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A therapy is a form of treatment designed to alleviate a health problem. Typical examples include physiotherapy, psychotherapy, counselling, sports massage...
Usually therapy involves a dedicated expert helping you to address your issue.
Is tai chi a form of therapy?
No. Tai chi started out as taijiquan: a Chinese martial art. In the 20th Century many people started to train only the health aspects of the art and it devolved into tai chi for health.
Tai chi classes
Tai chi classes are not designed to provide therapy. Consider a massage... You lie down and somebody else works on your body.
The massage may be tailored to suit particular health problems such as a stiff neck. This is not how a tai chi class operates. The art is not tailored to suit your condition and nobody is going to work on you.
You work on yourself
In a massage treatment, the masseur does all the work. In a tai chi class you do all the work. The student is required to do all the work themselves.
Success is entirely contingent upon the student's individual level of comprehension, aptitude and willingness to invest in practice between classes. It is more like being a learner driver.
Tai chi classes are run by teachers, not therapists. The teacher trains people in the principles of good body use, balance, physical sensitivity, awareness and patience.
They correct mistakes and guide progress. Their role is not to treat ailments or remedy health problems. Those considerations remain the sole responsibility of the student.
18 April 2005
Last updated 21 June 2020