Tai Chi and Healing – the other 80% of the story

Every time that I begin to talk about tai chi and healing I feel like I should be on a TV sales program.  “It slices, it dices…” as though I am promising the world and asking you for a small commitment (of just 3 installments of $19.99).

But there is some truth to this.  In this essay let’s talk about the 80% of us who are not suffering from severe ailments (thankfully) and can keep it that way.

The  Status Quo

 Problem #1:

Most media and stories revolve around people who have a severe diagnosis and arrived at tai chi’s door because western medicine has given up on them.  Here is a great example of a Canadian woman who was initially unsuccessful at recovering from an ankle/foot fracture:  Tai Chi and Healing

Great I say and true I say, but this is taking an extreme case to make a point.  How about just feeling outstanding all the time?  Anyone up for powerful sleep, stress-less navigation of work problems, and great digestion?  These are the unsung heroes of health.

Problem #2:

Tai Chi and HealingHealing is seen from a western perspective.  I do this thing (eat too much, get injured, get old) and am now focused on re-engineering the consequences.  Great I say again and very proactive. However, what if you could get to state where the bad stuff doesn’t happen or is minimized?  Well dear viewer, I am here to tell you just how it happens!


The Process

#1  The body heals itself, not you, sorry

The body makes a continual assessment of your health and creates or removes chemicals to keep you in a healthy state.  If you injure yourself it sends messengers to the cut and begins the healing process.  If you are sick it turns up your body temperature to burn off what it does not want and does not allow you to eat and screw up the chemistry it is mixing up in your belly.  Health is achieved by creating the best state for your body to operate from.

Side note for marital arts  fanatics:  Does this sound a bit like the fighting aspect of tai chi?  You bet your sweet bippy.  We cannot control what is coming at us.  We can however create a body that can swiftly react to and recover from whatever we encounter.


 #2  Heath can be attributed to the body functioning normally.

Healthiness is all we are asking for.  This depends on elimination of toxins, hydration, sleep, and controlled stress.  Silk reeling, tai chi, and chi gong, wring the toxins out of the muscles and tissue and apply pressure to the organs to encourage proper function.   These exercises also expand our breath and supply clean oxygen to tissues.  Tai chi reduces the oscillation of our brain waves moving us in the calm direction of sleep.  This simultaneously reduces our stress and lets us sleep better because we are closer to the delta state where sleep takes place.  Read this for more on the four brain states.

Tai Chi and HealingThe elementary school campus is a perfect example.  Have any of you been to one lately?  It is an absolute petri dish of American virology.  Yet, some professionals skate in and out of these settings, booger clad, but not suffering the side effects.  I am one such professional.  Maybe I am a 40-year-old with amazing genes and immunity.  Or…..maybe… I do tai chi.  Tai Chi and healing go hand in hand.  I do not catch colds, the flu, coughs, or the like.  I take no vitamins or aids such as Airborne except an occasional Emergen-C packet usually coinciding with a work out.

What is the opposite of Antidote?

Tai Chi and HealingI am not trying to be clever here.  If you know please write to me and tell me.  I was looking for a word to describe the eastern process of healing and couldn’t find the opposite of antidote in our language.  Only synonyms; remedy, countermeasure, solution to a problem, cure…

We lack the vocabulary and theoretical understanding of preventative medicine.  Tai chi and Qi gong allows the body to determine what is needed to heal and send those chemicals to the right place.  However, we need to be in a receptive state with a fully charged battery to allow this process to take place.  “How do I do that?” you ask!  Eighteen moves, 4 minutes, frequently (no money down! As seen on TV! Now in your grocer’s freezer!)

Scott Prath

Scott has been practicing and teaching tai chi and qigong since 2000. He is a lead instructor for the Austin Chen Tai Chi Association. His interest in the internal martial arts began after traveling in India and Nepal, and he has since traveled to China to train. Scott has published over 100 articles on tai chi with a focus on research showing the benefits of practicing.

2 thoughts on “Tai Chi and Healing – the other 80% of the story

  1. Antidote, Greek anti-doton, Latin Anti-datum, to give against…

    The Latin could be either to give forth = prodo, prodare, or to bring forward / to bring out = produco, producere.(c is a “k” sound).

    Something given FOR or something brought FOR versus given against would be a “product”. Not as eloquent as you may like it to be but the opposite of an antidote is a product.

    More to your point, one needs to actively “produce” a healthy life style. We all need to become actively engaged in creating an outcome that we desire. The “product” does not magically appear, it is created through one’s own effort (and create is from creo – I make).

  2. On an English keyboard (word document), the opposite of ‘antidote’ comes up with poison!

    Many thanks for wonderful articles with interesting and very enjoyable information, much of which I use in my own t’ai chi classes.

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