Author Archive: Ramon Steeves

Getting Healthier With Tai-Chi

Tai-chi is a form of exercise which anyone can do and which can have many beneficial effects on the physical and mental health. It is an ancient system from China that consists of slow, flowing movements that are excellent for correcting balance and helps to keep the joints supple and flexible.


The two main aspects of Tai-chi are conditioning the body while being able to focus the mind. By simply practicing the set of exercises that make up Tai-chi for 20 minutes per day, you are able to let go of stress much more quickly while increasing your stamina and health.


The health benefits of Tai-chi are numerous and include learning how to breathe more efficiently, a lowering of blood pressure, an increase in bone density, more flexible joints and a feeling of overall wellness.


The styles and types of Tai-chi


There are three main types and styles of Tai-Chi; these are Yang style, Chen style and Wu style.


All types and styles have around 24 to 35 steps which all flow into one long movement, but they can be learnt a few steps at a time until you can do the individual steps without having to pause. Once you have accomplished this you are then able to move on to combining the steps into one fluid movement.

There is always a starting movement and an end movement, while in-between there are movements with names such as “part the wild horse mane”, “hand strums the lute” and “grasp the bird’s tail”.


The Yang style


The yang style is exceptionally good for developing strength and softness at the same time and is the most popular form of all Tai-Chi. It is a slow form of the exercise which focuses on continuity with the hands being held relaxed and open for most of the time. It is the best place to start when taking up Tai-Chi and consists of 24 steps.


The Chen style


The Chen style is harder to pick up and has a varied pace with a lower stance. There are many lulls and crescendos during the movement and this form consists of 35 steps from the opening move to the closing.


The Wu style


The Wu style comprises of making a series of smaller but more deliberate movements, this form is especially good for those who want to improve their balance and leg strength.


Pushing hands style


Pushing hands is a form of sparring or training for those who perform Tai-Chi, the whole aim of it is to unbalance your opponent by making a series of gentle pushing movements, while keeping your balance. The winner however is victorious due to skill rather than using brutish force and rough pushing. Skills such as using your energy to its best advantage, being relaxed, using your reactions and awareness all go towards winning.


There are four basic movements to the pushing hands style, the single palm push hands, double fist push hands, double palm push hands and the free style push hands. They are relatively easy to master, however the skills needed to use them can only be developed over time and practice.


Learning Tai-Chi


There are various way you can learn the basics of Tai-Chi, there are many DVD`s and videos, books with full color pictures or taking a class. Without a doubt if you are serious about learning this ancient system then following an instructor is the best way to go, by doing so you are able to learn the correct form of the movements.

The Japanese Cure

There is a very interesting thought out there that states that every person is walking around made up of energy. This is known as Ki in Japan. It is a life force of energy. It is also stated that when a person’s body runs low on this life force, it will become easier to get disease, stress and other types of harm. One way to promote more happiness and a healthier way of living, the body will need to be restored with energy. This is where the Reiki will come in. Reiki is known as a Japanese technique that will take away stress and bring health into a person’s life through the addition of life force energy.


The meaning of Reiki is made up of two words in Japanese. They are Rei and Ki and Rei will translate into “God’s Wisdom” or “ the higher Power” and Ki will mean “life force energy.” Reiki means, “Spiritually guided life force energy.” It is said upon the idea that the power to control these energy forces and change them in a person is a gift that is given by a higher power. Many of the people that use Reiki do believe that a higher power allowed them to do Reiki. This is not a technique that is said to be religious in any nature. Reiki is not even tied to any religion at all and though it does give many people a better sense of stronger ties to any type of religion that the person believes in. Reiki is not any power on the belief of any one identity or person. It is a natural remedy for disease and emotional problems that will work if someone believes in it or not.


Reiki will work by laying your hands on someone else’s body and increasing the life force of energy. When someone learns this practice they will have an unlimited supply of life force energy to give to other people. This may sound like a very difficult procedure but it is really simple. In fact, it is taught to anyone easily whether they are spiritually devoted or not.


If you are considering this technique, you will need to go through a class that is called “attunement.” This is where the teacher will pass on the ability to perform Reiki to the students. It is simple and it will not take into consideration how smart the person is or is not. Reiki has been taught to people of all ages and sizes and it is interesting to you, look it up. Find a Reiki master near you and take the class. It is learned easily and believed by many people as a great stress reliever.

Unblock Your Chi With Acupuncture

While most of us dread the thought of having a needle sometimes they can be very beneficial, especially when the needles are those used in traditional Chinese medicine by way of acupuncture.


Acupuncture is one part of a complete health care system that the Chinese have used and relied on for over 2,000 years. It can be used alone or in combination with herbal remedies and massage therapy.


The basis of acupuncture


The basis behind acupuncture is to unblock the Chi that is said to flow throughout the body along meridian channels. To do this very thin needles are inserted into the body along particular points depending on your problem. This is thought to re-balance the Yin and Yang that is what is causing the illness or problem.


The meridians consist of 12 channels and in the healthy person, the Chi flows freely throughout these around the body. However when a blockage occurs to the Chi a person then becomes ill and the Chinese make use of around 500 different points to unblock the Chi and remedy the illness.


Although the basics and treatment used in acupuncture hasn’t altered in many ways, new ways have been implemented, such as the heating of needles, using ultrasound and electric currents when inserting.


Variations on acupuncture


Along with traditional acupuncture therapy that is still the form most widely practiced today, there are variations such as ear acupuncture. The ear is thought to map out the body organs and by putting pressure, by way of inserting needles into various parts of the ear, many illnesses can be helped and cured. All of the body’s organs have a point on the ear and when correctly inserted into the right place it is said that it can help with not only illness but also bad habits such as smoking. Here a form of acupuncture called staple puncture is used, tiny staples are inserted at key points on the ear and this is said to help people cut the craving for tobacco and thus help them to quit smoking.


The popularity of acupuncture


Acupuncture has gained in popularity in the Western world with around $500 million every year being spent in the USA on acupuncture treatment. It is thought that around 15 million people use it on a regular basis, either alongside traditional Western medicine or as an alternative.


It is used for a wide variety of illnesses with some of the most common being back pain, headaches, stopping smoking, allergies and asthma. Today many hospitals and Doctors have realized the benefits that acupuncture does seem to bring and have started implementing and offering treatment alongside more traditional treatments used in the Western world.


While the exact reasons behind why acupuncture seems to work isn’t clear and many Western doctors don’t believe in the “Chi” theory, it can’t be denied that sticking needles into points on the body does seem to have the desired effect. The most successful claims that acupuncture can make is when it comes to pain relieving, the reason why this is thought to be is because the areas where the needles are inserted are surrounded by nerve endings.


Whatever the reasons behind it working, it must work, for over 15 million Americans can’t be wrong.

Praying For Health

There are many people that belong to some kind of religion. The fact is that about 95% of Americans believe in God. When a person is sick or in pain, it is very common to pray for health. Many wonders do this work? There are studies today that are committed on the accuracy of prayer for health. The alternative to traditional treatments can be used to help a person in both the physical and spiritual aspects of life. Studies are now looking at if prayer can be used in place of other medical procedures or if it is used in connection with the traditional ways.


It is logical to say that prayer can help with your mental conditions. However, the belief in a higher power and heaven will give you a more positive outlook on life and your medical progress. Relieving stress in the mind is going to make for better health decisions. The people that pray are going to have a larger support group of others who are also in a religious manner and it will bring a sense of community to the person that is praying. All of these can help improve overall health.


One questions is if prayer can help physically and bring healing to the body? Studies are doing more work in this subject and have split it into three topics. One group received no prayers from a larger group, one received prayers and was told about it and the last had prayers and they were told that they may or may not receive them. This blind type of study was inconclusive. It could not be determined if the patients were praying or if the outside friends and family were praying. It was not possible to control those types of studies.


With many of the different alternative therapy options, advocates will say that it is not going to hurt anything. This is true for sure. Praying does not cost anything and it takes little time. When used with typical medical procedures it can only help with a persons health.The medical field was started in ancient times as a type of religion and with many doctors and the nursing staff as the roles of religious leaders. In the world today, this is not the case and in most hospitals it still employe members of the clergy to visit the patients if they want.


With the studies being inconclusive, it may be very unproductive to use prayer in place of other medical treatments. You need to discuss this with your doctor and religious leaders so that you have the best course of action for you and your medical problem. If you are using prayers it will make you feel more positive about your condition and you should continue to do this.

Finding The Buddha In You

Pause a while. Stop everything or anything you are doing or going to do now. Just sit in a calm place. Be comfortable. You can settle down in a chair, a sofa or even lie down on your bed. Shut your eyes, but don`t sleep. Think. Ask yourself, ˜What is the purpose of my life? What is it that I want from this life? Do sensuous pleasures keep me happy forever? Donât I crave for more and ever more? Am I able to avoid pain and suffering that always accompany my life-long pursuit of power, money, and pleasure? How can I really avoid pain and suffering? Is there a way out? What is true happiness? What is the message of the Buddha, the Enlightened One, and how does it help me in my life? Can I actually find the same kind of awakening that will free me from this compulsive pursuit of sensual pleasures that ultimately subject me to untold pain and suffering? How do I go about finding it anyway?


To find answers, go read the story of the Buddha and see if you have in you the same spirit, the same urge for peace and for true happiness that spells freedom from suffering and pain. The Buddhas story is not long and tedious unless you want to make it so. It is not a fable. It is a true story of a prince of a Himalayan kingdom. It happened more than 2500 years ago, much before the story of Prophet Mohammed and even much Jesus Christ was born. It also gave birth to a new non-theistic religion, and more than that, a new philosophy of life that you, like many others, can adopt or adapt with considerable benefit, without sacrificing any of your own religious beliefs.


Prince Siddhartha, son of King Suddhodhana of Kapilavastu ( a kingdom that existed on the present India – Nepal border) lived a life of plenty, pleasure and palace-luxuries, well shielded from the outside world (where the common man experienced misery and poverty, pain and suffering, disease and death), till he attained the age of thirty. One night, however, he renounced his claim to succeed his father, his possessions and all his relatives including his young and pretty wife, who was fast asleep with their newborn son beside her. That night, he started on his journey to discover the life outside as well as the light within. After leading a frugal life, practicing intense meditation and self-mortification, sometimes depriving himself of any food, he realized that the better way to getting enlightenment lay neither in a life of luxury nor in a life of extreme deprivation but in adopting a middle path. He became the Buddha, the Fully Enlightened One.


As long as you crave for sensual pleasures, or your selfishness influences your way of thinking and determines your life’s goals, you only run after a mirage of happiness. If you wish for mental peace instead of agitation, physical rejuvenation instead of exhaustion, spiritual enrichment instead of impoverishment, resist your riotous temptations and stifle your selfishness. Still your anger and greed and jealousy and other negative emotions. Get into rendering selfless service and learn to be content.


Practice meditation. Mine the riches within, rather than pine for the pleasures without. Discover the land of eternal pleasure and unending happiness that is deep down within you, and when love and compassion adorn your personality, you wonât experience any misery or pain or suffering. You will then have unraveled the Buddha that lies in you.

Tai Chi Quang: A Regimen For Sound Health

Tai chi quang (also spelled as Tai Chi Chuan or Taijiquan) is one of the many popular martial arts. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese practice it regularly for fitness, good health and longevity. It improves blood circulation as well as of cosmic energy or Qi (or Chi), in which the Chinese place their trust for attaining sound health, both physical and mental. Most Chinese practitioners will also affirm that it develops or aids the cultivation of the spirit.


Unlike most other martial arts that adopt a hard style in that they use the stiffness and tension in the muscles, Tai chi quang is soft in its style. A relaxed natural body posture, deep and regular breathing, easy and even movements of legs and hands without the muscles being stiff or rigid, are all marks of this soft style. It strikes you with its grace and beauty of the slow and fluid motion routines that its practitioners display in Chinese public parks. In various countries around the world, you will witness the same thing every morning.


Tai chi quang has many variations and styles. Originally, nearly two hundred years ago in China, the Chen family taught the Yang family a system of Tai chi. This system has inspired the development of most of the modern styles that Tai chi schools use all over the world for training the learners. There are five main styles, each of which derives its name from the family, which taught it first. These families, namely, Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu Quanyuo and Sun (some of these have alternative names), lend their names to the five styles of Tai chi practiced in China and elsewhere. Several new styles have come into vogue now, but all of them are an offshoot of the old orthodox ones.


The main objectives of these schools are to make the students aware of the importance of balance in their own lives as well as of what sort of balance or imbalance that affects the others’ behavior. The students learn to harness Qi for improving the balance and harmony in their own lives and to defend themselves against those who, due to the imbalance resulting from the lack of proper Qi, attack them physically or verbally.


As a beginner, you can practice Tai chi with your bare hands. Moreover, you do not need any particular dress style. Advanced practitioners use weapons and prescribed dress styles. While practicing the martial art, you have to bear in mind three important aspects. One is about your posture. It should be natural and relaxed. Your breathing should be regular and deep. The second is about your mind. It should be peaceful and calm while being alert. The third is regarding your body and its movements. You should let your body weight be on the waist and legs. Your hand and leg movements should be free, without any tension or rigidity, slow and graceful.


If you practice Tai chi quang regularly, you will experience energy surging through your entire being, your stress levels fall to near zero and you will never have any trouble sleeping well. In times of need, you can defend yourself. You will also experience spiritual gains. More than anything else, Tai chi quang, as its practitioners tell you, will bestow upon you sound health and, consequently, longevity.