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Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 07:45:   

i started practicing taichi two years ago (only the form) and i like it very much. To my great disappointment i also started having lower backache which probably gets worse after my practice. is this common? r there any secret solutions for this problem?
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Shmuel Halevi
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 18:26:   

Hi Tony. I can't say that I am aware of the fact that Tai Chi causes backache, unless you practice totally wrong. I suppose your teacher could tell you if this was the case. Nonetheless, acupuncture is extremely helpful in treating bachache and I suggest that you take this problem to an experienced practitioner and get rid of it.
All the best.
There is plenty of material about lowewr bachache and its treatment in this forum. Try the search button and browse through the pages.

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almost anonymous
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 23:55:   

There is T'ai Chi and there is T'ai Chi. Incorrect practise can contribute to soreness, especially sore lower back and sore knees. There have been so many modifications to the classical forms over the last 60 years by people who weren't really competent to do so that nowadays you stand more than a 50% chance of getting misaligned instruction and subsequent chronic pain at a random school.

The only way to avoid this is to train at a school as close to the 5 T'ai Chi families as possible. If you want Ch'en style, go to a Ch'en family school (or a Zhaobao school, who are cousins to the Ch'en family), if you want Yang style, go to a Yang or Dong or Fu family school (avoid Cheng Man-ch'ing style, the most heavily "modified" Yang form). The same goes for the other styles. Also avoid "Wushu" Taijiquan Chinese govt. competition forms, as well as a particularly infamous group known as the "Taoist T'ai Chi Society" if you want to learn proper T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

A qualified teacher will listen to your complaint about a sore back on training and then be able to fix it for you. They should be able to show you where you are going wrong in your training. There is a certain amount of "reconstructive" pain experienced by people who train a lot, but that is in the muscles, not in the joints, in which case the teacher should tell you to take it easy for a bit and the pain should go away.

It is a sign of a certain type that you only do forms. Pushing hands is a vital clue to the competence of the instructor. Besides being a powerful conditioning tool, pushing hands indicates that the school in question has, at least possibly, an intermediate level transmission to offer their students.

This may sound harsh, and I apologise, but unfortunately the quality of T'ai Chi Ch'uan available to the public is a spotty affair, and you should do a lot of research about any potential school you attend. This is one area where it pays to be selective.

Good Luck!
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Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 08:39:   

Good day,

My expierience with Tai chi was going to a school and learning the 13 basic movments (8 gates or something of the sort). It was not challenging enough for me, so I thought myself from a book ,the "Simplified 24 steps short form" (Yang style).
It is a good practice phisically and mentaly.
The form takes about 5 minutes and I do it 5 times in a daily practice.
Can somebody comment on my choice or suggest something different.
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Shmuel Halevi
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 10:54:   

Now I can see why you prefer the Chi Gong practice over Tai Chi... Please read the correspondence by A.A. in this forum and I strongly recommend that you take his advice regarding the best way to learning and practicing Tai Chi. Even if you wish to concentrate on the health aspect of Tai Chi, you may need to find an experienced guide/tutor/teacher in order to advance and have a full benefit from the practice of Tai Chi. Practicing Tai Chi - the full form mind you, not the 5 minutes form, can contribute to your general health much more than practicing Chi Gong (which is not a bad thing at all, by all means). You sound like a young guy (from between the lines) so why not take a deep plunge into this ocean and have a good swim?

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