Reflections of a Senior TCC Teacher: "All Benefit 100%"

This longtime TCC teacher reflects on her current practice in Hawaii as well as her history as the first TCC teacher in Chicago.

All Benefit 100%

By HH, Mountain View, Hawaii

I treasure our teacher community beyond words; the organic evolution keeps me Chi-ful.

My practice and approach to teaching change as I "mature" (at 76 years young). I practice because it is an energy-balancing practice that I can share with others. Each class is its own "spiritual community." I currently teach at a nursing home, a senior residence, the Hawaii Island Home for Recovery (people transitioning from homelessness), and Hope Services' program for recently released offenders. Participants range from being severely limited physically and mentally, to physically and emotionally fragile, to amazingly strong from working out while incarcerated, to regular middle-aged women (and a couple of men).

Students in my classes have health concerns ranging from COPD and diabetes to cancer and strokes. So I won't be training any "next generations" of TCC teachers. I'm grateful for the opportunities I had, as the first accredited teacher in Chicago, to have hosted accreditation courses and even a national conference. Then and now, “personal, spiritual connectivity” forged a relationship that led toward teaching (then) and toward shared practice (now). 

I've always perceived ''stumbling blocks" as stepping stones toward a destination appropriate for the students, and I'm grateful for the many times when that destination turned out to be accreditation followed by active teaching, even on a very small scale.

Connecting with other teachers has been the same kind of "personal, spiritual connectivity" I experience with students. I have seldom missed an annual conference since I was accredited in 1986. The affinity of our devotion to TCC creates an immediate bond with teachers I am meeting for the first time, even if I interact with them for only a few minutes.

"All Benefit 100%" refers to my experience that any one who practices TCC at any level receives 100% of the benefits available to that person at that time in that personal and physical place/space. While my intention is always to practice with integrity, I do so with mindfulness rather than yardsticks or expectations.

I experienced great joy recently when visiting one of my students at a rehab center after she had fallen and fractured her foot in several places. I anticipated the worst, since she has extreme scoliosis and walks with a walker; she does seated TCC. Her face lit up when she saw me and she could not wait to show me all of the TCC movements she could do while lying down, including Light at the Top of the Head!

She explained to the attendant that the attendant could do these movements standing up just by shifting her weight back and forth (which I demonstrated). L was receiving 100% of the benefits of TCC because she was not only doing the movements with as much integrity as possible, she was also sharing her "Joy Through Movement."

Reprinted with permission from the May 2015 issue of the TCC journal, The Vital Force

A Thousand Kinds of (Spiritual) Joy

Anecdotes from T'ai Chi Chih founder Justin Stone from the August 2014 issue of The Vital Force journal:

More 20th Century Psalms

By Justin Stone

I only once met Roshi Suzuki, the Zen Master who helped found Tassajara, but was deeply impressed. It is a difficult drive up to Tassajara in the winter and I had an old car. After speaking with me for a while in Japanese, in the mistaken impression I was a well-known scholar he was expecting from Kyoto, Roshi invited me to share a Japanese ofuro (hot bath in a wooden tub) with him. Looking hesitantly at the fading sun as the day drew to a close, I replied that I had better start back while there was still some sunlight to see by. "The moon gives light, too," was his soft answer.


 One of my T'ai Chi Chih teachers brought some students to see me on the Monterey Peninsula. We talked of this and that, and then one of the students asked me about reincarnation (a misleading word).

"What do you mean by reincarnation?" I asked. "What is it that reincarnates? That tree in the garden is shedding leaves, which is natural in autumn. But those leaves will return next spring. Is that what you mean?"

"The leaves that come in the springtime will not be the same leaves," the student protested.

"Why identify with the leaves?" I asked. "Why not identify with the tree?"


Lynette Wooliver, a profound Christian Scientist, is one of the most spiritually advanced people I have known. She once remarked to me that she saw her daughters as two nice girls who occasionally visited the house. When the home she and her husband were building in Santa Fe tragically burned to the ground just before completion, she told me that they had watched the fire with interest for a while, then went home to enjoy a night's sleep. As her mother was dying, she remarked to Lynette on the beauty of the flowers in a vase by her bedside, and Lynette answered: "I picked them myself in the garden."

One time, in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, Lynette and some friends were eating lunch with me at a sidewalk cafe owned by an Austrian man. For dessert he brought us each a rich Sachertorte from Vienna, so good one always wants a second. As I was bringing my fork to my mouth with the first succulent piece, salivating in anticipation of this tasty morsel, Lynette suddenly asked: "Can we do without this?"

I immediately put my fork down and pushed the plate away, and she did the same. Seeing this, she remarked: "Then we might as well eat it" – which we proceeded to do with gusto. I believe the lesson was completely lost on her friends, but it is true that we can only enjoy that which we can do without.


Swami Ramdas, who died in the middle of the twentieth century, was like a joyous child who saw God in everything and everybody. One day a man robbed a bank in an Indian town and, when he was apprehended, there was Swami Ramdas carrying some of the bags of loot for him.

In court the Judge asked Swamiji, "What is a Holy Man like you doing mixed up with this thief?"

Swami Ramdas replied: "By the Grace of God I was standing on the corner when, by the Grace of God, a man ran by, carrying some bags. ‘Here, carry this,’ he yelled at me, and, by the Grace of God, he threw two bags for me to carry. So, by the Grace of God, I was running alongside him when, by the Grace of God, two policemen …"

"Get out of here," interrupted the magistrate, laughing, and Swamiji was set free – by the Grace of God. The Sanskrit scholar, Judith Tyberg, told me this story of the great Saint who had become like a simple child, dancing for Joy.

[Reprinted with permission from Good Karma Publishing. This title is out-of-print.]


TCC Benefits: A Student's Perspective

Reflections On Learning TCC ... One Year Later

By GH, Atlanta, GA

I was introduced to T’ai Chi Chih at a retreat for women. In a beautiful mountain setting, with light streaming through the windows, I was amazed I could feel the energy. About a year later when another opportunity arose, I knew that despite my busy schedule this was something I wanted and needed to do. I was feeling stressed, worried and at times depressed. I’m not sure what I expected to gain.

This week marks a year that four of us have been learning and practicing TCC with Sheryl Adair. I always leave class feeling serene, calm and peaceful. Even though I don’t practice as much as I’d like, I feel different. I am calmer. I still worry and feel stressed at times, but my emotions are more balanced. Is this all due to TCC? Probably not. I’ve made some other changes, too. Is it partly TCC? I’m certain of it. I believe the benefits will continue to grow over time. TCC is an important part of my life. I am grateful. I give thanks.  

Reprinted with permission from the May 2015 issue of the TCC journal, The Vital Force.

Years of Benefits from TCC

People who've done TCC for decades have experienced, and seen in others, a wide range of physical, emotional and spiritual benefits. Here, a TCC teacher from Maine tells his story.

My Story

By RR, Portland, Maine

This is my journey. I went to my first T’ai Chi Chih class in Montclair, New Jersey, thinking it was a T’ai Chi Ch’uan class, which I had learned in San Francisco in 1983 and had pursued for many years. I had taken external and internal martial arts since I was 19 and the one thing I had always been searching for was a spiritual dimension. I knew it was out there; I had taken Aikido when I was younger and, because of its philosophy, I knew there could be a spiritual aspect to all this.

For the most part, T’ai Chi Ch’uan classes I had taken had no meditation feeling to them; it was all about the physical. I was ready for T’ai Chi Chih when it came along. It was a big surprise.

I think of T’ai Chi Chih as another qigong system and, although its principles are based on the physical foundation of T’ai Chi Ch’uan and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), which gave birth to the meridian system, by the fifth class I knew this was very different and I was hooked. I also remembered that Justin Stone was a T’ai Chi Ch’uan master. I was especially impressed by Justin's writings, especially Spiritual Odyssey, where he made reference to Krishnamurti, whom I had seen in New York City in the 1970’s and who had a great impact on me. Much of what Justin had to say resonated with me, especially being in the here and now, which I feel T’ai Chi Chih emphasizes. Justin’s focus on relaxing also rang a clear bell.


I didn’t get serious about T’ai Chi Chih until I suffered heart problems. In 2007 my doctor told me that my ejection fraction rate (the percentage of blood pumped from the left into the right chamber) was twenty-five percent. For most people it’s between fifty-five and sixty-five percent. After practicing T’ai Chi Chih for all these years, mine is now around seventy percent, which mystifies my cardiologist. I tell him it’s the Chi.

In 2009, I received my certification....


Maine’s population is 1.33 million, while Portland (where I’m the only full time T’ai Chi Chih teacher) has 66,000 people. The New England area, I think by temperament, has not fully embraced either T’ai Chi Chih or T’ai Chi Ch’uan, although there are many yoga studios around Portland. When I moved here, Maine had three other T’ai Chi Chih teachers in the north; now there are five. When I came there were no T’ai Chi Chih teachers in New Hampshire, Vermont or Massachusetts; now there are two or three in each. So T’ai Chi Chih is slowly growing.

My support comes from T’ai Chi Ch’uan teachers, from whom I still take classes (my roots). And I’ve demonstrated T’ai Chi Chih to my T’ai Chi Ch’uan class. One of my teachers offered plants for my T’ai Chi Chih studio and hooked me up with “Mended Hearts” for whom I did a demo....

My students are my inspiration. My best student (I always say half-kiddingly) is 90 years old and does T’ai Chi Chih daily – even when he suffered from mononucleosis and pneumonia. He loves T’ai Chi Chih, which has increased his balance and he considers it meditation, although he “could never meditate.” He helped me demonstrate T’ai Chi Chih on a local television station a few years ago. He has what Justin refers to as teh (inner sincerity).

I’d never taught before and it’s my students who have supported me and whom I’ve learned from. Students love the feeling they get from doing T’ai Chi Chih – the general feeling that it transports them to another plane.

I predominantly get female students between the ages of 50 and 90; a number of them belong to religious communities. (Students include four pastors and one Buddhist priest.) I also have multiple sclerosis students for whom T’ai Chi Chih has greatly helped with balance. For some, T’ai Chi Chih has had an immediate impact. My very first student reported that after five weeks of classes she asked her doctor to cut her arthritis medication in half (which he did). The doctor also reported that my student’s blood pressure had never been lower in 18 months.

A few students have expressed an interest in teaching T’ai Chi Chih; one is actively pursuing accreditation. As a teacher I look for that “inner sincerity” that Justin talks about. I leave the spiritual aspects up to the individual; my focus has been on preventive health aspects of T’ai Chi Chih. During the Mended Hearts demonstration, I learned that two of the biggest post-operative factors were depression and the inability to be active, both of which are positively affected by T’ai Chi Chih.

Excerpted by permission from the May 2015 issue of the TCC journal, The Vital Force.

"Skating on Thin Ice"

From aiding recovery after two knee replacements to guiding a student navigating "on thin ice," Tai Chi Chih aids in balance and in moving through life a little more smoothly.

"TCC Appears in Everyday Action"

by CW, Tupelo, Mississippi

A competent young orthopedic surgeon recommended T'ai Chi Chih as a resource in my recovery from a total knee replacement four years ago, and reiterated the recommendation after a second such surgery on the companion knee two years later. I'm pleased I followed his advice. TCC was unknown to me when I wandered into my first class simply seeking better physical balance. Since then, through participation in weekly classes and practice at home, not only has my physical balance improved nicely, but I also have received enhanced mental, emotional and spiritual balance.

I'm now beginning to have experiences where TCC principles become useful in my everyday life. During the recent extended absence of my companion, I had such an occasion. In her stead I had agreed to take over the morning chore of feeding wild birds that flock from the woods adjacent to our rural house. Before leaving, she demonstrated to me the careful spreading of birdseed along wooden railings that surround three sides of our exposed rear deck. 

As I approached the first morning of my new bird feeding duties, I found myself standing on the deck covered in a sheet of ice. However, thanks to the practice of TCC, I remained calm and breathed deeply. It came to me that my body knew how to safely execute the required action.

I slowly sank down and placed all of my weight into my left leg. I then moved my right foot in a small sideways step and glided to my right side, placing all of my weight into my right leg. After moving my left leg alongside my right, I sank down again and began the feeding, distributing seed. Before each succeeding step I confirmed that all weight had fully shifted to the receiving, substantial leg before moving. I successfully repeated this maneuver along the entire perimeter of the icy deck, and when I completed the seed distribution I'm certain I could hear the observing birds rejoicing in the woods. Joy through movement, perhaps.

For me, this fulfilling experience underscored two of the primary TCC principles – focusing in the soles of the feet and shifting the weight correctly. Knowledge of how to move properly was essential on that frigid morning. While literally on thin ice, my body had been grounded securely during the bird feeding process. I'm more balanced and centered in my physical body movements than ever, and for that I am grateful to TCC and for the caring instruction and support of my teachers.

Reprinted with permission from the May 2015 issue of the Tai Chi Chih journal, The Vital Force.


Marionette: The wonderful feeling of TCC doing TCC


A TCC student describes how gradually this moving meditation practice became easier, softer, more grounded, and eventually effortless at times. As TCC originator Justin Stone recommended, "the effort of no effort."

By DD, Arizona

“A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings … a marionette’s puppeteer is called a marionettist.” (In our culture, we often refer to someone who does not think or act for him or herself as a “puppet,” and that word creates quite a doubtful impression. For purposes of this metaphor, we’ll put down that negative connotation.)

T’ai Chi Chih is my marionettist. When I first came to TCC, I watched as my teacher slowly, gracefully and with intent, positioned her hands, arms, waist and feet. I marveled at the ease with which she moved. How could one as tense as I come close to proper practice? How could one as stiff as I create a path for vital energy to renew my body and my spirit? How could I?

I watched. I waited. My feet stumbled and my muscles ached. I put my left foot forward and pushed my hands as best I could, teetering as my body rocked front to back, side-to-side.

I studied. I practiced. My neck and shoulders refused to yield. I held fast to the lifelong rigidity that kept me upright – that kept me out of balance.

I began to heed my teacher’s counsel to pay attention to the soles of my feet. I felt the earth under me, keeping me stable, focused, stronger than before. Then it came to me: “I will let you be my marionettist; I will be the puppet.”

The very next practice I set my feet firmly on the earth, and set my eyes completely on my teacher’s hands and feet. I imagined a string or wire reaching from her hands and feet all the way to mine. When my marionettist softened her hand or angled her foot or bent her knee, mine had no option but to follow. (The strings, you see.) When my marionettist pushed the air or pulled the energy, I kept in constant rhythm. (I had no choice because of the wires, of course.)

Time passed. Classes came and went. One day in practice, as taffy stretched, clouds passed, and joyous breath inspired – it happened. There was a shift … a passing of the torch … a subtle change … a sudden awareness.

Someone else, something else, controlled the strings. My eyes, my hands, my senses no longer fixed on my own thoughts or connected to my teacher, TCC was now my marionettist.

“One day … suddenly I realized nobody is doing anything. I had myself out of the way. T’ai Chi Chih is doing T’ai Chi Chih and it’s a very, very ecstatic feeling.” – Justin F. Stone

Reprinted with permission from the May 2015 issue of The Vital Force, the TCC journal.

What's It Like to Become a TCC Teacher?

The process of becoming a T'ai Chi Chih teacher helps make our practice stronger, more accurate, and of more benefit to ourselves as well as future students. It's also a process supported by members of the TCC community worldwide, bringing new friends and surprises along the way.

Passing The Test

by SQ, Poinciana, FL

What in the world should we do to prepare to attend a T’ai Chi Chih teacher accreditation course? In my case I live in Florida, and my first teacher, AV, had moved to Costa Rica, so I had no teacher nearby. Yet I wanted to do my utmost to be well prepared to go through the rigorous accreditation process.

 I’m one of those people who didn’t plan on becoming a teacher for a while. But after AV moved and my connection to Zen Buddhism changed, I realized at the end of 2013 that our community would benefit greatly from having a teacher. So I told AV, who was very pleased, and I figured out my next best steps.

 I had practiced for seven years (and daily for the last two) and also had a small group with whom I practiced weekly. That approach gave me grounding from which to work. Looking ahead, I decided to attend A's Santa Barbara retreat in March 2014. When I first inquired, though, the retreat was already booked. Two weeks later PT let me know that there was a cancellation; I could attend and was very excited. I had also talked to an accredited teacher-friend, KG, in southern California about being my second-signature. I didn’t appreciate (initially) that she actually needed to see how well I knew the movements. She decided to attend the same March retreat (bless her).

At the retreat I told A and P that I would take all the feedback I could get because I wanted to register for the accreditation course in May. (Retreats aren’t designed for this purpose.) I received lots of feedback not only from P and A, but from all the teachers attending. That was the upside. The downside was that I realized I had a long way to go, and that I would not be ready for accreditation in May. I also realized that there was really no need to hurry.

 Meanwhile, I convinced K that she was my best choice as a second teacher. She hadn’t previously taught long-distance (via Skype), so she was hesitant but finally consented. We had a wonderful time working together. Beginning in March, we worked together every second week: she gave me specific and insightful feedback. In between lessons I practiced twice a day, in the morning and evening, and studied my reflection in a sliding glass door. Her skill at giving just the right kind and amount of feedback suited me beautifully. I also continued meeting with my weekly group. My practice deepened and became more refined; I was enjoying it more than ever. Instead of attending the May accreditation, I went to a May intensive and received even more feedback. By the end, I believed I would be ready to attend the next accreditation in California in October.

In mid-summer K suggested we Skype weekly; I concurred. She also recommended that I schedule a Skype session with P to receive further input on my progress; that was very helpful. I also realized I could ask my husband, J, for some coaching. He practices T’ai Chi Ch’uan and could see the relationship between our practices; he also understands what the tan t’ien is. I would share the feedback K gave, and J did a wonderful job helping me integrate the changes during the rest of the week. Imagine my surprise when he told me I wasn’t moving from the tan t’ien and that my head should not be turning. We actually had a fun time working together; every evening at 7 p.m., he would ask, “Ready?” and I would change into my practice shoes.

 Three weeks before accreditation, I had a minor meltdown wondering if I would be ready. My Zen training reminded me that these were just thoughts, and I allowed myself to feel my fear and just kept working. With encouraging words from K, A, and J, I moved forward.

 This past week, I became accredited. I’m very excited about being a part of the TCC community and being able to offer my services to my own community here in Florida. My thanks to everyone, including P (our teacher trainer) for all the love and support, and for this wonderful opportunity.


SQ is a TCC teacher in Poinciana, Florida. Her story is reprinted with permission from the November 2014 issue of The Vital Force journal.

Find free, downloadable, older issues, more recent issues for sale and subscription information here

We're All Healers

"My brother Patrick was terminally ill with multiple myeloma. He needed an outside donor for a stem cell transplant. I was a genetic match. If he could just get well enough for the transplant of my stem cells into his marrow, and survive the procedure, he would be cured.

 "One day during my personal T’ai Chi Chih practice it came to me: the Chi circulating in my body, with a certain vibration in my stem cells, not only was nourishing and healing me with the Vital Force every second of the day, but could also heal somebody else – my brother. I realized in the most profound way, that I could share the Chi, and that I was, in that sense, a healer. I suddenly understood that each of us (whether we recognize it or not) share in this gift of healing.

"I became an accredited TCC teacher in November of 2013 and began teaching classes in January of 2014. The day after I had this realization I was teaching a class. It was the fifth week of teaching my first group of students. In the middle of class two women entered the studio. The first woman used arm braces like the ones I had seen kids use with polio. The second woman appeared physically strong, and although she was nicely dressed and groomed, she had the look of someone who had seen very hard times.

 "I asked how I could help. The woman with the braces wanted to buy a yoga gift certificate for her husband and asked to sit quietly during the rest of the lesson. She found being in our presence during the movements and surrounded by the energy made her feel wonderful and relaxed. She sat on the carpet and meditated for the duration of the class. Afterward she shared how wonderful it was to be in the presence of such beautiful and healing energy and thanked us. As she remained seated on the floor I noticed how thoughtfully she assisted one of the students, who just happened to be using a walker, get into her shoes.

"Once everyone departed we took care of the gift certificate and I asked her about her legs. As a long time yoga teacher I tend to see physical disabilities and injuries as things to be dealt with – and so I can be a little bold in my inquiry. She didn’t seem to mind, explaining that she became disabled in the military, and that usually she is in a wheelchair. Her sister (her companion today) had become her primary caregiver, and was willing and able to provide the extra support she needed for balance, so now, she could spend more time out of the chair and in her arm braces. She said, “I love my sister, she is my angel.”

"She said, “It really doesn’t matter what happened. This is my body now. I accept this completely. I do everything I want to in life except two things; rock climbing and sky diving, and I can live with that. I hike, I ride a motorcycle, I do everything I want to do. I love my life. I’m happy.”

Her sharing about how she felt about her body, her acceptance of her circumstances, and this being her life, were things I really needed to hear. She was not saying she was happy in spite of her circumstances. She was saying, “This is my body. This is my life, and I love my life!” I felt a healing take place in me as I felt the inclusiveness of these ideas: We have one body, we have one life, no rejection, no exclusion. We can have the whole of life in whatever body we have right now." 

First-person story by JR, a certified T'ai Chi Chih teacher in Oxnard, California. Excerpted with permission from the TCC quarterly journal, The Vital Force.

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.

Got #Health?

Scientific research shows TCC improves immune system

The strong relationship between the practice of T’ai Chi Chih and improvements in the immune system have been studied for many years, initially led by Michael Irwin, MD at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). (See list of links to academic research articles lower in this post.)

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 encourages students to try the practice and see for themselves whether there’s any benefit.  From world-class scientific studies to each person’s individual experience, the answer usually is ‘yes.’


"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)