10 Important Concepts of Tai Chi

Practicing Tai Chi is not merely a swing of the arm and the movement of the feet. There is a reason behind every movement and style that is made. These concepts paved the way to building every form of Tai Chi. So you have to pay close attention on the things that are not brought up every once in a while because even though if things seem so basic, they are indeed important.

Here are 10 of the most important concepts of Tai Chi that you should never take for granted. Remember these and it will make you appreciate more the forms that are performed.

Concept #1

Tai Chi is done with emphasis on every movement and the fashion of every pattern must be in connected with one another. Meaning every motion made must always start from the spine, going down to the waist, then moving lower to the legs and the feet, then it is simultaneously going up to the body then the arms, hands and last, the fingers.

Concept #2

Maintain your shoulders dropped so that any tension will be eliminated. Shoulders that are always propped are said to have overflowing tension.

Concept #3

Your wrists must always be straight in order to form a lady’s hand if you are performing the Cheng form. All points apply to all forms of Tai Chi but the lady’s hand is basic and a very important trait of the Cheng form in order to cultivate the energy flowing in the body.

Concept #4

Moving slowly should always be done every step of the way. It can never be overemphasized because the slow smoothness of your motions will improve the connection of your body and your environment.

Concept #5

Never let anything disconnect you. You should always stay connected with every instruction. If you have been disconnected, continue to perform the movements and listen carefully to the instructions so that you can overcome any distraction.

Concept #6

Your knees must always be bent during the entire form. Your height must not bob down and up. There are some considerations but all the while, your height must always be maintained at a level that is constant.

Concept #7

The power of Tai Chi travels differently from the movement of Tai Chi. Power of Tai Chi will start from the feet going up to the legs, controlling the shoulders, and will be expressed by the fingers and hands.

Concept #8

Your head must be maintained as if it was suspended on air.

Concept #9

Your chest must be depressed and your back should be raised but this must be done without exerting any force.

Concept #10

Your breath must be focused on your dan-tien but force must not be exerted. As time in the program may pass, there will be accomplishments that will fulfill you like synchronizing your breathing with the movements that you make.

You should always consult your teacher when to exhale or inhale.

Learn Yoga – Step by Step

The benefits of Yoga are well know to everyone who has ever tried the discipline but if you are new to Yoga let me recap. Yoga is a fantastically popular and effective way of strengthening you physically as well as mentally and spiritually. This last ‘spiritual’ aspect may turn some people off, but it’s not something that needs to be associated with religion. Really the best alternate word for the spiritual strength of Yoga is contentment or happiness. It allows you to be a calmer person and more happy with yourself. Put like that it sounds pretty great doesn’t it?

So you’ve probably heard a little about Yoga and wondered what it’s all about. you probably have a few preconceptions and maybe an image of an old man with a long beard sitting in the lotus position springs into your head in automatic association with the word. Let’s go through step by step what you can expect in a typical Yoga session.

Step One: The Introduction and Preparation.

Most Yoga classes begin in a standing position. There are both mental and physical reasons for this and they are closely connected. The standing position is the most natural Human position there is. Leonardo Da Vinci produced a famous scientific picture of the symmetry of the human body when it is in it’s natural standing position. The outstretched arms and legs can have a perfect circle drawn around them and this is true of everyone regardless of their height or weight. What this means is that a standing pose comes naturally to us – we are not worried about getting it wrong and we can concentrate of the state of the body. Breathing exercises will be a key part of the warm up stage for your routine. This is the only time in your life you will be ‘taught’ to breath and it’s a skill which allows people to restore calm to their bodies and thoughts.

Step Two: The Main Routine

This is the art of your Yoga session which will vary the greatest depending on what forms of Yoga you are learning. While the individual exercises you will be doing are going to be quite different, the nature of them will be very similar. This will mean moving into certain poses and positions and holding those poses to allow the body to stretch out muscles and muscle groups that in many cases haven’t been given much attention during the week. Some Yoga teachers will talk to you about energy points of chakra’s. These are important junctions in your body where congestion occurs and stretching them out allows energy to flow freely around your body.

Ste Three: Ending the Session

While the main session is about releasing pent up energies, this stage of your Yoga workout is all about allowing that energy to flow around your body. Many people have trouble with thinking about some strange mystic force that is flowing through you and driving it to certain parts of your body. If you are one of them just mentally substitute the word ‘energy’ with the word ‘blood’. We know that the job of blood is to carry nutrients and oxygen around our body, and we know that if any part of our body is lacking in this supply that we will become ill, so it’s not a huge stretch to think of blood as the mystic energy force that brings health around our body, and exercises such as Yoga as being the method of ensuring the smooth and successful flow of that blood.


11 Amazing Ways Ginseng Benefits You Both Mentally and Physically

Ginseng is a very unique and useful herbal remedy for numerous health conditions and has been so widely researched and has gained such popularity that it is almost a natural cure-all. It’s called Panax ginseng and Panax means “all heal.” Benefits of ginseng have been acknowledged for thousands of years and is traditionally a Chinese herb. However, there is a species in America that is also very beneficial and even some of the Chinese now prefer it.

The Many Health Benefits of Panax Ginseng

While the botanical name is Panax ginseng, there are about 50 names it goes by but it is most commonly called Korean, Asian, or Chinese ginseng depending on where it was grown. It is also often called true ginseng to make it easier for people to distinguish it from American or Siberian ginseng. The literal translation of the phrase ‘Panax ginseng’ in English is ‘all healing man root.’ The use of ginseng in Asia dates back over 5,000 years and is one of the most traditional herbs in Chinese traditional medicine. The ginseng root is also shaped like a person.

Ginseng Relieves Stress

Ginseng helps to relax and stimulate the nervous system and has a balancing quality to it. It has been believed to bring wisdom, strength, and long life to those who consume it. That may be true for those who grow it too because 99% of the world’s supply comes from South Korea, Canada, the United States, and Canada. It’s a multibillion dollar industry and in just South Korea alone, over 1,000 researchers have devoted their time to studying and publishing hundreds of research papers on it annually.

By taking a look at the long list of health benefits, we find that ginseng is an adaptogen which is a natural remedy that makes a person more resilient to physical, environmental, and mental stress and helps to strength immunity, the nervous system, and the glandular system. They also work as a person’s thermostat which can help a person’s adrenal functioning by boosting energy but yet calming a person down at the same time without any overstimulation. Ginseng nourishes the adrenals whereas alternatively, caffeine stresses out the adrenals. Ginseng can also prevent stomach ulcers which are often caused by stress.

Ginseng Boosts Mood and Mental Well-Being

Ginseng can elevate mood and overall mental well-being by created a relaxed yet alert state. Studies indicate that people overall have better sleep, sex lives, energy, and personal satisfaction when consuming ginseng. It is also beneficial when treating depression and anxiety. The combinations of this herb are just as effective as some antidepressants because of the ability it has to regular levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. It is also the main ingredient of Kai Xin San which is a Chinese herbal formula.

Ginseng Boosts Energy, Endurance, and Strength

Boost your endurance, strength and energy with ginseng as energy boosting is one of the most popularly known benefits of ginseng. It also helps to increase stamina and strength and great for those who have been coping with disease-related fatigue. It also helps people who want to increase their physical performance. While you think you get a boost from coffee, the energy and mental boosts that you get from ginseng are much different and won’t lead you to become jittery and then cause a crash. Ginseng can also increase energy or reduce fatigue in cancer patients. More than half of the people who use ginseng report a boost of energy from it. It is also a great natural remedy for chronic fatigue syndrome and useful for people who have unexplained chronic fatigue.

Ginseng helps to keep you young and the Chinese believe it promotes longevity. As far as physical appearance, it also can reduce wrinkles and keep skin healthy if taken orally. It increases blood circulation, allowing it to go to multiple organs more efficiently. Ginseng can also be helpful for male pattern baldness if taken internally and applied topically. It can also reduce mortality in men and also protects all major organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart from damage and aging.

Ginseng Improves Memory and Mental Performance

Ginseng can help protect the brain and improve the memory preventing memory loss and helps to protect against the mental decline that comes from aging. It is a brain booster and helps with mental performance as well as the ability to concentrate. The brain cells are protected from free radical damage due to its antioxidant capabilities. By taking ginseng root daily for 3 months, studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s have had an improvement of mental performance and it has also improved the memory of people who have suffered strokes. A combination of Ginkgo biloba and ginseng is an amazing supplement for the brain and has a synergistic effect which minimizes symptoms of ADHD and improves short-term memory.

Ginseng Is Nature’s Viagra

Ginseng also acts as a natural remedy to improve sexual functioning and the libido of both men and women. Chinese medicine considers ginseng as a natural aphrodisiac to help restore sexual functioning of men and Korean red ginseng has been proven to be effective for men with erectile dysfunction which helps at least 60% of cases. This natural remedy can also help women with the undesirable menopause symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and a low libido. Red ginseng is slightly different because of how it has been processed even though it comes from the same plant.

Ginseng Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics

Ginseng also helps to regulate blood sugar which can help reduce the onset of type 2 diabetes. It increases sensitivity of insulin which helps both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Ginseng also protects the pancreas which helps to normalize the production of insulin in type 1 diabetes. Korean red ginseng is the most effective but if you are taking any medication that’s anti-diabetic, you should talk to your doctor or monitor blood sugar levels carefully before adding ginseng to your regimen. If you’re hypoglycemic, note that ginseng typically lowers blood sugar levels of a non-diabetic adult so it’s recommended to take it with food.

Ginseng Boosts Your Immune System

Use ginseng to boost your immunity because it helps to increase the amount of immune fighting cells in the blood. To prevent catching the flu or a cold, you can take ginseng for prevention. However, if you do catch a cold, ginseng can reduce the time you have it and decrease the symptom severity. If ginseng is taken regularly, ginseng improves the effectiveness of vaccines and it also helps increase immunity for people with HIV or chronic fatigue syndrome. Ginseng helps with fibromyalgia by reducing insomnia, anxiety, pain and inflammation. Ginsenosides that are found in ginseng help regulate the immune system’s response.

Ginseng Protects You from Cancer

You can also protect yourself from multiple types of cancer such as liver, pancreatic, lung, stomach, and ovarian. For smokers who take ginseng, it also lowers the risk of smoking related cancer in comparison to smokers who don’t use ginseng. For breast cancer patients, it has been proven to provide a better quality of life and also improves the survival rate. Cancer patients also see a stimulation of their appetite that is typically lost and can also provide more energy.

Ginseng Can Help You Breathe Easy

Ginseng is helpful for respiratory and lung functioning too and is commonly used for health issues related to the lungs. It helps to alleviate asthmatic symptoms and helps to improve symptoms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Taken along with antibiotics for treatment of bronchitis, it helps the antibiotics work better.

If you have an addiction, ginseng can help kick the habit and reduce any anxiety that comes from withdrawing from substances. Ginseng is also a remedy for hangovers.

Ironically though, the Chinese are starting to prefer ginseng found in America. It was surprising for the first European settlers to find it growing in North America. American ginseng is known as Panaxquinquefolius. It has the same genus but different species as Asian ginseng. Native Americans used it as a healing herb and European settlers used to export American ginseng. For over 2 centuries, it was the second most popular export behind the fur trade export.

Why China Prefers American Ginseng

The Chinese are now preferring American ginseng because the compounds in it protect the plant which makes it more effective to our health also. The North American continent used to grow wild ginseng in abundant amounts but it was harshly over-harvested. Now it’s mostly grown and harvested in Canada and Wisconsin which has harsher growing conditions.

However, the plant has adapted which has resulted in a higher concentration of the active ingredients. It has properties very similar to Asian ginseng but it has a more superior quality due to its ability to help provide better brain functioning. Additionally, the Chinese have been growing the healing herb with more contaminants and pesticides which can make it more harmful. So, Chinese are more willing to pay extra for the genuine American ginseng. The standards for growing ginseng in Wisconsin are so tough to meet that it’s considered the best in the world.

American Ginseng: A Proven Brain Booster

A patent-pending ginseng formulation called Cereboost has been created from American ginseng and has numerous studies that can back up the effectiveness of this brain booster. Those who take it have seen greater mental performance just within hours of consuming it. Note that you must pay attention to ginseng products because some of the big box stores such as Target, GNC, Walmart and Walgreens usually have mostly garlic or rice and very little ginseng.

Siberian Ginseng — A Close Cousin

Siberian ginseng is very close but not necessarily a true ginseng. However, it contains different active compounds like eleutherosides rather than ginsenosides. It has its own special characteristics that are helpful. It has been used a lot in Russia and much research has been done on the herb. Athletes in Russia have been using it for physical performance enhancement in the 1950s. Russians also took Siberian ginseng to offset radiation exposure effects after Chernobyl. In the U.S., it cannot be marketed as ginseng because its biological name is eleutherococcuenticosus. It has a different genus and species. However, it has similar health benefits.

Ginseng Benefits: The Bottom Line

Overall, ginseng is a wondrous herb that is helpful for a wide variety of health issues and has been proven to be effective for thousands of years. Siberian ginseng isn’t really ginseng but is so similar in its effectiveness. Due to the brain enhancing properties of American ginseng, it is considered to be the top ginseng in the world to be produced and utilized.