Tai Chi: An Ancient Chinese Practice
When researching which type of alternative medicine will work best for their individual needs, many people consider the ancient practice of Chinese tai chi. Translated as "supreme ultimate fist," tai chi combines a variety of different techniques for both self defense and health benefits. Tai chi incorporates a variety of different styles, each with different techniques. Each of these tai chi techniques, while displaying slight differences, was developed in agreement with Chinese philosophic principles in Taoism and Confucianism.
Regardless of style, tai chi incorporates five distinct elements in its training:
- nei kung (breathing and meditation)
- tui shou (response drills)
- sanshou (self defense)
- weapons training
- taolu (hand routines, also known as forms)
These training elements are believed to help the practitioner get a better grasp on their internal power, known as qi, in order to strengthen the body and the mind through the use of calm, focused movements. It is widely used in Chinese health practices, as part of meditation, and in martial arts, making it one of the most popular practices throughout China and other Asian countries.