Clearly, the earlier in life you start practicing tai chi (taiji), the greater your physical and mental capacities will be in old age. However, many people basically ignore their health until the natural healing and physical capacities of youth start to wane.
Suddenly, you get a wake-up call. Or, maybe an injury that could heal in a couple of days previously now lingers on for a couple of weeks. And when you stay up all night with little sleep, you feel out of sorts for several days until the weekend when you can rest for a whole day or more. Maybe you find that you suffer from colds and other viral illnesses more often. General tension and anxiety seem to last longer. Your libido may decline.
These are all signs that poor health habits are catching up with you.
Commonly, these wake-up calls happen to people in their 50s. Unfortunately, there is a growing number of younger people burning out and experiencing these problems in their 30s and 40s—some, even in their 20s.
You can ignore the warning signs and stay in denial (not just a river in Egypt!), or you can do something right now to reverse the damage and begin regenerating your body, mind and spirit—regardless of your chronological age.
The Tai Chi Solution
How? Tai chi is the answer. Tai chi’s goal is to make you functionally younger.
Now, you may be in your 50s and yet, be pretty darn healthy. If so, there’s no doubt that you’ve managed to do something or many things right, and you probably already recognize that maintaining your good health will allow you to continue enjoying your active and fulfilling lifestyle.
Realizing the full potential of your dreams and making positive contributions to your family and society all starts with your health.
In China, half of the people who practice tai chi begin after age 50. It was mind-blowing for me to watch so many older people regain the strength and vitality that most people have in their 20s and 30s. All of them told stories of how tai chi made them feel better throughout their whole day. Practitioners in their 70s and 80s told the same stories, but with a much greater sense of gratitude. It opened my eyes to the nature of living a whole life. As a youth growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I, like most everyone else in my generation, believed life was basically over when you were old.
And old was anyone over 30! —Bruce Frantzis
Tai Chi’s Special Benefits for Practitioners Over Fifty
Although all practitioners can expect to gain the range of tai chi’s (taiji’s) health benefits, practicing tai chi has special benefits for people over 50.
Tai chi can:
- Increase physical balance
- Regulate and lower blood pressure
- Improve circulation
- Promote a good night’s sleep
- Re-establishes bio-mechanical alignments
- Restore sexual vitality
Many health studies conducted in China and the West show how tai chi and other Taoist practices improve health.