top of page

How Tai Chi Restores Health

The benefits of a proper night's sleep is a perfect example of the body's natural self-correcting and healing process. System checks and reboots take place throughout the night leading to restoration and optimization in the morning. Imagine what it would be like to be fully present while all that magic takes place and even consciously directing those processes toward areas of concern. That has been my experience with Tai Chi Practice. The exercises allow you to be present – very present. No fear, no concern for the past or the future, no over reactions to what is happening… just present and fully aware of what is taking place within your body. One is better off, and will find greater benefit in, taking a nap rather than practicing a lifetime of "external" Tai Chi. If there is no Nei Gong present in your practice, you are merely slow dancing with yourself... nothing inherently wrong with dancing solo, but it's not Tai Chi proper.

Throughout life, the mind and body are mentally and physically recording and interpreting their interactions and experiences so that they can appropriately adapt to future experiences and environments. When these recordings or "memories" that are intrinsically woven throughout our autonomic system become misconstrued or hyperactive, it over stresses the mind and body causing irregularities. There are many methodologies designed to "unbind" and release these deeply rooted impressions but in my opinion they do not compare to the very well formulated Tai Chi and Chi Gong practices. Releasing too much too quickly (abruptly or forcefully causing release) can be harmful or regressive, especially in the case of individuals suffering from PTSD or dissociative trauma. Tai Chi practice creates an ideal condition for the safe and gradual release and reset of all systems, thus greatly decreasing the chance of re-traumatization or the enforcement of existing detrimental patterns ("memories").  

The goal of Tai Chi practice is to make the body "Sōng" 松 which in its simplest form means "open/loose" in a profound way. Do not confuse this with the sensation of being under the influence with an external substance. The Sōng is generated purely from the body's own natural processes (alchemy).  "Fàng sōng" is "actively releasing/loosening". When your body is open and free from unnecessary "lì" 力 (tension; force; strength), it is freed up to optimize and access its many natural abilities and functions. I've met and touched hands with high level practitioners capable of extraordinary things due to years of dedication to this practice but anyone can attain the rudimentary self healing aspects rather quickly with proper instruction. When I was weakest and had days where I was barely able to get up to use the bathroom, I involuntarily experienced a deep level of the body being free of both strength ("lì" 力) and distraction. My body essentially "shut down" to repair itself similar to when you have a debilitating case of the flu. My case was so severe that I was in danger of total autonomic failure which ultimately results in death. When I was strong enough to do standing practices, I could clearly feel my body doing internal work as it effortlessly suspend itself. It's hard to explain. During this time, I was asked to do a Kung Fu Demonstration at my church for some teens so I chose the strongest gentleman I could find to illustrate the power of internal Kung Fu. I had no idea how I was going to even get through the night but was eager to test out my new found abilities. To my amazement, even though I was still extremely weak, I was able to generate more effortless power than ever before in my life. My Martial Arts ability had reached a new level, but it meant nothing to me in comparison to the great gift of healing that was to come shortly after.

Another interesting discovery as a devout Christian who found healing via Eastern modalities was when I did research on the phrase "Be Still" ("Har-Poo" הַרְפּוּ) from Psalm 46:10. I was blown away.  The direct translation is the very same as the ancient Chinese phrase "Fàng Sōng". It means to "sink; relax; let go; release your grip; slacken; loosen". This fundamental concept for physical healing can be found all around the world and is expressed via numerous exercises designed to release "trauma" from the body. The ancients knew the key to physical healing and restoration is "letting go". It's no wonder that the heart of the New Testament gospel message is all about "letting go".

So simple - so profound - always challenging- totally possible.  

bottom of page