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Shaolin Kung Fu Centers

Chinese Martial Arts At Its Best!

Blog posts July 2016

Congratulations to all Tai Chi Graduates

July 23, 2016

Great job Tai Chi Students!

We would like to congratulate all our Tai Chi students on their new Tai Chi sashes. 

Keep up the great job and remember to check out our pictures at www.chesapeakekungfu.com/pictures.

 

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Green Tea & Tai Chi

July 17, 2016

Article by Elizabeth Renter from Natural Society

The benefits of green tea are many, and some recent research says the benefits can be augmented when the tea is paired with another Eastern practice — TAI CHI.

Dr. Chwan-Li (Leslie) Shen is a researcher and associate professor at the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech. She has dedicated the vast majority of her research to green tea and other eastern health practices.

Her latest study looked at post-menopausal women and the use of green tea and tai chi to enhance bone strength.

Like green tea, the benefits of tai chi are well established. They include increased muscle strength, better flexibility, aerobic conditioning, and improved balance. But when used in conjunction with green tea, those benefits could be even greater.

Her study was double-blind, placebo-controlled, intervention trial—the best of the best when it comes to scientific standards. She separated 171 women who had weak bones but not full-fledged osteoporosis into four groups:

  • One that received a placebo starch pill and did no tai chi
  • One that received 500 mg of green tea polyphenols and did no tai chi
  • One that received a placebo pill and did tai chi three times a week

A final group that received both the green tea and the tai chi

Throughout the six month study, the group was subject to blood and urine testing and muscle strength assessment.

Researchers found that those women who took green tea and did tai chi experienced the most benefits—increased markers of bone health at both 3 and 6 months. In addition, this group saw a significant decrease in inflammation, suggesting the combination of green tea and tai chi could have disease-preventing benefits not anticipated before. Of course one could assume that simply participating in 2 healthy activities (drinking green tea and tai chi), would rank above participating in just one.

While the study participants used a supplement containing the beneficial components of green tea, you can easily reap benefits from the tea itself.

Additional Sources:

Health.Harvard.edu

ScienceDaily

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The Way of Tea

July 12, 2016

We ran across a great story by Mikael Zaurov of Teamuse.com that we would like to share.

There was once a famous Chinese master named Zhao Zhou. He was so famous that he had visitors all the time who would come seeking the meaning of enlightenment. One day two young seekers knocked on his door begging for words of wisdom. Zhao Zhou welcomed them into his small hut and told them to sit down at a table where an old monk was already sitting. "Please tell me the meaning of Buddha," the first student asked. Zhao Zhou replied, "Drink some tea!" The second student then asked, "What is truth?" and Zhao Zhou excitedly replied, "Drink some tea!" The old monk sitting there was quite perplexed about this interaction and wondered to himself, "Why does he tell them to both drink tea instead of answering their questions?" Zhao Zhou, being a great Zen master, read the monk's mind and said to him, "You drink tea too!"

This story symbolizes the relationship that the Chinese and Japanese traditions have with tea. As you're probably already aware, China and Japan are both tea embracing cultures. Tea has specific symbolic qualities that relate to the view of Asian philosophical traditions. The first is simplicity. In a culture dominated by strong tastes, tea provides an opportunity to tune into more subtle flavors. Both Buddhism and Taoism stress that a life of simplicity brings great peace. Yearning for extravagance never brings satisfaction. The taste of tea is thus very special because it's not extravagant or excessive. It is beautiful in its simplicity. Many people who are addicted to strong tastes will find tea to be too boring or bitter at first. After acquiring a taste for tea, they will never again desire to drink overly sweet and artificially flavored drinks. This is symbolic of the Buddhist view on life. We desire exciting escapades and fancy cars to make life more thrilling because life seems quite boring without additions, but if we relax into a more simple life we will find great peace and happiness. Tea not only serves as a symbol for a peaceful life but the act of drinking tea can provide the means to come in contact with it.

Since we specialize in preserving and spreading the ancient art of Kung Fu & Tai Chi, drinking tea compliments these cultural traditions. It is extremely important that students stay hydrated during training and one of the best methods to accomplish this while taking class in either Kung Fu or Tai Chi is through drinking tea. That being said, we would like to encourage all of our students to drink more tea!    

 

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