Sunday, November 11, 2007

Great River Tai Chi Featured on KARE-11

Great River T'ai Chi was featured in a KARE-11 story about the use of t'ai chi to help fend off the flu.
"A small study out of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine says that for older adults, five months of moderate T'ai Chi practice helped improve the efficacy and duration of the flu vaccine.
That doesn't surprise Barbara Davis, director of Great River T'ai Chi in Minneapolis. 'Not at all. Because I felt that in myself, when I began T'ai Chi, before I did T'ai Chi, I was usually getting five colds a year. And as soon as I began studying, it went down to maybe one a year. So I felt the benefits in myself and I see it in my students as well.'
T'ai Chi has also been shown in other studies to reduce fall prevention in older adults." Read the story here or view the video. See story on research report below.

Friday, November 2, 2007

November Tai Chi Practice Notes–-Posture

Good posture is essential for good health and balance in walking. With all of the occupational hazards out there--whether from working at a computer, a sewing machine, dentistry, or construction, or simply our own habits, what's the best way to improve one's posture? The first step must involve building postural awareness.
Here's a method for helping develop that awareness.
• Stand or sit in a familiar position, for example, at a computer. Notice the positioning of your head, shoulders, arms; then your chest and stomach. How's your breathing? After a few minutes, try straightening up more by making your head upright, as if suspended from the top of the head. Let your eyes focus straight ahead and your shoulders drop. Sit like this for a few minutes.
• Now, go back to your original, familiar position. Notice any differences?
• Switch back to the upright posture. Continue to switch back and forth until you're familiar with the differences.

How can tai chi help your posture? Since tai chi takes proper body alignment as one of its core principles, it reinforces building this postural self-awareness and better habits. By taking a tai chi class, you can get feedback on aspects of your posture and alignment that you might miss on your own. With the input of a teacher, and with the constant reinforcement of practice and principles, you're on the road to better health!