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Differences between bodywork and Tai Chi

➡️ What is unique to bodywork is the element of therapeutic touch. 
There's an opportunity to relax into spaces that you may not have been able to reach on your own;
to experience novel ways of movement you can bring home with you.  
➡️  These therapies, which include asian bodywork (Shiatsu), and techniques such as tension release in the muscles, and body structure - can offer a tranquil release from life; a time of nourishment during which - while your awareness is engaged, you don't have to work so hard.  
There are often personal insights gained through this meditative process; and a feeling of freedom in areas you didn't even recognize as stuck.  Through relaxation and increased communication between tissues and organ systems, it's possible that many things, including aches and pains, start to resolve on their own; instead replaced by an increasing feeling of ease, alignment, and enjoyment.  
➡️ If you start with a dexa scan, you may notice increases in bone density, or longevity indicators such as telomere length (the ends of DNA, which can get measured).  It's possible that it'll feel again like there's freedom and control in all of your choices.

(These latter two arrow-points are apply to Tai Chi practice as well!)

➡️  Learning about the human through Eastern and Western Scientific world-views

You also have access to our extensive knowledge of tissue, nerve and Chinese Channel pathways (their associated points and cosmological meanings); which includes the body regions and structures associated with each of the five elements ("Wǔ Shíng"/Xíng 五行). Our holistic approach ensures nourishment is focused on the correct areas.   

This framework encompasses physiology and anatomy, psychology, neuro-endocrinology (study of hormones, their rhythms, and dynamic interactions w/ and influences on the overall system), spiritual development (ie what is natural at different phases in life; and how to navigate this with wisdom), sound (the sounds and tones that produce health; and that help create harmony in the organ systems), and nature (how to eat, think, and move in harmony with the seasons). 

Perhaps most importantly is it covers the lifestyle activities, knowledge, and habits (mental, physical and in action) that nourish the whole person, in an element-specific way.  

E.g. the earth element is about stability, and covers the ages from thirty-three to fifty eight, when it is typical for the fires of self-discovery to settle into a career path and home. 


It is nourished with consistency, and harmed when change is too rapid.  It deals with the stomach and spleen (Consistent meal timing is a large part of this domain, along with community and physical activity). 


It's tissues include the muscles; and it's neuro-chemical is serotonin; associated with positive mood and stable thinking or creative focus.  

Wu Shing Tones
Wu Shing
Life Phases according to the Wu Shing.png

Issues with the earth element can include digestion, getting stuck on things (Too much earth not enough wind/wood), attachment issues; or being overly sweet), and elimination concerns. Although metabolic issues can be reflections of a deeper misalignment, they are often related to the earth element. Diabetes is considered an Earth-Water imbalance (written about in texts over two-thousand years old (in China and in the West). Read more about it here.  

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Fire Element Themes
Microcosmic Orbit Meditation

A popular daoist meditation and a regular part of any Chi Gong (qigong) curriculum is the micro-cosmic orbit meditation (小周天) which involves re-establishing the balance between water and fire.  It often involves movements and mental imagery that help draw "cooling energy up the spine" and "warming fire energy" down the front.  It's thought most pathology comes from a disharmony between fire and water; with most people having heat above and cold below; whereas the proper practices lead to fire in the belly, and a cool head.  Here, we discuss the role of trauma in disrupting the water and fire energies (two min discussion).  

Often times an individual is working on a single elemental theme; commonly throughout the course of their lives; although potentially isolated to a particular time, and/or condition of mind-emotion, spirit and/or physical.  We identify and work with these themes as part of holistic care. 

The fire element encompasses the Chest, Heart and Circulatory System. On a deeper level it relates to executive function - the choices and commitments we make, normally arising from the meditative capacity to seek and find clarity, to know and to build upon it (which takes us into the earth). 


When we are stuck in a certain mental-emotional way, it can create heat (trapped in the chest) , manifesting as anxiety, skin issues;  and other "wandering heat pathologies". 


It can often be our spiritual or personal relationships, or lack thereof, that causes the heart to stagnate;   this can stop the chest from opening, preventing the circulation from descending to warm the abdomen and fuel metabolism. 


This can cause feelings of cold and tiredness; confusion and brain fog, digestive distress, cramping, and constipation.  In the long term it can cause issues with urination, and reproduction, hyper tension, heart and kidney disease, to name a few of many fire-related pathologies.

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Tim performing Tai Chi in tandem with his Chinese Teacher's tea presentation.  


Circle walking from martial and longevity art "eight trigram palm".  A local teacher & film star, this man starred in a film with Jet Li.  Changsha, Hunan province, China.  

Tim teaching rooftop Tai Chi to a group of locals and foreign students, Guilin, Guanxi province, China.  Read more about Tai Chi's numerous health benefits here.  

Tai Chi Chuan (pron.  Tài-geé-chu-án, 太極拳) 
"Supreme Ultimate Fist"
Power through Relaxation

What is unique to Tai Chi (which actually does contain the five element framework, and can include discussions of it) is that it's a unique art form, originally a martial art now practiced largely for health. 
It teaches relaxation, structural alignment, and healthful living principles.  

Although we will practice a short form together and some conditioning + health-improvement activities, what you learn will be the essential foundations for additional learning should you want to pursue that later on. 
It will also help you discern what teachers to learn from (ie did they really master the essent
or not?).  

All roads lead to Center


Did you know?  Chinese Medicine, or Zhōng Yī 中医 is often translated as "Medicine of the Center",
or better yet "The Medicine of Hitting something (ie an illness/disease/health solution) precisely on the mark, bull's eye!"
The same character for center (zhōng 中) is found in China (中国 zhōng guó), translated as central kingdom or country.

In the end, no matter what choice you make,  
we teach principles that you can apply while w
alking, sitting, standing,
and/or doing any other exercise. 

These principles, when embodied, will likely improve the integrity of that activity,
and may make it safer, more (satisfyingly) challenging, relaxing, and/or more healthful.

In the end, relaxed alignment is about Energy Efficiency, Optimizing Our Posture, and
Holding ourselves in Integrity; which, when coming from a deeply relaxed place in a foundation of health - 
  - while perhaps not always easy - comes with greater ease, connected to an enduring Wisdom.  


Wisdom of the Turtle

To learn more about our relaxed alignment programs,

including our introductory pricing and policies,

click the make appointment button. 


And no, it won't magically float you in our door. 
It will take you to our product descriptions page,

where you can read the sweet details and decide where to go from there.   

We are here for any questions, and hope to hear from you soon.
In Health,
Tim @ WS Wellness

Meet Tim
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