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tai chi and stress relief - I

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2001 10:08 pm
by jimmyg
It may be of interest to open a section on the effects of regular practise on stress levels. While i have only been practising for a very short time, my colleagues at work have noticed that i no longer get as worked up over small incidents.
One even commented that she was scared of the person i was becoming, as previously i would be stressed out and blow my top for any reason. Is it just me or do others experience reduced stress levels?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2001 2:46 pm
by Blues
Hi Jimmyg...

I could go on at length about the stress reduction and increased health benefits of TC. Like you I have begun this journey quite recently - I'm a neophyte. However, along with my TC I practice QiGong and also a Luohan 18 Palms of Bhudda. I feel these forms are very helpful in TC, but I would also like to hear from others about their experiences as well as their opinions.

Most importantly, for me, my regimen of TC & QG along with proper diet, lets me control my type II diabetes without any medication - for now anyway. So far, so good!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2001 1:18 am
by DavidJ
What you are encountering is the beta-endorphine response.

Any regular practice, such as Tai Chi, yoga, or distance running produces beta endorphine. Among other things beta endorphine increases the number of connections between the right hemisphere of the brain and the left hemisphere of the brain.

See "Positive Addiction," by William Glasser, and "The Joy of Running," by Thaddeus Kostrubala. Between the two books you should be able to get a good idea of what beta endorphine is, how it is produced, how it works, what its effects are, and a real-world application of it.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 8:05 pm
by jimmyg
Hi Blues,
I was glad to see others have experienced stress reduction through TC as well. I didnt know if I was just going through a new age phase.

I was interested in hearing you use a Luohan 18 palms of Bhudda, I admit I have no idea what this is so I would be grateful if you could reccomend some reading material on the subject.

I regulary practise Chi Kung alongside TC and a very good book on the subject is the way of energy by Master Lam Kam Cheun. This was recommended by my TC instructor, and I have gone from being a sceptic to a believer in a few short months.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2001 9:12 pm
by Steve
Actually, stress-reduction is one of the biggest selling-points of Taiji in North America. It relaxes the muscles, realigns the cirvical and lumbar spine, and helps to reduce blood pressure.

There's a great article on the use of Taiji for stress reduction in American businesses at

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2001 11:25 pm
by ken
There is no doubt in my mind regarding the ability of tai chi to reduce stress. Indeed, it was the need for a method for relieving stress that led me to tai chi.

I work in a very high stress profession, i.e., the practice of law. About two and a half years ago, at the age of 42, I was in the middle of a very significant lawsuit which needed to proceed to trial on a highly expedited basis. Needless to say, there was a lot of pressure and stress at that time. And sure enough, the stress caught up with me, and I ended up having a heart attack. I was fortunate, a quadruple by-pass was highly successful and virtually no permanent damage was sustained.

During my recouperation, I learned that stress can be one of the factors that can contribute to a heart attack in that it can cause a temporary constriction of the arteries of the heart. Because of my profession, I clearly needed a stress reduction method. I chose tai chi as the method I would try, and that is how I came to practice tai chi.

The stress reduction benefits appeared shortly after I began to study tai chi. And it seems that the benefits become more pronouced as time goes by. The results can be a general, overall reduction of stress with a resulting improvement of one's attitude and overall dispostion. But the results can be very specific also. At times of high stress, I notice and am very sensitive to a certain tension or tightness in my chest. On such occassions, I take a few moments and go through as little as just the first part of the long form, and the tension and tightness caused by the stress is gone by the time I complete the first part. I also find that I am much calmer and in a much more relaxed state of mind, even though nothing else that caused the "stress attack" has changed. (Of course, going through the full form is even better).

The how and why of this may be beyond my field of knowledge. Perhaps it is related to endorphines, but if so I can say that tai chi is much more effective than running/jogging for relieving stress. Having recovered enough to participate in 5-K runs, I can say that running does not produce as quick or dramatic a stress reduction as tai chi.

To me, the stress relief aspect of tai chi is very real. But I now realize that stress relief is only one of the many benefits of tai chi (but that may be the subject of future posts).

Thank you for letting me share my experience with you.

[This message has been edited by ken (edited 02-15-2001).]

[This message has been edited by ken (edited 02-15-2001).]

[This message has been edited by ken (edited 02-15-2001).]

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2001 6:06 am
by JerryKarin
These are very good and interesting posts you have been making in this thread. I have opened up a topic with the same name under the Tai Chi Health Benefits forum, for ease of access.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 02-16-2001).]

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2001 2:20 pm
by Blues
Hello Jimmyg,
Sorry I was so delinquent in responding to your inquiry. The Luohan set ( 18 Palms of Bhudda ) is a QG set. It was developed around 500 AD by Da Mo (Bohidharma)when he arrived at Shaolin Temple. This is a marvelous set that builds muscle, tendon and flexibility as well as helps develop your balance. I also find it very relaxing AND it feels GOOD. Like all QG this set is healthful and beneficial and it is a personal favoutite of mine.

Here is a web site addy for you:

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 8:27 pm
by Steve
There is a great article on Taiji in the workplace at

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2001 8:04 am
by nik79

first off ..what a neophyte? i think its a newbie, am i wrong?

i just started Tai Chi as well, 2 months so far! i plan on it being with me till i escape this world. it does have great stress-relieving capabilities! man i feel better all ready Image

my main problem is diet. its awful. can anyone recommend some ..'stuff' as far as healthy type food? and also healthy equivalent to snacks/fast food. i love to nibble alot, and it seems that junkfood is too easy to come by :/

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2001 3:51 pm
by Michael
First, Nik, eat nearly anything, but cut the carbos! eat some lean meat (chicken turkey)with the junk to balance them when you do eat them. read THE ZONE.

Taiji does a wonderful job with stress relief. But for it effects to be enhanced and to carry over longer in the day I would recomend more meditation to go along with it. I usually do twenty minutes of sitting (do it on the front of a straight backed chair-forget that Zen work through the pain is good stuff), then do two sets, then do standing(now here the pain is good). I will add one more session of sitting and another set before going to bed. If you can find the time, do some more standing during the day, no matter how brief.

If you can keep it up, you will get wonderful benefits not only in your taiji, but your life. How you approach life and most importantly, how you react to it changes significantly. To go along with it I would recomend some good philisophical taoism.

I have a question. I have a friend that suffers from clinical depression. Drugs are not a real solution. I have gently tried to encourage her to try some taiji. But making changes in ones life in that situation is nearly impossible and is a huge part of the problem. A GOOD teacher is available to her that is very good in the area of stress reduction. Could anyone point me to some good sound articles or studies on taiji and how it can help with depression. I have read a number of the "new-agey" feel good type which would have no affect on her scientific mind. She needs to see the logic on her own, and not to be preached to. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2001 8:18 pm
by jimmyg
Thanks Blues,
I will certainly hit the site you mentioned, and give it a go. The set I have been working on is the "Eight pieces of brocade." and it works for me, so I thought I may as well try any sets that have been recommended by others. Thanks once more for pointing me in the right direction.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2001 11:20 pm
by jimmyg
You may find the following site of some use in your search for articales on tai chi and depression.

Hope you are successful,

Good luck

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2001 11:43 pm
by Michael
I will do some research on the articles that are cited on the site you provided. I hope it is successful also. Thanks for your help. michael

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2001 11:32 pm
by jimmyg
Thanks to you all who bothered to reply or add your views on the health benifits of tai chi.

Unions in the UK are now teaching that stewards or reps should take up tai chi as a active form of stress management.

Courses are being run, to generate the interest in tai chi. I think this can only be of benefit to Tai chi as a whole.

It is now no longer seen as a "hippy" pastime but as a main stream activity that gives positive benefits.

I wish I had started years ago, and maybe I wouldnt be on medication for my ulcer.

I hope others will now see the benefits and take the first steps, after all it must be better to control your stress with a natural drug free system than to pump chemicals into your body.

Again many thanks to you all.