Some people are more prompt to illness due to genetic reasons or a body weakened by major disease. This is where tai-chi, Dao Yin and other chi-related exercises come into the picture. Tai-chi can also be classified into a form of Dao Yin which include all exercise of movement that can stir up chi to travel along the channels and clear the blockages. Whereas TCM is disease-specific, exercise is broad-spectrum. When a TCM doctor feels your wrist's pulse pattern, he will diagnose what are blocked inside your body, and he will prescribe necessary treatment plan. Exercise, on the hand, acts on preventing blockages in the future. Look at the issue from this perspective, the two are competitors!
Chi-exercises can be divided into two categories: One is stationary, like zhan zhuang and seated meditation, and one is moving, like Dao Yin, tai-chi or the many moving chi-kung forms. All with one singular objective: to create chi and let it move and spread to various parts of the body. And when a practitioner has advanced to a certain stage in his practice (i.e. after certain practice threshold), his body will be conditioned into generating a certain level of chi going round his body even during the hours that he is not practicing. His health can thereafter be maintained at a stronger and stronger level of chi-balancing power coming from more and more effective practice. It is called progress in one's practice. With stronger chi-balancing power, a person' body will be stronger and can better resist any attempt to imbalance his system, not that he will definitively be free from any illness (as some mythical belief in the ability of a person to be exempted from flu after accomplishing the micro-cosmic orbit circulation, both in our verbal and written tradition).
The interesting thing about chi is that if one continues to do it daily, say for one to two hours per day, even the weakest body can be steadily transformed into a strong body, though the rate of improvement differs from person to person. It is therefore almost like a sure-win game for the weaker people, middle age or even people at advanced age. The flip side is that if one practices only sparingly, like only once every week, the result might be practically zero for many. And needless to say, one needs to learn the stuff and learn it effectively. No mythical stuff and no magic here. We need to learn how to swim as well as to learn how to ride a bicycle. Who told you chi-exercises can be learned at first sight without putting into respectable efforts?
|A common scene in Hong Kong's public parks in the morning|