Tai Chi: A Path to Wellness
By David N. Bole, Ph.D., A.P

What is Tai Chi:
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese system of exercise that is both a martial art and meditative discipline. It is used to strengthen the body and quiet the mind and balances the energy of the body with its slow and graceful movements, increasing awareness and improving health. It is practiced worldwide by people of all ages for health and longevity.

Brief History:
Although Tai Chi is so very well suited to our modern world it is actually about 1200 years old. In its beginning, Tai Chi was primarily studied and practiced as a very effective form of Chinese martial arts. It is recorded that Buddhist and Taoist monks began practicing Tai Chi forms in monasteries such as the famed Shao Lin Temple. These forms were practiced to promote health and to protect and defend the monasteries from bandits and thieves. It also has roots in Traditional Chinese medicine and helps  balance the body’s energy by enhancing the flow of “chi” as it moves through pathways called meridians. We can trace the history from these early beginnings to the Chen family and, although Tai Chi had been cloaked in secrecy, there appeared a prominent martial artist by the name of Yang Lu Shan who perfected this style and began what we now call the “Yang Style” of Tai Chi. This family lineage continued with his sons and grandsons. One of Yang Lu Shan‘s grandsons, Yang Chen Fu, is largely responsible for popularizing the Yang Style and bringing it to the West. Cheng Man-Ching, who studied under Yang Chen Fu, was an exceptional practitioner who exhibited mastery of this excellent Yang Style martial art. His foremost student, Professor Cheng Man-Ching, refined the original style to what we now refer to as the Yang Style short form. Since Professor Cheng Man-Ching’s death, senior students have continued to teach and propagate this beneficial form of Tai Chi.

Benefits:
Tai Chi’s benefits have been studied in China for hundreds of years. However, Western medical research is rapidly discovering what Chinese medicine has long realized. Tai Chi provides more health benefits than any other form of exercise. When practiced regularly there is wide range of benefits. It is an exercise that enables the practitioner to realize high level wellness by promoting physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. The slow, gentle and relaxing movements of Tai Chi are good for stress reduction by helping eliminate stress and its negative impact on the body.

Other benefits include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Slow the aging process
  • Reduce anxiety, depression and emotional distress
  • Improve cardiovascular system and lower blood pressure
  • Enhance the body’s natural healing ability
  • Improve breathing and blood flow
  • Reduce asthma and allergies
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Enhance range of motion and joint mobility
  • Provides low impact weight bearing exercise to promote healthy bones
  • Improve digestion and elimination

Editor’s note: Dr. David N. Bole is Director of the Traditional Acupuncture Center in Gainesville, Florida. He is a licensed Acupuncture Physician and also teaches classes in Oriental Medicine, Tai Chi, stress management and meditation.


The 37-posture YANG STYLE SHORT FORM takes 30 hours to learn and is taught in three ten-hour sessions called: B1, B2 and B3.

Classes are offered by David Bole (Lama Losang), Ph.D., A.P. at the Traditional Acupuncture Center, 1216 NW 9th Ave, Gainesville, FL. For more information, call the Traditional Acupunture Center at 352-335-1975 or contact us at http://davidbole.com/contact

David has been teaching T’ai Chi for over 30 years and is also a Tibetan Buddhist Lama and meditation teacher.

Here is a short video showing some of the forms you would learn in the Yang Style Short Form sessions: