Your Knees and Tai Chi Walking
In a article in the health section of the New York Times (“Vital Signs,” by Mary Duenwald, 8/31/2004), it was pointed out by researchers at Harvard that running caused the knees to use five times as much force than when walking, requiring the knees to stay flexed, “compressing and extending like a pogo stick.”
After years of Tai Chi and the other meditative martial arts, the way I walk enables me to carry my body like a cork bobbing on water—getting where I want to, without hurting my precious knees. [Remember: only two (real ones) per customer.]
I call that kind of walking: Tai Chi walking.
Tai Chi Walking
Tai Chi walking is a special type of walking, special in the sense that it is done consciously; and when done properly, strengthens and reeducates the whole body.
So if you have problems with your knees, you’ll find that Tai Chi helps you strengthen you legs so that your knees don’t have to support your weight in ways they weren’t designed to. When you practice the Tai Chi way, what gradually happens is that your body learns how to ‘transfer,’ or ‘shift’ your weight so you ‘roll’ along as you walk, instead of banging down with each step.
Plus, the “Chi” in Tai Chi—the “life force” in your body—flows through your legs, like water flowing through a hose, so that your knees, in a sense, get an energizing wash that helps them retain their health, and starts to repair deterioration.
Some other benefits of Tai Chi walking include:
Let me know if you’d like to know more about the steps for learning Tai Chi walking.