Kurt Vonnegut died last week at age 84, suffering from brain injuries caused by a fall a few weeks ago. Falls are a leading cause of injury to the elderly. They often result in crippling or mortal damage.
Western scientific research has demonstrated that Tai Chi is an excellent mechanism for restoring leg strength and balance, thus reducing falls. Its slow, gentle approach to exercise is ideal for older people with muscle weakness, nerve damage, or balance problems. Tai Chi works just as well for younger people, but it often requires an injury or health problem for us to appreciate its value.
This is a mistake. My first student ever was a 70-year-old woman who said, "I always intended to take Tai Chi, but I never needed it before." Argh! Anyone smart enough to know Tai Chi can be good for them should be smart enough to realize that prevention is a hundred times more valuable than a cure.
Is there something in your life that needs doing - something you are smart enough to realize the value of, but not wise enough to act on? It is all a matter of intention, which I have written of before and will write of again.
An increasing amount of scientific research is being directed toward the efficacy of Tai Chi (taiji) and Chi Kung (qigong). So far most of the research has been aimed at proving health value of the exercises, but it is just a matter of time until research is directed toward an understanding of the internals of taiji/qigong - because that is where the most valuable work takes place.
Under the heading "Tai Chi in the News" I have begun listing links to news articles about Tai Chi -related research. In the future I will include links to strictly scientific studies as well. Visit the web site regularly to find new postings on the front page.