Every morning at dawn in Shanghai, the most populous city in China and the world, dozens of people gather on the banks of the Huangpu River to celebrate the relaxing and rhythmic dance of the T’ai chi ch’uan, commonly abbreviated Tai Chi, “the art of supreme polarity”, a style of Chinese martial arts originated as a fighting technique, now also spread in the culture and in Western countries mostly as exotic branching fitness and as a preventative medicine technique.
According to some, the T’ai chi ch’uan would be born in the years of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) founded by Kublai Khan, on the trace of the teachings of the monk Zhang San Feng.
Like all oriental martial arts, even the T’ai chi ch’uan involves the whole body, touching the psychic or subtle interface threshold, energizing and balancing with the movements of the body muscles, lungs, heart and breathing.
Western science is evaluating it as a form of prevention and complementary and alternative medicine. Some of the major benefits of T’ai chi ch’uan would touch the sphere of a balanced aging process, and would also be able to reduce stress, lower blood sugar, reduce high blood pressure, alleviate sleep problems and soothe the symptoms of depression.