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While often debated, Tai Chi's origins probably date back several thousand years. The more recent forms are well documented to be at least 3-400 years old, developing from the Chen family line. The "modern" forms were standardized after the communist revolution and there is much controversy on how much of the original essence was lost during that time. Tai Chi and Qigong developed with martial arts applications and have evolved into an exercise program that promotes healing and well being. Tai Chi and Qigong serve, not only as a martial art but also as an in-depth rehabilitation program. Through stress both in our environment and lifestyle, aging, accidents and other factors, the connection between our mind and body breaks down. This breakdown affects our flow of energy in the acupuncture system. It is the Chinese belief that this is the major cause of all ailments. This may occur very gradually over several years or quite suddenly. One day we start to notice that we can no longer do the things we used to; we seem ill all of the time. Tai Chi and Qigong's combination of physical and mental relaxation, breath control and learning to feel the body's natural energy, reintegrates the mind, body, and spirit and provides for health and treatment of illness. Documented health benefits from Tai Chi are varied including improvements in postural alignment, balance, stronger lung and cardiovascular function, increased flexibility, stress reduction and emotional stability. It has shown significant affects on diseases and dysfunctions such as arthritis, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, allergies, memory loss, and other ailments.

Stories of individual success abound in classes taught by well qualified instructors. Please keep in mind, there are no overnight miracles in any health care system. Patience and perseverance are necessary to reap the rewards of Tai Chi and Qigong. Lasting effects are not found in a 6 week course. It is the continued carryover into daily life and advancing skills where the real benefits are found.

As a martial art, Tai Chi deals from a position of energy,
balance and finesse as opposed to brute force, making self defense accessible to anyone regardless of size strength or age. The name, "Little Tiger", is actually derived from a Master who thought that Siao Lao Hu (Little Tiger) was fitting to Mrs. Fry's size and abilities, further demonstrating the relevance of Tai Chi to grace and form instead of force.


Notes From The Field Of Medicine On The Benefits Of Tai Chi:

    1995...The American Medical Association

    (vol.273, p. 1341-1347) Published a landmark study that showed Tai Chi to be twice as effective as other exercises in the prevention of falls among the elderly.

    September 1997...The Mayo Clinic Health Letter

    "Without practice, your sense of balance can deteriorate. Techniques for improving your balance are easy to do and effective. A more sophisticated and enjoyable method is Tai Chi. Originally developed in China, Tai Chi involves slow and gentle movements. It helps relax and strengthen muscles and joints. Studies have shown that Tai Chi is one of the most effective ways to prevent falls. In one large study, those who practiced T'ai Chi reduced their risk of falls by 40%."
    ***The Mayo Clinic felt this information was important enough to mention it again in the February 1998 newsletter.***

    Recent research carried out and published under the auspices of The National Institute of Health and the Whitehouse Conference On Aging, conducted by Dr. Ting-sen Xu of Emory and Henry University of Atlanta found that "Tai Chi achieved better results that any other intervention more familiar to western-trained health professionals." There were significant boosts in balance and an elevated sense of well being. So impressive were Dr. Xu's studies, that he received a new $1.5 million grant to continue his research.


    Traditional Oriental Medicine, which includes Acupuncture, herbs, and Tai Chi, was featured in the February 1998 Prevention Magazine. They found it helpful for a wide variety of ailments.

    Deborah Young, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine...

    Her studies showed Tai Chi was just as effective as aerobics in lowering blood pressure without the potential for injuries as aerobics. A similar study in England showed that not only was systolic blood pressure lowered, but only those practicing T'ai Chi experienced a lower diastolic blood pressure reading.

    La Trobe University in Australia found that Tai Chi reduced levels of stress hormones more effectively than some other forms of activity.


    More studies in China have shown that Tai Chi and Qigong (pronounced: Chi Kung)enhance resistance to disease. The Tientsin Chinese Medical Research Center found proportions of white blood cells, which are responsible for the body's self defense, increased on average from 57.7% to 778.1% after practicing Tai Chi and Qigong for three months. The antibody, IgA, which is important for immunity, increased from 767.5 mg/ml to 1193.4 mg/ml. T-cells, also an important immunity factor, rose from 65.5% to 75%.

    October 31st, 1999...Parade Magazine

    Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld commenting on chronic fatigue syndrome, "Various mind-body approaches have been used, including Tai chi, meditation, relaxation, guided imagery, Qigong and yoga. These do add to your energy level by reducing stress, and I do recommend using them."

    With the proper training, the practice of Tai Chi may not only add to the quality of our lives now, but also give us the opportunity to live more fully during our natural life span.


To Learn more About The Benefits Of Tai Chi
Contact Ann and Gary Fry
Of Little Tiger Tai Chi


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Little Tiger Tai Chi Center/Hands On Therapy       13th & Linden Streets
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18102

Phone: 610-432-5001       Email: gfry@fast.net