Interviews with Taiji Practitioners

Diseases, Symptoms,  tcm, []

Could Taiji be a tonic for stress

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Alastair Macgillivray, aged 55, a working G.P. from Hyde
Q : When did you start practicing Chen Style Taiji?
I have been practicing Yang Style for about three or four years and I have been learning this style (Master Liming Yue' s Chen Style), which is more difficult, for about eight months. It's quite vigorous really - but I enjoy it. And it' s fantastic value. Liming is a fantastic teacher.

Q: How do you fit Taiji into the busy schedule of a G.P. ' s life?
The pressures of work are there but to make a change you've got to really want to do it. Taiji is part of my normal working day now and so I try to reorganise my schedule around this class.

Q : Given your professional life as a G.P., why do you practice Taiji?    .
I think medicine does not answer all the questions. And it is nice to be able to do something of your own effort towards getting better or to being better. Click here to read Meniere's disease in TCM.

Q : Do you recommend Taiji in your work as a G.P.?
Yes. A lot of people come to see me, virtually every surgery, complaining of stress. So, in terms of Taiji, let's take "breathing" as our example. We can focus on our breathing by just breathing deeper while making slight movements. If you breathe with a slight hand movement, it gives you a timing, a pace. It helps people focus. I've always been encouraging people to breathe more deeply to relax, ever since I was in practice, for over twenty years. If you breathe more deeply you get more energized.
Q : You mentioned "stress" and,  these days,  we're constantly being told from various sources that stress is sharply increasing with our "ever faster lifestyles." Could Taiji be a tonic for stress?
You used to be able to refer "people with significant anxiety" for relaxation therapies, but the Mental Health Service, now, will hardly accept any referrals. So, there are some local Taiji classes, in Hyde and my patients have had good results since they started Taiji. They're actually helping others by running classes for other patients. Click here to read Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media in TCM.

Q : In your considered opinion,  how does Taiji benefit people?
It's really for the people to get out of it what they want. It's trying to oversimplify it to put it into particular benefits. In life, you experience certain things and if the experience makes you feel better, and you can reproduce that feeling, then "the thing" is good. With Taiji, you really get out of it what you put into it. I mean, you can read a book and it' s nice, but if you keep reading it, it's perhaps not quite as intense, whereas with Taiji, it gets better. There are not many things that you can say that about. Click here to read Chronic Tonsillitis in TCM.

Q : How would you summarize Taiji?
I think, ultimately, Taiji is an experience. So, I would encourage anyone reading this to go and experience Taiji. It's something that you get more out of if you go and experience it. You need to go four or five times. Once you've done that, you've got over the initial "what is this all about?" and begin to feel attuned to it.

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