everydaytaichi lucy, guest speaker at her University of Hawaii, Manoa Sorority, Te Chih Sheh, aka TESH
lucy had a nice opportunity to share her passion for teaching tai chi to her sorority sisters at a luncheon today. It helped to fulfill her everydaytaichi mission to reach out to as many people from all walks of life who want to keep healthy in both body and mind.
everydaytaichi students play tai chi with visitors from Japan...Nobu feels that to do tai chi in Hawaii is a big part of enjoying his Hawaii vacation!
Yesterday, we had a FULL classroom of everydaytaichi students who came out on their own time to join our voluntary practice session held on Tuesdays 9AM and Fridays at 9:15 AM. Everyone is getting ready for tai chi classes that start next week, Spring classes with the City Park program.
For more info, click here.
Three months ago, Andrew, 4YO, and everydaytaichi ken aka Gungie to his grandchildren planted carrots. Today, look what they harvested!
Click here for more outdoor projects by everydaytaichi ken.
Everyday TaiChi By Lucy: Ep - 24 Understanding How Tai Chi Can Help You Balance,
Click here for accessing OleloNet
You will be amazed and impressed with Irene's flexibility and ability to exercise as you watch a short clip of her in action!
Another great turn out as our everydaytaichi students practice before our Spring session at Kilauea District Park begins first week in February.
To see more tai chi poses, click here to see our Gallery.
This morning was a record turn out for everydaytaichi students who came out to exercise! Classes are just 3 weeks away...time to brush up and be ready!!
Click here for everydaytaichi lucy's Yang 16: BACK view and calling out of instructions.
Here is a summary of our NEW schedule for our 2015 TV shows:
PLAY TAI CHI (Short Takes and Specials)
Start Date: 3/26/14
Main Producer: Kenneal Chun
Co-Producer: Lucille Chun
Description: Let’s play tai chi together! We can gain strength, better balance and keep healthy in body, mind and spirit.
Subject: Environmental/Health (ch54)
Origin: Kaimuki Media Center
TAI CHI ALOHA AROUND THE WORLD (Short Takes and Specials)
Start Date: 10/25/14
Main Producer: Lucille Chun
Co-Producer: Kenneal Chun
Description: Come travel the world with Lucy as she spreads her TaiChi Aloha to all corners of the earth. Welcome aboard!
Subject: National/International (ch54)
Origin: Kaimuki Media Center
EVERYDAY TAICHI BY LUCY (Weekly series)
Start Date: 4/8/14
Main Producer: Lucille Chun
Co-Producer: Victor Nakawatase
Description: Tai Chi is the ULTIMATE exercise that gives you lots of health benefits. Come, play tai chi and have FUN!
Origin: Kaimuki Media Center
Premier: Every Saturday on Olelo 54 at 6:00PM
Repeat: Every Tuesday at 8:00AM
Click here for more info on everydaytaichi lucy's Olelo productions.
For Health Benefits, Try Tai Chi
The ancient practice appears to be good for you in just about every way.
By Courtney Rubin Nov. 26, 2010 | 9:00 a.m. EST + More
The gentle, 2,000-year-old Chinese practice of tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion." But the Harvard Women's Health Watch newsletter suggests a more apt description is "medication in motion."
Tai chi, the most famous branch of Qigong, or exercises that harness the qi (life energy, pronounced "chee"), has been linked to health benefits for virtually everyone from children to seniors. Researchers aren't sure exactly how, but studies show that tai chi improves the quality of life for breast cancer patients and Parkinson's sufferers. Its combination of martial arts movements and deep breathing can be adapted even for people in wheelchairs. And it has shown promise in treating sleep problems and high blood pressure.
Flexibility and strength. Tai chi is credited with so many pluses, physiological and psychological, that Chenchen Wang, an associate professor of medicine at Tufts University, set out earlier this year to analyze 40 studies on it in English and Chinese journals. Wang found that tai chi did indeed promote balance, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and strength. In a study comparing it with brisk walking and resistance training, a tai chi group improved more than 30 percent in lower-body strength and 25 percent in arm strength, nearly as much as a weight-training group and more than the walkers.
[For Better Balance, Pilates and Tai Chi Beat Yoga]
"Benefit was also found for pain, stress, and anxiety in healthy subjects," adds Wang, who was influenced by her mother, a Chinese doctor, to study an integration of complementary and alternative medicine with Western medicine.
In a 2008 analysis, Harvard Medical School's Gloria Yeh, an internist and assistant professor, reviewed 26 studies in English and Chinese and reported that in 85 percent of trials, tai chi lowered blood pressure. Other studies have shown it to reduce blood levels of B-type natriuretic peptide, a precursor of heart failure, and to maintain bone density in postmenopausal women. The nonprofit Arthritis Foundation offers its own 12-movement tai chi sequence.
Wang says more study is needed. Still, says New York Times personal health writer Jane Brody: "After reviewing existing scientific evidence for its potential health benefits, I've concluded that the proper question to ask yourself may not be why you should practice tai chi, but why not."
Introduction to tai chi
When the Western world thinks of "martial arts," it inevitably thinks of kicking, punching, fighting, and body contact. Not slow, rhythmic, and meditative body movements designed to enhance relaxation, inner calm, and peace. But that's what the martial art of tai chi is all about—slow, rhythmic, meditative movements designed to help you find peace and calm. In this article, we will cover the history, philosophy, and benefits of tai chi, as well as how and where to get started, and more.
What is tai chi, and where does it come from?
Tai chi history
Tai chi is a centuries-old Chinese martial art that descends from qigong, an ancient Chinese discipline that has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. (The people that you see moving gracefully with flowing motions in parks throughout China, and increasingly throughout much of the modern world, are practicing tai chi.) According to some records, tai chi dates back as far as 2,500 years! It involves a series of slow, meditative body movements that were originally designed for self-defense and to promote inner peace and calm. According to the tai chi historian Marvin Smalheiser, some tai chi masters are famous for being able to throw an attacker effortlessly to the floor with the attacker and spectators unable to clearly see how it was done. Their movements use internal energy and movements too subtle for most people to observe, reflected in the notion that "four ounces can deflect a thousand pounds." At this high level of skill, a defender can use a small amount of energy to neutralize the far greater external force of an attacker.
In traditional Chinese medicine, human beings are considered miniature versions of the universe, and like the universe, they are thought to be made up of the constant interaction of five elements (metal, water, fire, wood, and earth). It is believed that these five elements flow in an interrelated manner throughout all the organs of the body as the five phases of universal qi (pronounced "chee"), with qi defined as the life force - the intrinsic energy in the body that travels along pathways in the body called meridians. A state of good health is achieved when the interactions between these elements cause the flow of your qi to occur in a smooth and balanced manner. You could say that one reason you study tai chi is to help your qi flow smoothly.
Qigong, from which tai chi (qi) originates, is a discipline that involves the mind, breath, and movement to create a calm, natural balance of energy that can be used in work, recreation or self-defense. Like yoga, where many varieties have evolved over the centuries, there are more than 3,000 varieties of qigong and five major traditions: Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, martial arts, and medical, and two major types: "soft" and "hard." Soft qigong is called inner qigong, of which tai chi is an example.
Types of tai chi
Yang, wu, and tai chi chih are three of the most popular styles of tai chi. The yang style, which includes 24 movements in its simple form (108 movements in the traditional form), is demanding because you must keep your stance wide and your knees bent most of the time. The wu style, which includes 24 to 36 movements in its shorter form (100 movements in the traditional), is gentler than the yang style because it uses a narrower, but higher stance where the knees are not quite as bent. The tai chi chih style, which has 20 movements, also uses a higher stance, but with much less transfer of weight from one leg to the other than the other two. Because the wu style uses a high, narrow stance, it may be easier for beginners and ideal for improving balance. No matter which style you practice, they all are conducted slowly, deliberately, and gracefully, with each movement flowing seamlessly into the next without hesitation.
What are the benefits of tai chi?
In China, it is believed that tai chi can delay aging and prolong life, increase flexibility, strengthen muscles and tendons, and aid in the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, digestive disorders, skin diseases, depression, cancer, and many other illnesses. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a good deal of scientific evidence to support all of these claims. In a special study of tai chi called a meta-analysis, where many studies on one subject are reviewed, the author concludes that although there is some evidence to support the positive effects of tai chi on health, fitness, and balance and falling, many of the studies are limited by small numbers of subjects and wide variation in the type and duration of tai chi used. Bearing thesse limitations in mind, here are some of the documented benefits.
Balance and falling
Most of the research on tai chi has been done in older individuals in the area of balance and fall prevention. This area of research is important because fall-related injuries are the leading cause of death from injury and disabilities among older adults. One of the most serious fall injuries is hip fracture; one-half of all older adults hospitalized for hip fracture never regain their former level of function. Because tai chi movements are slow and deliberate with shifts of body weight from one leg to the other in coordination with upper body movements (sometimes with one leg in the air), it challenges balance and many have long assumed it helps improve balance and reduce fall frequency. This assumption has been credited and strongly supported by some research.
One study compared men age 65 and older who had more than 10 years of experience practicing tai chi and no involvement in any other regular sports and physical activity, with similar-aged men who had not practiced tai chi or any other physical activities (they were sedentary). It was found that the men who studied tai chi performed better on tests of balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular function. In another study involving 22 men and women aged 22 to 76 years with mild balance disorders, it was found that eight weeks of tai chi training significantly improved function on a standard balance test (called the Romberg test).
Fear of falling and improvement in self-confidence
In an interesting twist on studies of falling, researchers found that the frequency of fear of falling was reduced from 56% to 31% in a large group of adults 70 years and older who practiced tai chi regularly. Confidence about not falling, and self-confidence in general, may be an unintended benefit of tai chi but one that is certainly worth pursuing. In a similar tai chi study of older adults, 54% of the subjects who practiced tai chi attributed their improved sense of confidence to improved balance. The authors concluded that "when mental as well as physical control is perceived to be enhanced, with a generalized sense of improvement in overall well-being, older persons' motivation to continue exercising also increases."
Strength and endurance
One study took adults in their 60s and 70s who practiced tai chi three times a week for 12 weeks (60-minute classes). These adults were given a battery of physical-fitness tests to measure balance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility before and after the 12 weeks. After just six weeks, statistically significant improvements were observed in balance, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility measures. Improvements in each of these areas increased further after 12 weeks. The authors of the study concluded that tai chi is a potent intervention that improved balance, upper- and lower-body muscular strength and endurance, and upper- and lower-body flexibility in older adults.
Aerobic capacity diminishes as we age, but research on traditional forms of aerobic exercise show that it can improve with regular training. In another meta-analytic study, researchers looked at seven studies focusing on the effects of tai chi on aerobic capacity in adults (average age 55 years). The investigators found that individuals who practiced tai chi for one year (classical yang style with 108 postures) had higher aerobic capacity than sedentary individuals around the same age. The authors state that tai chi may be an additional form of aerobic exercise.
Walking speed decreases with age and research suggests that it may be associated with an increased risk of falling. In one study, however, it was found that individuals who practiced tai chi walked significantly more steps than individuals who did not. Walking has clearly been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic illness, and so if tai chi can improve walking, then it's certainly worth giving it a try.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders and is associated with high levels of impaired health and painful symptoms that frequently flair up without relief. The cause of FM is unknown, and there is no known cure. In a study of 39 subjects with FM who practiced tai chi twice weekly for six weeks (one-hour classes), it was found that FM symptoms and health-related quality of life improved after the study. This could be good news for many other individuals who suffer from this disorder.
The demands of living are stressful for adults of all ages. Although one cannot directly point to studies showing a reduction in stress from practicing tai chi (though in one study subjects who practiced tai chi reported that mental control was one of the benefits), the breathing, movement, and mental concentration required of individuals who practice tai chi may be just the distraction you need from your hectic lifestyle. The mind-body connection is one that deserves special attention, as it has been reported that breathing coordinated with body movement and eye-hand coordination promote calmness. I know that when I practice yoga or tai chi, the inner sense of peace and calm is indisputable, and so I suggest that you give tai chi a chance if you're looking for a creative and physically active way to improve how you mentally and physically respond to stress.
Some more reasons to practice tai chi:
Movements are low-impact and gentle and put minimal stress on your muscles and joints.
The risk of injury is very low.
You can do it anywhere, anytime.
It requires very little space (no excuses apartment dwellers!) and no special clothing or equipment.
You do it at your own pace.
It can be done in groups or by yourself (find a tai chi instructor to come to your workplace at lunch hour!).
There are lots of movements to keep you interested, and as you become more accomplished you can add those to your routine.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/28/2014
everydaytaichi lucy's premier showing celebration for EveryDay TaiChi by Lucy's Olelo Program Jan. 2015 Debut
This evening was our first of the season's opening show on Olelo. To help celebrate our premier, Les and Susan got us into a lighthearted mood.
They laid out the red carpet along with balloons, flowers, champagne and caviar!!
Tonight was a great way for our family to celebrate a milestone in our tai chi journey!!
Click here for more fun on yet another "first" for everydaytaichi lucy & ken.
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