How are Tai Chi and PraiseMoves® Similar?

A 2014 report published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine looked at Tai Chi and the management of anxiety. The flowing movements of Tai Chi, with names like “crane spreading its wings” or “needle at sea bottom” require mental concentration, proper breathing, balance, strength and flexibility. The report reviewed a number of studies and found that in 12 out of 17, the movements of Tai Chi had positive effects on anxiety. This is important because more and more Americans are suffering from anxiety in our non-stop, driven society. Anxiety is also high in those who can’t find a job and are not able to make ends meet. In fact, it is believed that about 40 million adults in the US suffer from anxiety each year. Engaging the mind and body simultaneously in slow, flow-through movements, like those in Tai Chi, apparently has a calming effect on the body.


Similarly, PraiseMoves® classes incorporate flowing movements. We call them Scripture or Prayer Sequences, with names such as “Love Never Fails,” “Morning Prayer,” and “Blessing Sequence.”  (PraiseMoves® postures and Scripture Sequences are under copyright, and PraiseMoves® is a Registered Trademark of PraiseMoves, LLC.) These sequences are a combination of PraiseMoves® postures such as Rivers of Living Water, Heavenly Treasures and Mountain Movers. Moving through PraiseMoves® sequences requires and enhances mental concentration (we speak or listen to the scripture and sometimes memorize it), proper breathing (we teach deep diaphragmatic breathing), balance, strength and flexibility. Based on my personal experience and that of my clients, I can testify that PraiseMoves is indeed an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety as well. 


What is Tai Chi, anyway, you ask? It was originally developed in the 12th century in China as a martial arts form that was additionally infused with the Taoist, and later with the Buddhist religious philosophies. With the creation of the Republic of China in 1945, religions, including Tai Chi, had to go underground. Many practitioners fled to the US and other countries, bringing Tai Chi with them. Stripped of its religious aspects, at least on the surface, Tai Chi found its way back into favor and became the national “exercise” of China. You can find Tai Chi classes in the States that are stripped-down versions as well as those that fully incorporate the Taoist and Buddhist philosophies.


Unlike Tai Chi, PraiseMoves® intentionally incorporates Judeo-Christian scripture and philosophy into their sequences and postures. The exercise is one that targets the mind, body and soul. Benefits in these three areas are experienced with regular participation. 


For best results, try Scripture Sequences with small movements, then increase to larger movements. Also, learn each part of the sequence first, which is how we teach in a PraiseMoves® class. We start by learning each individual move or posture and holding that for a while. Once we go through each move, we “mark” the sequence by combining them, without necessarily taking the movement to its fullest extension. As we repeat the sequence we are able to work into the fullness of each movement, increasing our flexibility and strength the more we do it.


An example of a short sequence from Matthew 4:4, called “Daily Affirmation” can be found below. Give it a try! 


Time and again, studies of similar activities support these health claims and benefits you’ll receive through PraiseMoves®:


1. Relaxes the body, decreasing stress and anxiety

2. Added flexibility throughout body

3. Blood pressure decreases

4. Coordination, balance and agility increase for daily activities

5. Circulation increases, providing increased oxygen to muscles

6. Help for people with arthritis: stretching reduces the pressure on joint cartilage and

spinal discs, reducing the damage from osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease

7. Persons with rheumatoid arthritis and gout may notice reduced inflammation and pain

of the joints

8. Waste products such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid and nitrogen are removed from the

muscles more quickly

9. Stiffness/tightness of the body decreases

10. Improves your posture

11. Keeps joints well lubricated – sending a fresh supply of synovial fluid into joints

12. Minimizes lower-back pain (sitting for too long a period w/o stretching shortens the

muscles, keeping them tight and contracted) (1)


By Bobbi Mullins, April 2015


References:

(1) PraiseMoves® Training Manual. See more at: http://praisemoves.com/about-us/physical-benefits/

Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (2014)

Settling Anxiety With Tai Chi, Fitness Journal. April 2015.

Tai Chi History: An Overview. http://www.beginnerstaichi.com/tai-chi-history.html

Diaphragmatic Breathing. Cleveland Clinic. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Understanding_COPD/hic_Pulmonary_Rehabilitation_Is_it_for_You/hic_Diaphragmatic_Breathing

The Health Benefits of Tai Chi. May 2009. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-of-tai-chi

Why Try Tai Chi. The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/tai-chi/art-20045184?pg=2


Matt 4:4 – 2012 Daily Affirmation

by CPIT Nola Jeanne Baird ©PraiseMoves January 2012

 

Jesus said

   Rock (on floor or seated)

It is written

   Place knees on floor and into Pe

Man shall not live by bread alone

   Tent (or Flapping Tent)

But by every word that proceeds

   Sent Word

from the mouth of God

   Pe

 

PraiseMoves Postures to Know

1.     Rock

From the Prayer Shawl, palms on mat, bend knees and lower into a full squat.  Head to knees, palms flat on floor, arms close to sides. (Or seated on edge of chair, heels lifted (on toes)

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14

2.     Pe

On your knees, place hands on hips, fingers pointing to the front; gently lean back, looking toward the ceiling.

Laurette Willis, Hebrew Alphabet DVD

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

3.     Tent

 

Begin on your hands and knees, toes curled under. Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle fingers pointing straight ahead. With the arms straight, press the hips up, reaching the tailbone toward the ceiling. Press heels toward floor. (Forms an equilateral triangle.)

Laurette Willis, PM DVD 1 & 2

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2

Or Flapping Tent

On all fours with your hands under your shoulders, inhale letting the tailbone tilt up and the spine curve downward. Look up at the ceiling. Exhale reversing the spinal bend, tilting the tailbone down and pulling the chest and abdomen in.

“The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4

 

4.     Sent Word

On your knees, arms reaching forward with palms up. Gently lean back, keeping a straight line from head to knees, engaging quadriceps and gluts.

Bobbi Mullins

"So shall My Word be that goes forth from My Mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11


From the PraiseMoves® Instructors’ Repertoire of Scripture Sequences.

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™