In tai chi chuan, movements are made in such a way as to cultivate chi and invigorates the blood, relax the sinews and avoid strain. Only seven minutes of practice in the morning and evening brings a substantial change on oneÂ’s health. of course, progress is gradual.
MOBILIZING THE CHI
In the Philippines, it is said that tuberculosis (TB) is just like the common cold, being so widespread. As a result, most schools and companies usually require a physical examination including chest X-ray. Some people even have X-rays taken as often as every two years, unaware that if you take more than nine X-rays, including dental, in a lifetime, you are likely a candidate for cancer.
What is the alternative test for TB? One is the harmless tuberculin skin test. If you have the bacteria in your system, the tuberculin test will show positive. You can get another test to ensure that the result is not a false positive. If the result is the same, a sputum test must be taken to show the degree of the infection.
X-ray is not always reliable. Sometimes, for instance, lesions have already healed but the bacteria, dormant in the lungs, register a positive in the chest X-ray. The famous Tai Chi master Chen Man-ching, who was had tuberculosis but got cured through Tai Chi exercises, had something to say about the unreliability of such “test” in his book, The Thirteen Chapter. His friend, Cheng Chen-yu, once the Chief of Personnel for the Foreign Ministry, went to see him about some pains at the left side of the rib cage. Chen Man-ching diagnosed chi swellings which caused obstructions in his lungs – the cause of the chest pains. At that time, Cheng’s hectic schedule didn’t allow him to be treated even for one month. In 1943, when he was assigned to the US, the pains recurred and he was forced to be confined in the US hospital. He was diagnosed as having lung tuberculosis as large as an inch in diameter. Surgery was the only recourse. An incision was made at the left side of his rib cage, extending to the waist and the back and diagonally across half the abdomen. In that major operation, which nearly causes his life, no tuberculosis was found. Only after being bedridden for six months was he able to get up again.
The Western therapy for tuberculosis involves certain drugs, rest, fresh air and nutritious food. Your body gets bombarded with around three or four prescribed pills taken thrice a day for a minimum of six months, and an additional three to five months on a lesser dosage just to avoid a relapse. Of course these medicines have horrific side-effects. Should you have tuberculosis the second time around, your body is administered a stronger dosage because the bacteria has developed some form of immunity from the previous dosage.
From the point of view of Western doctors, a TB patient has to take a lot of bed rest. However traditional Chinese medicines says that the lungs are like “hanging bells.” When you strike a bell, it will give a sound that vibrates through a long distance with crystal clear clarity. But if you test the bell sideways on the ground and strike it, it will be mute, it’s wonderful power lost. In this sense, the lungs of the TB patients who merely lie in bed steadily deteriorate because there is no activity. Aside from promoting unhealthy lungs, prolonged bed rest reduces the power of digestion even if the patient eats nutritious food. With the digestion down, the spleen weakens and the kidneys become affected.
At the initial stages of tuberculosis, the chi is not yet completely debilitated. According to Chen Man-ching, lung diseases can easily be treated by eating large quantity of garlic, turnips, millet congee with loquats instead of rice, or drinking butter. In all the cases of successful recoveries, attack was emphasized rather than tonification. The Chinese way of medicine often amazes many people. Typical of this is eating snakes or drinking its blood. Chen Man-ching even states that some successfully cured TB by eating’s boar lung’s prepared by introducing the juice of 12 uncooked chicks into the bronchial tubes, and stewing them in a double-boiler.
In the case of Mr. Li Po-t’ing who could not be cured by either Chinese and Western doctors, Chan Man-ching prescribed a large dose of cinnamon, aconite root, and ginseng and astragalus root. It was so effective that with one dose, a perceptible change occurred, two doses improved his condition and by the eight doses, the patient fully recovered. Twenty years after his bout with TB, Li remains in tip-top condition.
A person’s emotional state is also vital in any treatment, as a positive outlook makes the medicine take effect more rapidly. A TB patient must avoid depression, anxiety, fear and anger – the most destructive to one’s health.
Tai Chi Chuan cured Chen man-ching of tuberculosis. As long as a person can eat, drink and walk around, practicing this ancient martial art produces amazing results. Tai chi chuan’s graceful movements are not just a display of beautiful forms. It restores the internal organs health through the regulation of breathing and the movement of one’s internal energy as the limbs move. The emphasis on the light and sensitivity develops softness, without wasting the slightest energy. In tai chi chuan, movements are made in such a way as to cultivate chi and invigorates the blood, relax the sinews and avoid strain. Only seven minutes of practice in the morning and evening brings a substantial change on one’s health. of course, progress is gradual.
Since tai chi chuan brings the internal energy into the energy reservoir, the chi in the kidneys is strengthened, so the lungs gradually recover. When the internal energy sinks down to the energy reservoir, the strength of the spleen and absorption of the stomach is increase and improving digestion. This makes the lungs stronger. With the soft, slow, light and subtle movements of tai chi chuan, the lungs gradually open and close, strengthening them. Tai chi chuan carries with it a string of healthy benefits enjoyed by the patient practitioner, Sung as they say in Chinese – meaning relax and tap tai chi chuan’s energy.
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