Tai Chi in the Information Age – Ancient Cure for Modern Problems
According to a twenty-year study by Kaiser Permanente, between seventy and eighty-five percent of illness is caused by stress, meaning that in the U.S. alone, stress is costing us about one-trillion dollars per year in healthcare costs. Since most absenteeism is due to stress, US business is losing upwards of $300 billion per year.
On a more personal level, it is disturbing to realize that aging is accelerated by stress, and stress is a growing issue with all of us. Studies show that change is stressful, even “good” change. So as we all settle into the saddle of a new age of rapidly changing information, we need an edge that can help us stay healthy, sane, “younger” and more vibrant, even as we are at the very center of the technology hurricane.
Tai Chi is an ancient mind/body tool that provides the perfect balm for our modern problems.
Tai Chi is a gentle series of relaxing motions that cleanse the body’s tissue of accumulated stress and, by doing so, boosts all aspects of our health systems. According to emerging research boosting the immune system’s strength dramatically, while reducing the incidence of depression, anxiety, and even reducing chronic pain conditions, are just a few of Tai Chi’s myriad of benefits.
What makes ancient Tai Chi the perfect modern balm is that it doesn’t require special facilities or clothing, and doesn’t even make you break a sweat, meaning you can do it in office attire and in an empty boardroom just by kicking off your heels. Yet, it provides the same euphoria of a long run, the cardiovascular benefit of moderate impact aerobics, and burns nearly as many calories as downhill skiing.
Our time is filled with paradox.
One problem in this modern age stems from the great promise of the information age — a tidal wave of data being created by and offered to our “left brain”; that part of our minds that is analytical, calculating, and categorizing the world. Of course, this is a powerful and important part of who we are. This is the part of the mind that gets things done, pays the rent, builds the houses, and makes the cars. Our “right brain,” however, is getting left behind in our rapidly changing techno-world, and this imbalance of thought processes is at the heart of modern stress.
So what do we do? We get the best of both worlds.
Tai Chi is a series of exercises to balance the mind. Tai Chi teaches us to experience life for sheer pleasure, thereby creating balance in our busy “get things done now” world.
If you learn Tai Chi and practice in the morning before you sit down at your computer, your right brain (the sensing and enjoying brain) will be turned on more. You will feel the texture of your computer keys. You will remember to take the time to get a nice cup of green tea or herbal cinnamon spice tea, and you’ll interrupt your staccato keyboard occasionally to smell the tea’s rich aroma, feel the warmth in your hands, and breathe the breath of life deeply into your lungs.
Although we are in the information age revolution, you are also in the garden of life. This will give you an edge in the long run. Why? Because chronic stress diminishes our cognitive skills and therefore, our creativity.
Einstein said, “Creativity is more important than knowledge.” Even if we have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, if we are too stressed out to use the knowledge “creatively,” we are much less effective. Plus, we’re not as much fun!
The bottom line is Tai Chi is a set of exercises to practice enjoying life. It’s not enough just to say, “I’m going to enjoy life more.” We actually have to practice mind/body tools that can positively affect our brain wave activity, in an integrative way, as Tai Chi is proven to do.
At Bay Health Group, we strive to help you go all the way and stretch the envelope, by weaving Tai Chi and Sport Tai Chi into your life. You will be forever glad you did, as you discover balance and calm in the eye of the modern world’s ever accelerating storm of changes rushing at us.