The Dragon's Head Blog: The Sheer Joy of Movement – Health Recovery Program at Orangeville, September, 2016
I experience the sheer joy of movement – of moving a body that has been paralyzed.
These words are from one of the participants talking about their experience of doing Tai Chi at the International Centre in Orangeville. On day 4 of our 5-day Health Recovery Program there are looks of focus and determination on peoples faces as they start to feel the benefits of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts. Sure, there is still pain and tiredness but people are starting to feel changes in their bodies, starting to feel things loosen that have been tight and starting to feel the balance when there has been very little.
Changing our habits and improving our Tai Chi means diligent focus and practice. It requires that we remind and repeat to ourselves the things we have learned so we can avoid slipping back into old ways. In neurological terms – laying down new pathways in the brain and then strengthening them with repeated use.
Soft, ‘all the way up’ and balance.
The reminders may have been very simple and most people have heard them before but there is something deeply satisfying about a Health Recovery Week that returns to basics and allows us to reconnect to the heart of our Taoist Tai Chi® practice.
Working hard at our Tai Chi has been the foundation for the week, though the beautiful sunsets, welcome rain, healthy food and working together as a group have all played their parts. There is something very special about the groups at a Health Recovery Program; a sense of caring, encouragement and shared energy. Pain and disability can be incredibly isolating, but we have learned about using the pain, aches and restrictions to help us. More learning, and we have experienced a sense of coming together and mutual support; support in the practice hall, support in the kitchen chopping veggies or doing the washing up and support in the temple chanting.
Participants from the week are already looking forward to the next Health Recovery Program.