of therapeutic wonder to individuals with stroke, skin disease, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, kidney problems and many more. This qi gong DVD will teach you how to formulate and find the fragrances needed in this practice.
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Qi Gong For Beginners

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  • Genre: Exercise/Fitness
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The Way of Energy: Mastering the Chinese Art of Internal Strength with Chi Kung Exercise (A Gaia Original)

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taichi music

What is Taichi Music?

Most people prefer an exercise with a lively music or any rhythmic sound they can jive into. This is the reason why aerobic exercises or dance classes like belly dancing and pole dancing are very popular right now.

Taichi Music is taichi exercises with the integration of music. These are commonly used during meditation to help an individual empty his mind. Taichi music is implemented by a taichi instructor in his class to create a calming ambiance and an energetic mood. The taichi instructor plays taichi music from warm up exercises til the end of the class session.

taichi music

How Taichi Music Helps in Taichi Exercises
  • Helps a student remember movements. Each taichi music is designed for every taichi poses and movements so it is important that the instructor carefully choose the right type of taichi music for every lesson.
  • Taichi music when integrated with taichi exercises produces a more fluid and sensual movements. Taichi music elevates the mood of the practitioner making him embody the spirit of taichi.
  • Taichi music promotes relaxation and relieves stress when used in meditation. It is difficult to concentrate when there are lots of unnecessary noises around you, taichi music eliminates those noise and replaces it with a soothing and calming rhythm. Taichi music is also beneficial to dynamic exercises, it makes it easier to relax while holding a certain position.
  • Incorporation of taichi music breaks the monotonous silence in the class making the session more enjoyable. Tai chi sessions are often quiet and it’s hard to concentrate when you’re aware that one wrong move and you’ll cause a sound that will disturb the entire class.
  • Taichi music increases the level of concentration of the practitioner.

Recommended Taichi Music

The Silk Orchestra had produced 10 taichi music that are suitable for both class and individual practices. There are tracks for dynamic, static, and meditation taichi.

  1. Cloud Hands (54 Form, Slow Form 5’41)
  2. Her Graceful Heart (Sword Form 5’46)
  3. The Tai Chi Waltz (4’20)
  4. Nine Palace (Pushing Hands 3’29)
  5. Dai Lui (Pushing Hands 3’00)
  6. White Crane (Slow Form 5’41)
  7. Carry Tiger to the Mountain (Sabre Form, Dragon Dance 5’02)
  8. Remembrance 108 (Long Form) (Slow Form, 30’14)
  9. Small Sky, Breath Music (Qi Gong Breathing 5’00)
  10. Celtic Dragon (Ceremonial 4’35)

Where to Find Taichi Music Soundtracks?

There are tons of dvd and vcd you could buy online or on stores. But if you don’t want to spend money, you could directly download taichi music mp3’s then store it in your computer or transfer it in one of your portable mp3 players so you could bring it handy. If you own an iphone, ipod or ipad, there are various taichi application software you could use.

So whenever you’re going to enroll in a taichi class you have a choice either you want a taichi session which is quiet or join a class that incorporates taichi music. It is important that you follow what you desire to make it easier for you to embrace the taichi experience.ou could use as well. Browse some videos in youtube so that you could have an idea of what moves apply with these different taichi music.

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Tai Chi For Arthritis DVD

The Tai Chi for Arthritis program is supported by Arthritis Foundations around the world and has helped over one million people improve their quality of life. Dr. Lam has designed the sequel – Tai Chi for Arthritis Part II containing the 9 new movements which are more challenging. This DVD will suit people who have completed the Tai Chi for Arthritis Program and wish to gain more health benefits and enhance their Tai Chi skill. This DVD explores the depth and essential princi (more…)

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Scott Cole: Discover Tai Chi AM/PM Workouts (2009)

From waking up to winding down, Discover Tai Chi AM/PM with Scott Cole has two complete easy-to-follow workouts designed to improve balance, strength, flexibility, and energy flow, while letting go of stress and anxiety. AM (Morning) Workout – Greet the new day as you experience strength in slow motion with an empowering blend of gentle flowing Chi Kung exercises and graceful grounded Tai Chi postures. The workout concludes with light stretching and a relaxing focused meditation (more…)

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Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C.C. Chen (2009)

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Stills from Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C.C. Chen (Click for larger image)

Learn from a revered teacher, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Tai Chi Chuan Association “William C.C. Chen … has been the world’s best kept-secret.” –Inside Kung-Fu The ancient art of Tai Chi uses gentle, flowing movements to reduce stress, strengthen the body and mind, and improve overall well-being. Devel (more…)

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Sunrise Tai Chi: Simplified Tai Chi for Health & Longevity [Paperback]

Sunrise Tai Chi: Simplified Tai Chi for Health & Longevity

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Working with Rami for the last five years helped me to repair a debilitating back problem, and contributed to a better quality of life. But, what has been more important is Rami’s consistent teaching of deep breathing and the meditative mind, which has helped me to maintain some calm on the emotional rollercoaster of my life. — Larry Lucchino, President and CEO of the Boston Red SoxWorking with Rami (Ramel) for the last five years helped me repair a debilitating b (more…)

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Simplified Tai chi Chuan with Applications YMAA 2005

Simplified Tai Chi Chuan

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Simplified Tai chi Chuan with Applications

Search Amazon for “YMAA” , “Jwing-Ming Yang” or “Dr. Yang” to find more instructional health DVDs available from YMAA Publication Center. YMAA: Yang’s Martial Arts Association was established in Boston, MA in 1982. With the intent of preserving traditional Chinese Gongfu (Kung Fu) and Qigong , Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming began training students in the rigors of Shaolin Long Fist and White Crane Gongfu as well as Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan. Dr. Yang also undertook his life-l (more…)

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in a book that you can read and understand. Not only will you be able to keep up, you will be able to excel at Simplified Tai chi Chuan

[amazon_image id=”1886969337″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Tai Chi Chuan: 24 & 48 Postures with Martial Applications[/amazon_image]

Product Description

The 24 Forms and the 48 Forms.BETTER HEALTH IN 20 MINUTES A DAY! 

Simplified Tai chi Chuan

Learn two of the most popular forms of Tai Chi Chuan, the ancient Chinese martial art which is often described as ‘moving meditation’. The ‘Simplified’ 24-posture form is taught and demonstrated by Master Liang, Shou-Yu, with martial fighting applications. The form is shown from several angles, with breathing instructions. The Standard 48-posture form is also demonstrated.

This expanded DVD edition contains much more instruction than the VHS editions. DVD-only Detail Sections for both forms instruct each movement, and offer ‘guidelines’ for refining your training. Chapter markers for each technique and extensive DVD navigation make it simple to find any posture on the DVD with just a couple clicks, so you can continue your study where you left off.

In only 20 minutes a day, you can gain the health benefits of Simplified Tai chi Chuan: increased strength and energy, better balance, and improved bodily awareness. Excellent for beginning students, those who want a low-impact alternative to jogging or aerobics, and those with limited time for exercise.

This DVD complements the best-selling book Tai Chi Chuan—24 Postures with Applications & 48 Posture Routine, by Liang, Shou-Yu & Wen-Ching Wu (sold separately).

Special Features: Over 100 Simplified Tai chi Chuan Chapter sections • Narration: English or French • Multi-Language Menus and Subtitles: English, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, & French • History of Tai Chi Chuan sections • Slideshows of Master Liang demonstrating correct posture alignment • Interactive YMAA Product Catalog with previews of all YMAA video titles.

YMAA PRODUCTION • LIANG, SHOU-YU • “TAI CHI CHUAN 24 POSTURES WITH APPLICATIONS & STANDARD 48 POSTURES” • WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY LIANG, SHOU-YU WITH KELLY MACLEAN AND RAMEL RONES • EDITED BY DAVID SILVER AND MEDIAMANIC • VIDEO PRODUCTION SUPERVISION BY DAVID SILVER • DIRECTED BY DR. YANG, JWING-MING

150 minutes – color/ DVD9 – NTSC -All Regions -Simplified Tai chi Chuan

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Scott Cole: Discover Tai Chi For Beginners (2009)

Tai Chi For Beginners

Discover your potential from Tai Chi For Beginners as you become inspired by better balance, renewed strength, soaring confidence, improved flexibility, and reduced stress with Scott Cole and the Discover Tai Chi for Beginners learning method. Ease into the moment, leaving your stress-filled agenda far behind as you follow Scott through a seamless journey of healing Chi Kung exercises and easy-to-follow Tai Chi postures designed to open up energy channels,  improve breathing and posture, strengthen your core and leg base, and (more…)

 

Tai Chi For Beginners
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Element: Tai Chi for Beginners (2008)

Tai Chi is well-known for bringing the mind, body, and spirit together to gain balance, prevent injury, and promote good health. Filmed on a tranquil location overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this program features two practices that offer personal one-on-one instruction and will allow you to experience the many layers of benefits this martial art has to offer. The first practice will revitalize and energize using the principles of Qi Gong. This Qi Gong series will focus on the bre (more…)

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How to Find a Tai Chi Class Or Teacher

Depending on where you live, finding a Tai Chi class may be as easy as pie or nigh on impossible. If you live in or close to a major city, your odds of finding a good teacher are certainly better than if you live in a small rural area. Even so, with Tai Chi gaining in popularity you may still be able to find a local class. If your town has a karate dojo or martial arts studio, that may be the first place to inquire. While they may not give any classes in Tai Chi it’s possible they may have connections with another studio that does or know of someone who teaches classes.

Other places that may have classes in Tai Chi or advise you on where to find one may be:

-Holistic Wellness Centers

-Therapeutic Massage Studios

-Health Food Stores

-Adult Learning Centers

-Churches

-YMCA/YWCAs

-Senior Centers (even if you are not a senior the person who

         teaches Tai Chi may teach additional classes elsewhere)

-Local or Community College

-Local high school

-Local dance studio

-Bulletin board at your local bookstore or supermarket.

-Community Center

Also, searching for tai chi and the name of your town on google may come up with something. With diligence and a little luck you may be able to find a class not too far from home.

However, in the absence of regular classes, you should still be able to start practicing Tai Chi by working with a DVD or tape. The best videos for beginners will have an emphasis on understanding proper posture and provide ways to self-check to be sure you are staying on course. Tai Chi for Busy People, by Dr. Keith Jeffery is one example of a good beginner’s DVD.

Since there is no test or standard rating system for Tai Chi instructors there is nothing to show that a given instructor is qualified, or even competent, to teach Tai Chi. Unless there is no other option available, I would steer clear of a teacher who considers Tai Chi to be just another exercise like step class or Pilates (This is not to put down Pilates, by the way, I actually know a lot about Pilates – I helped write a Pilates book, as a matter of fact – and it’s a great exercise system).

The best Tai Chi teachers are fully aware of the martial origins of the various postures (whether or not they choose to utilize that information in class), along with some of the history – including the origins of their particular form – along with information about energy flow and the healing aspects and health benefits of Tai Chi.

Because Tai Chi is so easy on the joints and doesn’t require great athleticism classes can tend to be very mixed when it comes to age and physical conditioning. Classes can also have a wide range of experience levels with more advanced students assisting the instructor with teaching the beginning and less experienced students. However, not all teachers, regardless of their Tai Chi experience and education level will be able to handle a class with multiple skill levels adequately.

My mother, before she passed away in 2007, had some serious problems with balance and leg strength due to anemia and other physical issues. She decided on her own to try a Tai Chi class not far from her apartment in New York City (I live near Philadelphia, so I didn’t get to see her as often as I would have liked). She was not comfortable and felt very alienated because the teacher seemed to be making no provision for integrating her into the class. She told me she was intimidated because all the other students were much more advanced than she.

When she told me about this during one of my visits I was a bit perturbed. A good, experienced Tai Chi instructor should make it a primary focus to be sure all his students are comfortable. No one should ever feel isolated because they are a beginner or are in any way infirm. I suggested that she try a new teacher and a new class and keep going until she found the right one, because Tai Chi was exactly the type of activity she needed. I demonstrated some of the form I was working on so she could see how gentle it was, and she was very encouraged and excited about the prospect of trying another class.

Sadly, my mother suffered a stroke only a few days after my visit and never recovered. When I was next in her apartment a couple of weeks later, I noticed an entry on her calendar indicating she had indeed signed up for a new class and teacher.

The lesson here for every Tai Chi Student is that Tai Chi should be for everybody, regardless of age or physical condition, but your first class and teacher may not be the right ones for you. If you don’t feel comfortable in the class or with the teacher, don’t give up Tai Chi — try a different class, and keep going until you find one that works for you.

I realize this advice may not work for everybody since you may be lucky to find a teacher at all, but if you can find a video that works well with the style and form you are learning, and can supplement your class with learning from the video, you may be able to persevere and get through the difficulties You have with the class.

Good luck in your journey to Tai Chi fulfillment.

Pete Glaze is the creator, webmaster and principal author of the website http://www.taichistudent.com, a site written for tai chi students (and potential students).

(c) Copyright – Peter E. Glaze. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Author: Pete Glaze
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Tai Chi DVDs – Your Buying Options

Are you interested in buying a Tai Chi DVD? If you are looking to learn Tai Chi for an affordable price, in the comfort of your own home, you may just be. If that is the case, do you know where you can buy a Tai Chi DVD from? When it comes to buying a Tai Chi DVD, you will find that you have a number of different options.

One of the most common places that consumers to go purchase DVD items, such as a Tai Chi DVD, is media stores. Media stores are stores that carry a large collection of media items, including books, DVDs, VHS tapes, computer games, and much more. Depending on the size of your local media store, you should have access to a number of different Tai Chi DVDs.

You should also be able to purchase a Tai Chi DVD from stores that are commonly referred to as fitness supply stores or sports stores. Many of these stores carry a wide range of instructional items, including books and DVDs. The selection of Tai Chi DVDs at your local sports stores or fitness stores will likely depend on the size of the store, as larger stores tend to carry more products.

In addition to visiting a local retail store, like one of your local book stores, sport stores, or fitness supply stores, you should also be able to find similar stores online. These types of establishments are often referred to as online retail stores. What is nice about buying a Tai Chi DVD online is that you should have access to hundreds of different retailers, as well as an unlimited number of DVDs to purchase. It is also important to note that many online retailers allow their customers to rate products that they have bought, including a Tai Chi DVD. These ratings, if you are able to find them, should give you great insight into the Tai Chi DVDs that are available for purchase.

You should also be able to find and purchase a Tai Chi DVD from an establishment that is often referred to as a Tai Chi learning center. These learning centers are the places where Tai Chi is taught to the general public. It is not uncommon for a Tai Chi learning center to have a small store or at least an area where Tai Chi products, including DVDs, can be purchased from. What is nice about making your Tai Chi DVD purchase from a Tai Chi learning center is that many centers examine and only carry a select number of Tai Chi DVDs, most commonly the ones that may provide viewers like you with the best information or Tai Chi instructions. You may also be able to find Tai Chi DVDs available for sale on a Tai Chi learning center’s website, should they have one.

As you can see, you have a number of different options when it comes to buying a Tai Chi DVD. Wherever you choose to make your purchase from, it is important that you examine the Tai Chi DVD of your choice, before purchasing it, to ensure that it can help you learn Tai Chi in an easy, but effective way.

Nessa Simms is a writer for The Wellness Evolution . com where you can find accurate information about Tai Chi DVDs [http://www.thewellnessevolution.com/tai-chi-dvd-1.htm] and other related information.

Author: Nessa Simms
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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How A Tai Chi Retreat Can Revitalize Your Mind Body and Soul

Today we live in a world that is more stressful than ever, and mind, body and soul retreats are very popular, where people can get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

One of the most popular of the growing number of mind, body and soul retreats is Tai Chi.

Tai Chi is a non-strenuous art that is suitable for everyone – young, old, fit, or not so fit. This is due to its gentle nature and this has been the cornerstone of its growth in popularity.

An Intensive Enjoyable Introduction to Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a practice of meditation within movement – a series of movements performed in a slow relaxed and harmonized way and is the Taoist Path to mental, physical, and spiritual well being.

Tai Chi retreats act as an ideal introduction to this ancient art and aim to combine the basics of the art with a short holiday.

This intensive style of introduction allows pupils to learn more quickly than at a weekly class and derive a greater understanding of the art.

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Most Tai chi retreats offer sessions in relaxing and scenic surroundings to enhance the overall affect of Tai Chi.

A mix of water, woodland and peaceful, spacious areas are typical scenes that Tai Chi retreats try to use, so that the venue makes learning a pleasure and a joy.

What Will You Learn?

Any introduction to Tai Chi will focus on the proper presentation of “the form” the basis of all the different types of Tai Chi.

Each Tai Chi style has its own distinctive way of presenting the form in terms of:

. The postures included.

. The order in which they appear.

. The way they are performed.

. How long the form actually takes to complete.

Although the different styles of Tai Chi present the form in different ways, the purpose and the philosophy behind them is the same – to revitalize mind, body and soul.

The Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi does the following:

· Stimulates circulation.

· Aligns the skeleton and joints.

· Stimulates the organs of the body.

· Helps digestion.

· Improves muscle tone and strength.

· Improves balance and co ordination.

· Improves breathing.

Tai Chi does not just provide physical benefits – Tai Chi also focuses thought, so that mind and body energy work together as one.

People find that they are not just physically fitter but, more alert more creative and generally happier.

Combining the above with a holiday gives you relaxation as well as health benefits – this is what Tai Chi holidays are all about.

Choosing the Right Tai Chi Retreat

There are many Tai Chi holidays and you should consider the following when selecting one:

· The retreat location

· What are the facilities?

· What is the background of the instructors?

· What is the schedule?

· What will you learn?

· Are the exercises performed outside or inside?

All the above are obvious questions, but to get the most from your holiday make sure that you have good instruction, in surroundings you are comfortable with and using a schedule that suits you.

Any reputable Tai Chi teacher will be pleased to answer any questions you may have and give you all the background information you need, to make your holiday one you will never forget.

To learn more about Tai Chi retreats [http://www.re-vitalise.co.uk/articles-sitemap.html] and the benefits of learning Tai Chi visit our web site: http://www.Re-Vitalise.co.uk

Author: Stephen Todd
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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High Blood Pressure and Tai Chi Therapy

Way back in 2003, the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine’s Oct. 9th issue reported a study finding that Tai Chi “could decrease blood pressure and results in favorable lipid profile changes and improve subjects’ anxiety status. Therefore, Tai Chi could be used as an alternative modality in treating patients with mild hypertension, with a promising economic effect.” This study laid out a way to save our society, perhaps billions of dollars annually, and possibly save some patients with mild chronic hypertension the potential negative side effects of chronic lifelong medication. However, this largely hasn’t occurred.

I caught a glimpse why when I was staying in the beautiful mountain town of Otavala, Ecuador, with a woman known for her knowledge of traditional Indian medicines. A tour of young American medical students stopped here to listen and learn from the Indian woman’s tour of her herbal gardens. As I followed them, I asked a group of young bright medical students if they were aware that Tai Chi was found to reduce high blood pressure. One lovely young woman replied, “Oh, yes, I’ve heard that, but I would never prescribe it.”

I asked why, and she responded that she couldn’t because she didn’t know if it would work. Although Tai Chi studies do show that Tai Chi indeed helps lower high blood pressure, it is true that it does not reduce it in every person. However, it is also true that every drug prescription does not work on every person either. I suggested to the young medical student that she consider that many times I’ve been to the doctor, and he’s pulled out a prescription pad and explained, “Let’s give this a try, and see how it works for you, and if it doesn’t do the job, we’ll try something else.” Most of us are familiar with this, and by the confused look on the student’s face, I’m assuming her memory banks were bringing up similar images.

So, why are our medical universities giving students the impression that they should not be prescribing Tai Chi, since we know it can help lower high blood pressure for many, who if it is successful with them, can enjoy a lifetime free of chronic and costly medications? And not only do that, but offer a plethora of GOOD SIDE EFFECTS including a stronger immune system and healthier respiratory system. This is a deep and important question we need to be asking as patients and consumers, and health professionals must begin asking this question regularly in order to fulfill the duties of their Hippocratic oath. For, today we have even a much better understanding of Tai Chi’s potential than we did a few years ago, so ignorance or inconclusive data is not an acceptable explanation from our medical universities that train our future doctors, without teaching them about Tai Chi research, and what it portends for their future patients.

Today, we are clearer on exactly why Tai Chi is such a powerful therapy for high blood pressure sufferers. In a March 17, 2005, article by the Mayo Clinic staff posted at mayoclinic.com they lay out what a “stress response” is, and the effects it has on the body. This is at the core of high blood pressure problems and the physical changes chronic stress responses illicite that creates or aggravates hypertensive conditions.

In their article, they explain that a stress response, or “fight or flight” reaction involves our pituitary gland releasing adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which sets a domino effect signaling other glands to produce additional hormones, such as adrenal glands which flood the blood stream with stress hormones, such as “cortisol” and “adrenaline.”

When ordinary life’s daily frustrations trigger this effect over and over again, the results can be damaging to the mind and body. Many of us experience this domino effect of triggers and hormones daily, which is why about 1/3 of Americans, or over 90 million Americans, suffer from high blood pressure.

Cutting edge scientists like Dr. Herbert Benson, President of the Mind/Body Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, are discovering a stunning reality through their research. In a wonderful article by Jeanie Lerche Davis at WebMD Medical News entitled The Mysterious ‘Medication’ of Meditation (http://my.webmd.com/content/article/25/1728_
57992.htm), she writes of how such researchers are discovering that “meditation can indeed be medication – creating long lasting physiciolgical effects that reduce high blood pressure and even help unclog arteries to reverse heart disease.”

Dr. Benson, who is also associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, sought to prove how this effect could be shown objectively, and had five long-time meditation practitioners take MRI brain scans while meditating. Dr. Benson informed WebMD in the aforementioned article by Davis, “There was a striking quietude across the entire brain which was documented through MRI . . . The areas of the brain that became active from that quietude were those that control metabolism, heart rate, etc., . . . We knew meditation caused a relaxation response, but we couldn’t prove it. We knew that if you thought in a certain way, with repetition, that physiologic changes would occur in the body. Here now is proof that mind, in the form of repetition, is affecting the brain, which affects the body . . . “

Stroke Magazine reported on a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, conducted by Dr. Amparo Castillo-Richmond, from the Maharishi University, more specifically on high blood pressure afflicting black people. The meditating group saw a reduction in the thickness of one of the arteries that supplied blood to the brain. Which indicates that blood flow is increasing. The group only using diet and exercise saw their artery walls getting thicker, which indicated that less blood was flowing through to the brain. This finding led Dr. Castillo-Richmond to make the profoundly exciting assertion, “It’s possible to reverse heart disease through meditation.”
In fact, not only hypertension, but up to 90% of other illnesses sending us to the doctor are being caused by stress, according to Dr. Herbert Benson. Which makes Dr. Benson’s and Dr. Castillo-Richmond’s findings that meditative techniques can so dramatically alter our stress producing “fight or flight” response in healthy ways even more wonderful.

Dr. Benson explains, that the relaxation response triggered by repetitive forms [like tai chi, yoga, etc.] can result in decreased metabolism, heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and also slower brain waves.” Benson asserts that it is the repetitive nature of acts like praying the rosary, yoga, or tai chi’s physical repetitive muscular actions that provides the profound hope for reducing anxiety, mild and moderate depression, anger and hostility, hypertension, cardiac irregularities, and all forms of pain, which are made worse by stress.

This concept of Tai Chi being an effective tool for reducing or even avoiding incidence of high blood pressure or other illnesses all together, is echoed elsewhere. Mayoclinic.com also recommends Tai Chi for relaxation training in an article entitled, “Relax: Techniques to help you achieve tranquility” which also explains why relaxation is important and what you might experience by practicing tools that will help you relax.

They detail how you can improve body responses to stress, such as: Slowing your heart rate; Reducing blood pressure; Slowing your breathing rate; Reducing the need for oxygen; Increasing blood flow to the major muscles; Lessening muscle tension.

They go on to explain that practicing relaxation techniques may help you experience: Fewer symptoms of illness, such as headaches, nausea, diarrhea and pain; Few emotional responses such as anger, crying, anxiety, apprehension and frustration; More energy; Improved concentration; Greater ability to handle problems; More efficiency in daily activities.
So, time and time again as we begin to examine one particular benefit of Tai Chi, such as lowering high blood pressure, we see a whole universe of potential opening up before us.

An article from Archives of Internal Medicine, as reported on NBC’s local WCAU Health (http://wcau-tvhealth.ip2m.com/index.cfm?pt=itemDetail&Item_ID=112735&Site_Cat_ID=77) explained a Tai Chi research program at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston revealed a great deal. The article authors wrote, “Overall, these studies reported that long-term Tai Chi practice had favorable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in elders . . . Cardiovascular and respiratory function improvements were noted in healthy people and those who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery as well as people with heart failure, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, arthritis and multiple sclerosis . . . Benefit was also found for balance, strength, and flexibility in older subjects; falls in frail elderly subjects; and pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects.” They add the actual ways that Tai Chi provides these benefits are not well known.

The fact is that less than .5% of the National Institute of Health’s budget goes to research alternative therapies, leaving yoga, meditation, tai chi, massage, herbal therapy, aroma therapy, and the entire massive field of alternative health systems to struggle over .5%, or a little over $100 million of the $28 billion (approx.) annual budget. Given the above studies, it boggles the mind that such a small portion of the health research dollars are going to Tai Chi.

To recap, about 1/3 of the American population suffers high blood pressure. Tai Chi is proven to be a beneficial therapy that not only has no bad side effects, but dramatically improves immune function, respiratory function, lowers the incidence of anxiety and depression, and profoundly improves the balance of practitioners. Tai Chi does more, but for our purposes here these profound realities are enough to show exactly why it is truly unbelievable that Tai Chi is getting so little scrutiny in medical research dollars, when it can save so many from chronic suffering and perhaps some from a lifetime of chronic costly medications.

It is time we all began to ask the question that all good consumers should ask, “What is the best way/product for my health?” If Tai Chi is that product, the next question is, “Why isn’t every physician offering it as an option to their patients with hypertension, as a prescription?” “Why aren’t all insurance policies covering such prescriptions for Tai Chi?” Ask and ye shall receive. We must become informed and demanding health consumers, in order to get the best health options available.

This article does not advocate self-treatment, and encourages all to make health choices in conjunction with their physician. However, if your physician is close-minded to anything but a certain group of health options, even when research indicates your choices may be wider, than it is time to have a good talk with your physician about possibly widening your options.

Copyright 2005 Bill Douglas

Bill Douglas is the Tai Chi Expert at DrWeil.com, Founder of World T’ai Chi & Qigong Day (held in 50 nations each year), and has authored and co-authored several books including a #1 best selling Tai Chi book The Complete Idiots Guide to Tai Chi & Qigong. Bills been a Tai Chi source for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. You can learn more about Tai Chi & Qigong, and also contact Bill Douglas at http://www.worldtaichiday.org

Author: Bill Douglas
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Tai Chi – Getting To A Deeper Understanding

What is Tai Chi for You…

Tai chi is an ancient physical art form which was developed way back in ancient china. Tai Chi has been translate to; ‘supreme ultimate fist’. As the name suggests this art form is primarily a martial art but it is different from the conventional martial art forms. In Tai Chi there is use of slow tempo maneuvers and subtle movements instead of explosive kicks and hard punches to overcome an opponent.

Tai chi is claimed to have been found by a wise monk Chang Seng Feng.

According to the sayings this monk once had a dream of a fight between a snake and a crane. Taking this to be a divine dream Chang Seng studied the dream and made the thirteen postures that laid the foundation of Tai Chi.

After some time Tai Chi has evolved with improvising and innovating a basic Tai Chi style into many forms of today. Nowadays you can learn many forms of Chi Practice such as Wang style, Wu style, Chen style and so on. Although the birth of new Chi forms were not only restricted to these three but the above mentioned were the most prevalent form with Yang style being the most practiced.

A Tai Chi practice involves much discipline and is something you can grow into as your practice matures. Just like Kung Fu and other art forms Tai Chi requires students to maintain a very rigid life style. The demands of Tai Chi are seldom met by casual students and on top of that Chinese practitioners are known for being very selective of their students, almost secretive. These reasons have lead to a sharp decline in Tai Chi as a combat art form in recent years.

Today Tai Chi has been modified as a means to attain better physical and mental health.

There are increased number of folks signing up for Tai Chi classes as a part of their health regime. Even community centers and some physicians have been taking initiatives to popularize Tai Chi by sponsoring the teaching Tai Chi.

One question that comes to ones mind is; ” What Tai Chi actually is to You”?

Tai chi is essentially a martial art form but has softer and subtle moves. You should not undermine the power of Tai Chi or Qigong because of its slow tempo. Consider Tai Chi can be a form of moving meditation. Adding Qigong you can get into some very intense energy flow…breaking a sweat standing still with invigorating life flow.

Tai Chi consists of 24, 40, to 108 moves gaining massive popularity for folks of every age group.

Doing Tai Chi one, two or three times a week means you can be getting exercise for your whole body akin to doing any high quality exercise or even aerobics.

And even more, what a regular Chi practice can mean to you is much better than an outstanding health insurance policy… your are planning for your overall good health. You can be taking or sharing responsibility’s for your own health and wellness. (that is huge!)

And at the core of your Chi practice… it’s all about stepping into a natural ‘Chi Flow’ making your Tai Chi practice a most valuable investment in yourself and your health.

Chi Know-how and practice can be a lifelong quest or just something you do for 30 minutes to feel better fast. No matter what you decide do check with your physician first and foremost before starting any exercise program.

Samuel Oliver contributes to the website, TaiChiEssentials.com with a focus all about Tai Chi and Qigong for health and wellness, where you can discover tips, secrets and know-how all about your Chi practice including What is Tai Chi

Author: Samuel Oliver
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Tai Chi Video – Why It Can Make a Great Gift

Have you been searching for the perfect gift for one of your friends, family members or coworkers? If you have, are you still coming up empty handed? Although it may not seem like a difficult task, choosing a gift can sometimes be. If you are not having any luck, you are urged to examine Tai Chi products, namely a Tai Chi video. Although at first glance it may not seem like the perfect gift, it actually could be.

If you are unfamiliar with Tai Chi you may not know that it is a Chinese martial art. Earlier versions of Tai Chi had a focus on health, meditation, and martial art. While these focuses still exist, a large number of individuals have started using Tai Chi as a form of self-defense or for fighting purposes. The wide interpretation of Tai Chi has made it popular today. The popularity of Tai Chi spans all around the globe.

The popularity of Tai Chi is just one of the many reasons why a Tai Chi video would make the perfect gift for one of your friends, relatives, or co-workers. Another reason is for meditation purposes. As it was previously mentioned, Tai Chi has a focus on mediation. It has been said that mediation is successful at helping to promote a healthy spirit. Whether your gift recipient has been going through a tough time or if they regularly find themselves stressed due to life, such as long work hours or the raising of children, a Tai Chi video may come in handy. Practicing Tai Chi has been known to decrease the stress levels of participants.

In addition to mediation, as it was mentioned above, Tai Chi also has a focus on health. Over the past few years, numerous medical studies have been conducted. These studies were trying to determine what health benefits Tai Chi possessed, if any. It has been said that Tai Chi helps to promote balance and cardiovascular fitness. All individuals, no matter what their age can benefit from learning Tai Chi, but those that are elderly or increasing in age may be able to reap the most rewards, health wise.

It is also important to note comfort. In the United States and even all around the world for that matter, there are a large number of individuals who are interested in learning the art of Tai Chi. Unfortunately, many of those individuals do not want to take a public course, find it difficult to afford private lessons, or don’t have time to take Tai Chi classes. If you know someone who would like to learn Tai Chi, but is unable to do so, a Tai Chi video may be the perfect gift for them. A Tai Chi video would allow your gift recipient to learn Tai Chi at their own pace, from the comfort of their own home. A Tai Chi video eliminates potentially uncomfortable moments for beginners during training classes.

The decision as to whether or not you want to purchase a Tai Chi video as a gift for one of your friends or family members is yours to make, but it is at least something worth looking into. In fact, you may be so surprised with the benefit of learning Tai Chi that you may end up buying yourself a Tai Chi video.

Nessa Simms is a writer for The Wellness Evolution.com where you can find accurate information about a Tai Chi Video [http://www.thewellnessevolution.com/tai-chi-video-2.htm] and other related information.

Author: Nessa Simms
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Looking for a Tai Chi Chuan Book? Your Buying Options

Are you interested in learning more about the well-known Chinese martial art of Tai Chi Chuan? If you are, you may be looking to purchase a Tai Chi Chuan book. When it comes to buying a Tai Chi Chuan book, do you know where you can make your purchase or purchases from? While you might automatically respond with your local book store, your local book store isn’t your only option. There are actually a number of different places where you can purchase a Tai Chi Chuan book from; in fact, there a large number of them.

As it was previously mentioned, you should be able to purchase a Tai Chi Chuan book from one of your local book stores. What is nice about many book stores is that many now have computers set up to allow you to easily search for a certain book or certain type of book, like a Tai Chi Chuan book. While the selection of Tai Chi Chuan books at local book stores tends to be fairly limited, being able to quickly search for a book, with the use of a modern computer system, it should only take a few minutes of your time to examine your local book stores.

In addition to your local book store, you may also want to think about visiting one of your local fitness stores or sports stores. Tai Chi Chuan is often considered a sport; therefore, you should be able to find numerous Tai Chi Chuan items, including a Tai Chi Chuan book, at one of your local sports stores or fitness stores. If you live near a large mall, shopping for a Tai Chi Chuan book may be easy, as many malls not only have sports stores in them, but book stores as well.

In addition to visiting traditional retail stores, like sports stores, fitness stores, or book stores, you may also want to think about examining one of your local Tai Chi Chuan learning centers. Tai Chi Chuan learning centers are often used to describe the locations where Tai Chi Chuan classes are being taught. Many of these centers also have a small store or at least information on how you can go about purchasing Tai Chi Chuan products, including a Tai Chi Chuan book.

If you would prefer to purchase a Tai Chi Chuan book from the comfort of your own home, you are urged to give online shopping a quick glance. There are a large number of online retailers that have a large selection of Tai Chi Chuan books available for sale; these books are also available for a wide range of different prices. When shopping online for a Tai Chi Chuan book, you will want to examine the online websites of Tai Chi Chuan learning centers, book stores, and sports stores.

In addition to having a wide range of retailers to choose from, when looking to purchase a Tai Chi Chuan book, you will also find that you have a number of books to choose from. Many Tai Chi Chuan books have information on the history of Tai Chi Chuan, while others have step-by-step instructions on how to complete a Tai Chi Chuan form, and many have both.

Nessa Simms is a writer for The Wellness Evolution . com where you can find accurate information about a Tai Chi Chuan Book [http://www.thewellnessevolution.com/tai-chi-chuan-book.htm] and other related information.

Author: Nessa Simms
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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The Benefits of Learning Tai Chi

Have you heard of Tai Chi before? Tai Chi is a well-known and historic form of Chinese martial art. Over the past few years, the popularity of Tai Chi has increased, and its popularity has spanned the globe. While a large number of individuals are interested in learning Tai Chi with no questions asked, there are others who are interested in learning more about Tai Chi, like the benefits of practicing it. If you are one of those individuals, you will be pleased to know that practicing Tai Chi has an unlimited number of benefits.

One of the greatest benefits to learning Tai Chi is the health benefits. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to determine if there were any help benefits to practicing Tai Chi and there were. Tai Chi is known to promote a health body balance. This healthy body balance is ideal for those increasing in age, as it will help to reduce the number of poor balance related falls. It has also been noted that Tai Chi is effective at reducing pain. While it may not always help with pain, a number of studies have found that their participants noted a decrease in pain associated with old injuries.

In conjunction with the above mentioned health benefits, it also important to mention staying active. In some aspects, Tai Chi is considered a sport. When learning Tai Chi, you are actively learning and practicing some of the many Tai Chi moves or forms. This activity will not only help to improve your overall balance, but it will also help to give you exercise. While Tai Chi isn’t necessarily always associated with weight loss, it may be if you combine learning Tai Chi with other exercises or even just with eating a healthy diet. If you currently do not have an exercise plan, you may start noticing a weight loss, from learning Tai Chi right away.

In addition the physical health benefits, another benefit of learning Tai Chi is what it can do for your emotional state and emotional wellbeing. Mediation is a competent of Tai Chi. This has what in turn has led to the emotional benefits of participating Tai Chi. Due to its relaxing nature, those who are learning Tai Chi have noticed a significant change in their emotional state or even just an outlook on life. Many have commented that learning Tai Chi helped to decrease their stress levels, overall making them a happier and healthier person.

The above mentioned benefits of learning Tai Chi are just a few of the many that exist. One other noteworthy benefit of learning Tai Chi is that it is fun. Whether you are learning Tai Chi by yourself or with a friend, you will sure enjoy the experience. If you are interested in reaping the above mentioned benefits and the many more of learning Tai Chi, you are urged to find a Tai Chi seminar or instruction class that is being offered in or around your area. In the end, you will be glad that you did.

Nessa Simms is a writer for The Wellness Evolution.com where you can find accurate information about Learning Tai Chi [http://www.thewellnessevolution.com/learning-tai-chi.htm] and other related information.

Author: Nessa Simms
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Tai Chi for Over Fifties And Under Fifties!

Tai Chi is an internal martial art which can be soft and gentle. It can and should be practised in a flowing way for practitioners of any age. Particlularly, in China and the est nowadays, people ove r 50 are taking up tai chi whilst the younger generation in china are not so interested in such a traditional art!

Tai chi has been proven by the 3000 years of Chinese experience and recent medical studies into te benefits of qigong [tai chi is acomplete qigong] to be beneficial to the health of the individual practioner. Complete recovery of from diseases from cancer to colds has been documented through diligent pratice of tai chi.

Tai chi can also be used to control arthritis. It is recommended that you learn under a highly experienced instructor, who has over 10 years of experience and has learned in China or from a well-recognized master with verificable “lineage”. This is because you want to be learning the real thing and benefitting by clearer mind, healthier body and gradual recovery from any health challeneges you may have experienced or be experienceing.

Enjoying it so far: click here [http://www.gods-internet.com/tai-chi-kung-fu].

Tai chi chuan means “supreme ultimate fist”. What does “supreme ultimate” mean to you? Tai chi is really about the cultivation of mind, body, spirit and also to kinds of energy, which we don’t have a proper concept of in the West. Those are internal energy, or chi which is present in the body from birth and we also get it from air and food. External energy is the energy that is in the universe. We learn to build up the chi in our bodies in tai chi and that helps us to improve our health. This is the medical aspect of tai chi. We learn to utilize the external energy in tai chi which is the martial aspect of the martial art of tai chi.

Tai chi is said to have been invented approximately 5000 years ago, legend has it either by a Taoist priest named Chang Seng Feng or passed to the ancient Chinese people by a group of people reputed to have been 7ft tall and these people – “the sons of reflected light” are said to have taught the arts to the chinese which has made their civilisation so advanced since as long as 3000 year ago as documented by discoveries of the porcelain and silk items in archaeology.

Chang Seng Feng is reported to have witnessed a fight between a crane and a snake and noticed the yielding and striking qualities of these animals and designed tai chi based on observations of nature. Tai chi is thus performed slowly and changingly, “flowing like a river” to promote longevity and health. does the tortoise or the elephant move quickly and fast? And how long do these creratures live for? Is it not possible then that we should slow down in our lives and relax like these long-living creature to improve our own chances of living long lives?

We imitate the movements of many animals in the tai chi form – a sequence of movements or postures which flow into each other. These stretching and strengthening exercises have very poetic names, beautiful such as White Crane Spreads Its Wings, Golden cock Stands On one Leg and Fair Lady Weaves The Shuttles.

Tai chi is a healthy exercise which improves circulation. The author used to be a medical student at Sheffield university and notes that Tai chi was used in the Royal Hallamshire Hospital to aid recovery for heart attack patients. Tai chi incorporates breathing and movement as well as internal assage of the body’s organs and stretching of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Keeping a clear mind is important and whilst the exercise is anaerobic, i.e. not strenuous, the body feel invigorated after proper practice and one can feel energy circulating in the body after practice -so don’t overdo it. The key is consistent daily practice and taking responsibility for your health 100%

Sam Beatson Runs Several Websites:

[http://www.tai-chi-kung-fu.com] and [http://www.tai-chi-kung-fu.gods-internet.com]

Author: Sam Beatson
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Tai Chi, NOT Chai Tea!

Those of you that have either completed a one-on-one program, purchased an on-line program or have read anything else that I have written in the past have most likely determined by now and realize it is quite evident… I am a huge supporter and advocate of integrated and phase-based training as optimized methods of health and fitness technologies/systemologies. And it wasn’t until I started researching Tai Chi as an alternative form of exercise (I have been exercising for three-and-a-half decades consistently) did I understand how such a slow-velocity activity can help decrease blood pressure, reduce stress, help develop a greater degree of coordination and diminish the number of falls experienced by the elderly. The affects of resistance and aerobic type activities and their impact on health is unequivocal. Resistance training improves strength and the development of lean muscle mass, as well as an increase in bone-density and cardiovascular training improves the efficiently of the heart, lungs and circulatory function while decreasing mortality rates. However, over the past few decades, Eastern practices such as Tai Chi and Yoga have complimented mainstream fitness training programs by demonstrating comparable health benefits to traditional fitness training. A closer look at Tai Chi is warranted and yes this is coming from a fitness coach who intrinsically knows and has meticulously practiced and has been the recipient of the absolute benefits of weight bearing exercise for over 30 years.

So… What is Tai Chi Anyway?

Tai Chi is pronounced as “Tie Chee.” Tai Chi can be translated from Chinese to English as “moving life force.” Tai Chi is a form of Martial Art that focuses on cultivating the flow of energy in the body by performing a slow, gentle and precise sequence of movements that channel potentially destructive energy away from the body. As you could probably gleen, Tai Chi requires a high level of concentration when performing a sequence of moves, called Forms. Historically practiced as a martial art, today Tai Chi is used as an alternative form of exercise that requires a greater degree of movement than yoga and eliminates the impact nature of many aerobic or cardio-respiratory type activities.

Vitality: The Health and Well-Benefits of Tai Chi

Talk about Synergy… The life force or energy in Tai Chi is believed to be in the form of the Yin and the Yang. Yin and Yang represent two opposite halves that come together to create a unified whole. Tai Chi finds its roots in Taoist philosophy, which adheres to the principle that optimum health is achieved through a balanced Chi, or life force. Balance is maintained through the use of focused, mindful breathing, precise execution of movements and by keeping the muscles active but relaxed. Imbalance can result in an array of health problems and a decrease in the over-all quality of life. Tai Chi is a moderate intensity exercise where aggregate energy expenditure is comparable to walking at a pace of 3.5 mph. Overt health benefits such as decreased stress, improved cardiovascular fitness, balance, muscle strength, coordinative reflexes, arthritis relief and flexibility in people of all ages have been reported. The practice of Tai Chi has also been linked to a reduction of falls and injury for the elderly, an important attribute given that one in three adults 65 years or older fall each year. Recent research also suggests Tai Chi to be an effective program in the reduction of blood pressure and blood lipid levels.

Integrating Tai Chi and Strength/Training.

Ahh…yes, a typical Tai Chi session can last five minutes to an hour depending on the experience and fitness and primary conditioning level of the participant. All sessions begin with a few minutes of meditation to calm the mind as well as the body, followed by a warm-up to increase blood-oxygen flow and body temperature. The forms are completed very slowly and consist of many sequential and continuous postural changes from the beginning to the end of the workout session, including both double stance and single stance weight-bearing maneuvers. The forms can be performed in a quick controlled pace to raise the heart rate and induce a greater aerobic intensity. Similarly, muscular effort can be increased by emphasizing knee bends, arms swings, twisting of the trunk and overall body recruitment when carrying out and finishing the forms. While the movements may look simple, proper execution of forms take months of practice. Since Tai Chi creates a state of tranquility, calmness and relaxation it is best to perform the activity on days off from your regular workouts. Depending on how much time you want to dedicate to exercise per week, you have a number of options to consider when planning your session. For example, if you perform an integrated circuit training or peak-intensive workout every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can incorporate a Tai Chi session on Tuesday and Saturday. Alternatively, you may complete the circuit on Monday and Thursday, followed by a short 20-minute cardio session on both days, and practice Tai Chi on Tuesday and Friday. It is absolutely up to you. Just remember… Give yourself ample time for rest, recuperation and regeneration.

Traditions…

The ancient Taoists were renowned for their study of the arts of health and longevity. The gentle movements of Taoist Tai Chi convey the essence of this tradition to the modern world. In over 25 countries around the globe, people are enjoying the many benefits of practicing Taoist Tai Chi in friendly atmospheric locales. Life is about balancing tasks while nourishing your mind, body and spirit. Combined with a proper fitness training program and nutrition, Tai Chi can provide the alternative form of movement that you have been searching for. Using a phase-based training approach, Tai Chi is a valuable form of exercise to help relax your body and replenish your energy stores from the intense fitness workouts you are accustomed to, so good luck and may God bless each and everyone of you.

-To Your Absolute Health, Kurt Lee Hurley

Kurt’s website http://www.kreatefitness.com, as well as his Provo Utah Private Fitness Facility Synergy Fitness Systems, specializes in in providing leading edge exercise and nutrition programs and a super premium supplement line. All of these superior products offer superior results.

Author: Kurt Hurley
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Tai Chi Chuan – The Ancient Path To Stress Free Living

When I began practising Tai Chi in 1991 the thing that struck me about it was its power or at least the promise of its power. What I went on to witness and discover was that there was nothing mystical or particularly esoteric about the power of tai chi it was more just a case of doing it, following tai chi’s unique set of principles and just witnessing what arose within me. When I practice my form (sequence of movements) it is never exactly the same but it is always beneficial.

Tai Chi means “the supreme ultimate” and Chuan means, “fist” so Tai Chi Chuan is in fact a martial art despite it’s reputation for just being a gentle meditative exercise. When practiced as a martial art Tai Chi is both effective and powerful (but this takes a lot of practise to even glimpse especially when you learn that in Tai Chi, the main focus is to use the power of the mind in unison with the energy and power of the body to release force in whatever direction you want).

The benefits of Tai Chi are immense and include improved co-ordination, circulation, posture, balance and well-being. Because tai chi is practised slowly and with a relaxed focus the nervous system becomes calmer and so do you. This meditative effect gives you a clearer perspective mentally and in today’s fast and hectic world this can only be a huge resource. In fact the stress relieving attributes are one of the main reasons why people start Tai Chi as it gives them a calm mind and real sense of physical emotional and spiritual health

Tai Chi started a long time ago so it’s had time to develop and evolve into what we see today. This slow process of change which has happened to tai chi over the centuries is mirrored in the way tai chi is practised i.e. at a meditative pace with no rush to complete it’s intricate and engrossing movements. The softness and flow of tai chi make you relax (you just can’t help it!) but it’s a rejuvenating kind of relaxation. At the end of a Tai Chi class people are buzzing with Qi (life-force), as the practice encourages your energy to flow and tension and blockages just seem to dissolve away. It all sounds very blissful and beautiful, which it is but you do have to put a little effort in to get the results.

It’s hard to get your head around that something so graceful and elegant can be used for self defence too, but then again there is an old Chinese saying that ‘the best fighters never fight’ i.e. if you have no enemies internally or externally then there is no need for conflict. The philosophy behind Tai Chi (Taoism) is really useful too and includes the theory that if you fight force with force any conflict will get worse. It teaches yielding and flexibility to overcome any situation. This can diffuse a situation leaving room for negotiation and dialogue. When you take something like that into your daily life then you have gained a distinct advantage. Yielding encourages listening and when you listen you gain more information and it is easier to see where someone is coming from. In the workplace such a strategy would create less stress for everyone!

Part of the physiological aspect of tai chi includes the effect it has on our brain, our lymphatic system and our joints. Recent neurological research has found that tai chi practice encourages the brain to perform more effectively. This is partly due to the brain receiving more oxygenated blood (as the breathing technique in tai chi improves lung capacity and elasticity) but also because the meditative, calming effect of tai chi changes the brains frequency from beta (active normal waking waves) to alpha (receptive between sleep and awake waves which are related to improved ability to learn and remember).

The lymphatic system is partly responsible for detoxifying the blood and is stimulated by the gentle muscular work in tai chi. The soft relaxed movements of Tai Chi massage the lymph nodes improving their function and boosting the immune system. The joints of the body are often where aches and pains first creep in so maintaining healthy active joints is important at any age. Because the load bearing joints of the body are kept in strong alignment throughout Tai Chi and are never abused nor greatly impacted upon, their health and function is protected whilst the circulation of blood in and around the joints is increased.

All in all Tai Chi offers us a unique way to combat stress and learn new and valuable skills.

Matthew Rochford B.A.

Senior Instructor, The Devon School Of Tai Chi Chuan.

About The Author

Matthew Rochford has been studying Tai Chi and Chi Kung for over ten years and runs The Devon School Of Tai Chi Chuan, which provides courses to businesses, hospitals and health clubs throughout Devon and in Europe. He is one of the few Tai Chi Teachers who actually hold a professional qualification. Matthew’s work has been featured on BBC radio, Carlton TV. He has taught at The Mind Body Spirit Festival and The Gaia Visions Retreat Centre on Zante. Matthew is also the managing director of Blue Water Music, [http://www.bluewatermusic.net]. For further information about classes and courses please contact Matthew on 01364 631 545 or visit www.devontaichi.co.uk

Author: Matthew Rochford
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Meditation in Motion – The Ancient Chinese Art of Tai Chi

Observing a Tai Chi practitioner as they go through a combination of slow, relaxed and graceful movements (sometimes also called forms or postures) is one of the most beautiful things to sit and take in. Watching them, as they move in an almost hypnotic and controlled slow motion flow (which almost seems effortless) while in a meditative state is truly fascinating and somewhat mysterious. As an accomplish Martial Artist and a Certified Personal Trainer, I have always been drawn to and very intrigued by this ancient Chinese Mind-Body art of Tai Chi.

Although it is actually hard to pinpoint the exact date that Tai Chi originated, it is thought to have been developed around the 12th century A.D. in China. In the beginning, the practice of Tai Chi was originally intended as a means of self-defense, a martial art form (Tai Chi Chuan) but over time people became very aware of the many health benefits of the practice of Tai Chi.

Like other mind-body practices such as Yoga, one of the major benefits of Tai Chi practice is stress relief. Not only does Tai Chi’s controlled breathing and flowing, graceful movements help quiet and clear the mind, it also relieves built up tension throughout your entire body. As your mind focuses on being in the “present moment,” a state of immense relaxation takes command. The real world is quickly left behind and the wonderful feeling of calm is present; you will carry this with you long after your Tai Chi session has ended. You will be rejuvenated, refreshed and as I like to say, repaired.

Tai Chi also increases muscle strength and greatly improves balance and agility. It develops over-all coordination, reduces anxiety and depression, increases alertness during the day and improves the quality of sleep at night. The regular practice of Tai Chi can also reduce high blood pressure, improve cardiovascular fitness, endurance and relieves many types of chronic pain. Tai Chi is practiced by many for exercise as well as for health management and can be done by just about anyone no matter what their age or current fitness level. Being an extremely low impact activity, it’s fairly easy on the body, but being a load or weight bearing exercise, the benefits are many, for example: increased bone density and toned muscles.

As I began my study and practice of both Tai Chi and Yoga, I was amazed of the many similarities there are between both art forms and practices. There are many different styles in both art forms, but their paths cross continually (Tai Chi originating from China and Yoga from India) and the mind and body seem to wind up in the same place. I often think that there must have been an amazing energy flow or life force in that part of the world at one time, since many of the healing and martial arts practiced today have surfaced throughout those lands.

Tai Chi, roughly translated means “balance of the opposing forces of nature or internal martial art.” As we are not clear on the date that Tai Chi originated, the accounts of its deep history fluctuates greatly, as with many martial arts, a lot of the Tai Chi history was never recorded in word form, but rather it was passed on by word of mouth, from generation to generation, from master to student.

The one person whose name surfaces frequently and who is said to be one of the innovators is a 12th century, Chinese Taoist Monk named Chang-San-Feng.
History states that this Taoist Monk had observed five very different animals in nature, the Tiger, Dragon, Leopard, Snake and Crane. He then created a set of movements, forms or exercises to imitate the movements of the animals he observed and studied. The most basic form of Tai Chi incorporates 13 simple movements, while more comprehensive styles of Tai Chi are made up of dozens of forms, postures or movements.

In Tai Chi, the practitioner’s relaxed body is in almost constant motion, one graceful movement flows seamlessly into the next as their minds are calm, clear of any distractions, totally focused and their breathing is deep, rhythmic and controlled. It’s clearly, meditation in motion.

There are several components that make up Tai Chi, the Physical, the Mental and the Spiritual. Chinese philosophy is deeply rooted in Tai Chi, without getting to into it, one of the better known concepts that applies to Tai Chi, is Yin and Yang. These are the two principles that are believed to make up the Universe. Yin and Yang are opposites of each other and should always be kept in balance. Yin and Yang are used to describe how opposing forces are bound together, inter-connected, inter-wined. (female/male, light/dark, high/low, soft/hard). Yin is characterized as female; soft, diffused, tranquil, wet, slow, liquid and associated with feminine, birth and with night. Yang by contrast is: hard, fast, solid, dry, aggressive, hot and associated with masculinity and daytime. There is a beautiful saying, “Life is the Blended Harmony and Perfect Balance of Yin and Yang.”

As I mentioned before Tai Chi is within reach for everyone. You don’t have to be an advanced athlete, in perfect shape or young in age. Everyone from kids, teens, adults and seniors can reap the benefits that Tai Chi has to offer and enjoy the experience. Since Tai Chi emphasizes technique over strength, women should have no fear.

With Tai Chi there is no costly equipment to purchase, no special clothing or footwear to buy. Tai Chi can be done inside or out, by your self or in a group. Many people’s first Tai Chi experience is via an instructional DVD in the comfort of their own living room. This is fine if it’s a tape with high production value and if it’s the only thing available to you for whatever reason, there are some great DVD’s available today.

However, if you are fortunate to have the means, there is really no replacing taking a “face to face” class with a qualified teacher. Especially in the beginning, an instructor can easily guide you through the movements and make any necessary and important adjustments needed, this way you are learning the correct movements and breathing, rather then developing bad habits, which are sometimes hard to break later down the road. Some people start out with the DVD and once hooked move quickly to a class.

Some people enjoy the social aspect of a class-environment, while others prefer to practice alone in their own private setting. Finding a qualified teacher/instructor is easier than ever these days with the use of the Internet, whether you choose private instruction in your home or choose to attend a group class.

Although the practice of Tai Chi is considered very safe, easy on the body and is proven to promote good health, consider talking to your health care provider before starting a program. This is particularly important if you have problems with your joints, spine, lungs or heart.

So, now that you have a basic understanding in regards to the wonders of Tai Chi, go out there and experience it first hand. I’m sure it will take you no time to enjoy the peace and serenity through Tai Chi’s gentle, graceful movements while you connect the body and mind.

Markus B. is the Co-Founder of The Fitness Underground-Los Angeles. He has drawn off his years of experience as a Certified Personal Trainer, A Professional Athlete and an accomplished Martial Artist to help create with his partner Texas (an elite Yoga Instructor & Certified Personal Trainer) a “New and Innovative” approach to Health, Fitness and Well Being that not only Enhances the Body but also Enriches the Mind. With an increasing following in the Los Angeles area his powerful message of Good Health, Clean Living and the importance of Exercise, Markus is changing people’s lives. Helping people achieve and experience “enlightenment” of good health and a higher level of fitness.

Fitness and Well-Being is his passion, his life’s work and his personal goal of educating people about this “new way” of living, is one that he takes very seriously. His belief is that health, fitness and well-being is the greatest gift we are given in life. It’s a supreme gift that we should always be mindful of, be grateful for and never take for granted. Markus is often heard saying that having the opportunity to help people make important changes in their lives, and in some cases “life saving” changes is an awesome feeling as well as extremely rewarding. Come join Markus and experience the difference first hand. Start enjoying and living a healthier, happier and more active life. Life is too short not to listen to his message!

Author: Markus Boesch
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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What to Consider When Buying a Tai Chi DVD

Are you interested in buying a Tai Chi DVD? If you are looking to learn Tai Chi from the comfort of your own home, you may be interested in doing so. While buying a Tai Chi DVD is something that doesn’t have to be a long and complicated process, there are a number of factors that you will want to take into consideration. Taking these factors, which are outlined below, into consideration, will not only help to ensure that get to buy a Tai Chi DVD, but that you get to buy one that you can benefit from owning.

Perhaps, the most important factor to take into consideration, when buying a Tai Chi DVD is the video’s content. If you have already started searching for a Tai Chi DVD, you may already know that there are an unlimited number of Tai Chi DVDs available for sale. These DVD are often similar in nature, but their contents will be different. It is advised that you purchase a Tai Chi DVD that involves a professional Tai Chi expert or one who has been practicing Tai Chi for sometime now. Purchasing a Tai Chi DVD with a Tai Chi expert is likely to mean better instructions and, in the end, better results for you.

In keeping with the content of a Tai Chi DVD, you will also want to examine the types of Tai Chi forms that are available for learning. A large number of Tai Chi DVDs will actually outline these forms for you on their covers or at least let you know how many Tai Chi forms you can learn by purchasing the DVD. It might also be a good idea to examine the length of each Tai Chi DVD that you are interested in purchasing. While short and to the point is sometimes good, you may want to look into purchasing Tai Chi DVDs that are also a little bit longer, as they may contain more information for you.

It is also important to know that Tai Chi DVDs come in a number of different formats, level wise. It is possible to purchased advanced, intermediate, or beginner Tai Chi DVDs. When buying a Tai Chi DVD it is important that you keep the level of experience or expertise in mind. If this is your first time learning Tai Chi, you will not want to accidentally purchase a Tai Chi DVD that is for those at advanced levels.

When it comes to buying a Tai Chi DVD, you will find that you have a number of different options. In addition to being available for sale online, a large number of Tai Chi DVDs can also be purchased locally, from book stores, sports stores, and Tai Chi learning centers. Wherever you choose to buy your Tai Chi DVD from, it is advised that you keep the above mentioned points in mind when doing so.

Nessa Simms is a writer for The Wellness Evolution . com where you can find accurate information about a Tai Chi DVD [http://www.thewellnessevolution.com/tai-chi-dvd-2.htm] and other related information.

Author: Nessa Simms
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Tai Chi for Health and Balance

I’ll always remember my visits to San Francisco and passing groups of older adults in the parks, practicing Tai Chi. Just watching them brought peace, and you could tell they were entirely involved in their activity. It has always interested me, but I have to admit I have yet to experience it. However, just recently, at a Mindful Eating workshop, we did ‘purposeful walking’, taking very slow and controlled steps ‘with intention’. We could feel every single muscle working as we minutely and consciously lifted a foot, moved it forward, and placed it in front of the other one. This reminded me of what Tai Chi might be like.

But what is Tai Chi, why do people practice it, and can anyone do it?
Tai Chi was originally a deadly art, guarded by a few families and used for killing. Traditionalists believe that it is important for students of this ancient art to remember its roots, because the techniques of relaxation and breath control were developed for the express purpose of injuring the opponent in an efficient, scientific manner.

Today, of course, we no longer need to practice this martial art for the purpose of killing our enemy. However, some say that now we can use this practice to fight the enemy of fatigue, stress, overwork or lack of understanding of oneself and one’s body. Daily practice of Tai Chi promotes mental clarity and a healthy body, assists with balance and helps the circulation of the blood.

Someone doing Tai Chi (pronounced “tie chee”) will move slowly and gently, while breathing and meditating. This is why it is sometimes called “moving meditation”. Many practitioners believe that Tai Chi helps the flow throughout the body of a proposed vital energy called qi (pronounced “chee,” it means “air,” “puff,” or “power”). In the United States, Tai Chi for health purposes is part of complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM. People who practice Tai Chi do so to improve their health, yet it is not fully known what changes occur in the body during Tai Chi, and whether it does, in fact, influence health.

Over the years, several styles and variations have been developed. Taoist Tai Chi was introduced to the US by Master Moy Lin-shin, which emphasizes more elongating and stretching movements. Tai Chi Chuan is descended from the Lang family, but has several family variations. Someone doing Tai Chi for health moves in a slow and relaxed and graceful way, either on one’s own or in a group. These movements make up forms (or routines). Some movements are named for animals or birds. The simplest style of Tai Chi uses 13 movements, while more complex styles can use dozens – Taoist Tai Chi has 108 basic moves. Each of these movements flows into the next. The whole body is in motion, with movements performed gently and at the same speed. It is important to keep the body upright.

Like other CAM approaches, there are aspects of Tai Chi which everyone does not agree. Since there is little known scientifically about it, accepting its teachings is a matter of faith rather than evidence-based science. Also, in addition to more traditional styles, some blends of Tai Chi styles have evolved, such as those mentioned above. This creates a differing of opinion of which styles represent “true” Tai Chi.

Other important elements in Tai Chi are breathing and meditation. It is important to concentrate, breathe in a deep and relaxed manner. The benefits of this breathing and meditation include massaging the internal organs, helping with the exchange of gases in the lungs, helping the digestive system, increasing calmness and improving balance.

Health benefits of Tai Chi:

People practice Tai Chi for several health reasons, such as:

o To gain benefits from exercise. It is a low-impact form of exercise. It’s also weight-bearing, which is beneficial to the bones. Additionally, it is an aerobic form of exercise.

o To improve muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility.

o To improve balance. To have a lower risk for falls, beneficial for the elderly.

o To easy arthritis pain and stiffness.

o For health benefits from the meditation.

o To improve sleep and overall wellness.

Although Tai Chi for health is considered a safe practice, it is always recommended to check with your healthcare provider before beginning any type of exercise.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

o If your body is improperly positioned while doing Tai Chi, you could not only end up with sore muscles, but even sprains.

o Instructors recommend not practicing Tai Chi after eating, when tired, or when you are ill.

o Caution should be used if you have any of these conditions: Pregnancy, hernia, joint problems, back pain, sprains, fractures or osteoporosis.

In the US, people do not have to be health professionals or licensed to practice or teach Tai Chi. It is not regulated by state or Federal governments and there is no standard training for Tai Chi teachers. If you are considering learning Tai Chi, ask about your teacher’s training and experience. Learning Tai Chi from a teacher is encouraged over learning from videos or books. This will help you to know if you are practicing the movements safely and correctly.
The idea that sickness and disease arise out of imbalances in a vital energy field is part of some other CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapies, such as Reiki and homeopathy. Within CAM, Tai Chi is a type of mind-body medicine. Mind-body medicine focuses on the interactions among the brain, body, mind and behavior, and the ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual and behavioral factors affect health.

More information on Tai Chi, and NCCAM-Funded Research on Tai Chi, can be found at the NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) website at
http://nccam.nih.gov/health/taichi/.

Tai Chi has been around for centuries, but practicing it as a healing activity is relatively new. If it’s something you have ever had an interest in, find someone educated in the practice and give it a try! I’ll look forward to seeing you out in the park one day, totally focused on balancing your qi.

Marjorie Geiser helps people overcome their confusion and distress they may feel when trying to add healthy eating and fitness into their busy lives. She offers a free, monthly newsletter on various topics of health. She is a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer and Life Coach. To learn more about her services, go to her website at http://www.megfit.com or email her at margie@megfit.com.

Author: Marjorie Geiser
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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