Healthy Aging with TCC

From better balance to a stronger immune system, the benefits of TCC help people of all ages stay healthier. Here, TCC practitioners explain in their own words how this moving meditation has improved their health. To read more stories, consider subscribing to the TCC journal, The Vital Force.

A Miraculous Recovery - TCC Makes Retirement a Time to Enjoy
Raymond Sharp, TCC Teacher, Upper Montclair, NJ

I was an international consulting actuary leading a very stressful and demanding business life, complete with extensive international and US 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 TCC 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.

Better Balance for Students of All Ages

"I heard from another rock climber that TCC practice would give me more focus and balance. It was true; I advanced one whole level in climbing skill. I used to feel that my feet were separate from my hands; now they are not. I am with the rock.” – Dennis Zallen, TCC teacher and rock climbing instructor, Albuquerque, NM (Reprinted with permission from Blooming the Flower: T’ai Chi Chih Experiences)

A Gift Beyond
Marcy Burns, TCC student, Oxnard, CA

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. On my 81st birthday, I will travel to Morocco.

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.