Reducing or eliminating migraine headaches and related symptoms has been a benefit of practicing T’ai Chi Chih for many teachers and students. A few of their stories:
“I’ve had episodes of migraine headaches since I was a teen. Almost none of the medications address the onset of the migraine known as the aura, which in my case caused temporary partial blindness. I attended a Seijaku (advanced TCC) class. One evening I could see the subtle onset of the aura; I immediately started to practice Seijaku. Within 20 minutes, the aura was gone; the headache never arrived. I have not had a migraine since. At last I possess the means to defeat the auras and migraines that plagued me for 30 years. I am finally free.” – John Rogers, Albuquerque, NM (Reprinted with permission from Blooming the Flower: T’ai Chi Chih Experiences)
“When I discovered TCC, I was suffering from visual and physical migraines. I’d been to many specialists and had had diagnostic CAT scans and MRI’s, but nothing was found. The migraines were becoming so frequent and severe that they were disabling me for one or two days a week. My visual migraines have disappeared and the physical ones are rare and less severe.
“I generally have really bad migraines that last for three days. TCC seems to hold them at bay and I don’t get them as often. Medication plus TCC at onset stops them. But with medication alone, they still go full tilt. When I missed TCC a couple of days, I had a really bad three day bent.” – Bev L.
Have you experienced migraine relief as a result of practicing TCC?
Unless otherwise indicated, all quotations are printed with permission from The Vital Force, the quarterly journal of T’ai Chi Chih.
The Blooming the Flower series and Blooming the Spirit are published by the T’ai Chi Chih Association, Albuquerque, NM.
Shoulders, necks, backs, knees, feet, hips and more … T’ai Chi Chih teachers and students often report profound experiences of pain relief after practicing this moving meditation.
“‘Serenity’ I answered, when asked what I hoped to gain from my first T’ai Chi Chih weekend. My hopes were met, and I continue to practice regularly, thankful for serenity and other benefits I’ve noticed. That first weekend I’d just had cortisone injections into my shoulder to alleviate torn rotator cuff pain. My shoulder, neck and back muscles were a knotted mass of misery; painkillers were frequent companions. Today I am pain-free. My shoulder has healed without surgical intervention. While my physiotherapist deserves a good deal of credit for that reversal, I think that TCC has also been an integral part of the healing package. As I go through my daily practice, I feel my posture improve, my muscles relax and my sense of well-being increase.” – Mildred B.
“In May 2009 I herniated a disc that would take until December to right itself. During that time TCC was often one of the few things that brought relief.” – Sheila Leonard, TCC teacher, Newfoundland, CN
“TCC helps me keep things in perspective and gives me strength. With my Fibromyalgia and surgeries (including recent neck surgery for a compressed spinal cord), strength is a major problem. By doing TCC I have less pain. It also gives me flexibility and has lowered my blood pressure….” – Fran Green, TCC teacher, Wayne, NJ
“A fancy brochure on foot problems from a podiatrist’s office was an eye-opener for me. I had not considered that TCC could help improve and even prevent certain foot problems. The brochure describes ‘Plantar Fasciitis,’ a painful condition of the feet when the fascia in the heel and sole of the foot wears thin and begins to tear. This can cause extreme pain….Six Healing Sounds…Pulling Taffy, Variation #1, Anchor…Rocking Motion… Both the lunge and weight in the heels are beneficial to the feet. Regular practice of these movements is recommended for everyone, whether there is a foot problem or not. The medical applications of TCC movements offer a simple and effective way to maintain healthy and happy feet.” – Linda Braga, TCC teacher, Castro Valley, CA
“My student Barbara Friedman had had pain in her hip and expected to need a replacement hip. After the second day of TCC she had no pain, and on the fifth day, she was running up hills. Needless to say, she feels she no longer needs hip replacement surgery.” – Jean Katus, TCC teacher, Fort Yates, ND (Reprinted with permission from Blooming the Flower: T’ai Chi Chih Experiences)
Have you experienced pain relief as a result of practicing TCC?
Unless otherwise indicated, all quotations are printed with permission from The Vital Force, the quarterly journal of T’ai Chi Chih. The Blooming the Flower series and Blooming the Spirit are published by the T’ai Chi Chih Association, Albuquerque, NM.
Reprinted with permission from taichichih.org, where readers can find additional stories about the health benefits students and teachers have experienced after practicing TCC.
A strong relationship between the practice of T’ai Chi Chih and improvements in the human immune system has been studied for many years, initially led by Michael Irwin, MD at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Dr. Irwin and other medical researchers have found, for example, that shingles immunity is greatly strengthened by regular TCC practice. In one study, people who practiced TCC experienced up to a 50 percent increase in the immune system’s memory T-cells, which are responsible for attacking the virus that causes shingles.
This is groundbreaking research in the meeting of Eastern and Western-based traditions. Dr. Irwin is the Norman Cousins Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute; Vice Chair Elect of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine; and a member of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Justin Stone, who originated T’ai Chi Chih and trained the very first teachers many years ago, always encouraged students to try the practice and see for themselves whether benefits accrue. From world-class scientific studies to each person’s individual experience, the answer usually is ‘yes.’
In one TCC teacher’s words: “Every year I would become bedridden for a couple of weeks at a time, six to seven times a year, with some type of illness. Since learning TCC, I have only been sick three days in a year and a half. My new calmness and sense of peace has created a new me. TCC is a wonderful tool.” – Catherine Millman, TCC teacher, Chesterfield, MO (Reprinted with permission from Blooming the Flower: T’ai Chi Chih Experiences)
What evidence have you seen that T’ai Chi Chih practice has improved your immune system?
“I feel better and healthier than I’ve felt in years. My recovery feels miraculous.” – Raymond Sharp, TCC teacher, Upper Montclair, NJ
Raymond’s story, in his own words:
“I was an international consulting actuary leading a very stressful and demanding business life, complete with extensive international and U.S. travel….By the time retirement rolled around, I was burned out….
“Eighteen months ago, things took a turn for the worse. I needed emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder, and then I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which required more surgery. I felt very low, I had little energy, and my general physical condition had become very poor.
“Late last year, in hope of recovering my health, I tried T’ai Chi Chih again through a class at the local adult learning center. This has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life….The beneficial effects…were immediately obvious….It has now been several months and I’ve noticed, among other things, that my skin tone has improved, my hair is getting thicker, and my sense of smell has increased. But above all, my energy, flexibility and balance have returned – along with a sense of serenity and joy. I feel better and healthier than I have felt in years. My recovery feels miraculous.”
Reprinted with permission from The Vital Force.
“TCC has given back to me the adventures of world travel. On my 81st birthday, I will travel to Morocco.” – Marcy Burns, TCC student, Oxnard, CA
Marcy’s story, in her own words:
“A fall in Tanzania, another in Spain, and another in Vietnam. These were not harmless tumbles quickly forgotten; each caused significant injuries. Perhaps they signaled an end to my traveling…but I am leaping ahead. To understand my experience of T’ai Chi Chih, we must look at the pathway to those places.
“I had not welcomed retirement….my beloved husband sank into dementia and left this life….Travel saved me during those dark days…That solace would now end; it would be foolhardy to continue to risk injury so far from home….
“(Then), I found Lisa Otero’s twice-weekly TCC practice. Her exacting but patient teaching served me well. As I learned, I experienced a quickening and a quieting, but I did not yet know all that the practice would bring.
“I began to feel restless. Would one more journey be possible? I traveled to ancient villages and monasteries in Turkey where walking often was treacherous. But I did not fall. Emboldened, I signed on for voyages across the Atlantic and Pacific on traditional clipper ships. As we moved with the sea, I did not fall. I traveled to Budapest and on to Transylvanian villages, and still I did not fall. It began to seem like a miracle, and I wondered how it had come about. I wonder no more: The practice of TCC has gifted me in a remarkable way.
“The quieting and calming of TCC movements will insure my lifelong practice. Focus and attention, balance and strength are the unexpected and wonderful bonuses. I now stand and move with a steadier strength. I do not fear the rough terrain, broken walkways, and countless stairways that are routine in the off-the-beaten path places to which I travel. TCC has given back to me the adventures of world travel.”
Reprinted with permission from The Vital Force.