“A moving meditation that started in Albuquerque more than 45 years ago called T’ai Chi Chih® is proven to boost immunity and give practitioners proven health
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – The Albuquerque T’ai Chi Chih® Center is announcing its Open House on Saturday, April 22, from 10 AM to 1 PM featuring free classes throughout the day where visitors can learn how to do the gentle movements called T’ai Chi Chih, that are proven to boost immunity, reduce stress, and help with insomnia. There will be classes for adults, teens, and seniors, along with a special seated class for those who may have physical challenges.
With its start in Albuquerque, T’ai Chi Chih®, or Joy Thru Movement, has spread rapidly and is now practiced by more than 250,000 people from all over the world. Studies from UCLA show T’ai Chi Chih (pronounced “Tai-Chee-Chuh”) has numerous health benefits: it can balance blood pressure, boost immunity, help with COPD, and relieve insomnia, just to name a few. The new center is located in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque at Sun Valley Commercial Center Suite G1, on the ground floor at 320 Osuna Rd. NE, 87107. All ages and abilities are encouraged to attend the open house. There will be door prizes, refreshments, introductory classes on the hour, as well as a resource library to view instructional videos and read more about this healing practice. The originator of T’ai Chi Chih, Justin Stone, lived in Albuquerque for decades and taught the practice to hundreds of students. Stone, a former UNM Eastern Studies teacher and traditional T’ai Chi Chuan instructor, died in 2012 at the age of 94. The unique form he originated became T’ai Chi Chih, and has been studied extensively as it boasts numerous scientifically-proven health benefits. A moving meditation, it consists of 19 movements and one pose. It is easy to learn and practice, being gentle on the body. Students typically learn all 19 movements and one pose in a traditional 8-week course at the center.
Certified teachers will be on hand to teach free 20-minute practice routines that participants can use to
practice at home in order to reap the rewards of better health. “During the pandemic T’ai Chi Chih came to my rescue.” Carmela Beck – Albuquerque T’ai Chi Chih Teacher “During the pandemic, T’ai Chi Chih came to my rescue” says 58-year-old Carmela Beck, a certified T’ai Chi Chih Instructor who teaches at the center. “It’s a practice that can be done anywhere, with no special clothing or equipment, and it’s easy and gentle on your body. You can even get benefits with as little as 20 minutes per day,” she said. Beck was certified to teach at the Albuquerque T’ai Chi Chih Center in 2018 and has been teaching classes during the pandemic. She encourages anyone who is looking to experience better health and vitality, to give it a try.
Helping people feel better during the pandemic
“A lot of people have experienced added stress and changing life circumstances in the last few years especially due to Covid. I’m just so grateful that I have been able to practice TCC because it has really helped me feel calmer, less stressed, and happier when I do the practice,” she said. Beck discovered T’ai Chi Chih when she stumbled upon Originator Justin Stone giving a demonstration at Bookworks, a local bookstore in Albuquerque. “I remember walking into the bookstore and seeing this man doing simple, very graceful yet powerful movements. The entire crowd watched him in absolute silence, you could hear a pin drop. He had this incredible confidence and serenity about him as he showed the audience how to move in the T’ai Chi Chih way. I realized I had never seen anything quite like that before and knew it was special,” she said. She later researched teachers in the area and found the T’ai Chi Chih Center. Beck just completed teaching an 8-week beginner’s class at the center where her students commented on how much better they were sleeping and felt more peaceful as their practice went on. “It makes me happy to share this practice with others and it’s exciting to see the positive changes that happen once people start a regular practice,” said Beck. “The Open House is a great opportunity to try some classes for free, see if its right for you, and meet the local T’ai Chi Chih community.”
What does T’ai Chi Chih do?
Kim Grant, Editor of The Vital Force, the official quarterly journal of T’ai Chi Chih, and certified instructor says: “T’ai Chi Chih® is a set of movements completely focused on the development of an intrinsic energy called Chi. It’s easy to learn and usually takes about two months (or eight classes). It consists of 19 stand-alone movements and one pose. T’ai Chi Chih is not a martial art and is completely non-violent.” Grant adds: “It does not require a particular level of physical fitness or coordination. The very old and very young alike can learn it. (For those with physical limitations, movements may be done seated – with some modification.) No special clothing or equipment is required.”
According to Justin Stone, Originator of TCC:
“The circulation and balancing of the Chi is the great secret of life. It is a very valuable exercise that affects the inner organs as well as the muscular structure.”
“T’ai Chi Chih (TCC) is a moving meditation with far-reaching benefits. The slow, soft movements have a real effect on blood pressure, weight control, and other physical aspects, but TCC goes much deeper than physical therapy. Most students feel the effects of the practice very quickly, so it is not necessary to accept results as a matter of faith. Students who realize that practice is absolutely necessary often experience profound changes during the eight-week beginning course.”
By whom, and where, is TCC taught?
T’ai Chi Chih may only be taught by accredited TCC teachers. They offer classes in corporate wellness programs; at schools and universities; at senior centers and retreat centers; through Parks and Recreation departments; and at hospitals, churches, and even prisons. The T’ai Chi Chih Center in Albuquerque has certified hundreds of teachers since it opened 26 years ago. Recently, the center moved to its new location in the North Valley after being located in the Northeast Heights.
More about Justin Stone
According to Kim Grant, Editor of the Vital Force (the quarterly TCC journal) “Justin considered the circulation and balancing of Chi (Intrinsic Energy) to be the most important secret of life. He wrote 12 books on various spiritual subjects and taught meditation and T’ai Chi Chih in Albuquerque for many years” Grant said.
Beck encourages people to sample a class and see if it’s right for them. “The benefits of TCC come about pretty quickly,” she said. “Seniors find it easy to practice as the movements are slow and gentle. Practicing improves their balance. Teens also use T’ai Chi Chih to help with the pressures of school, and patients at the New Mexico Cancer Center have benefited from the free yearly seminars provided by our volunteer instructors,” said Beck.
Amy Tyksinski, a TCC Instructor, and teacher at Albuquerque Academy, gave a Ted Talk in 2013 about the benefits her high school students received after they took her class. She spoke about how her students were able to complete difficult assignments with less stress and generally had improved energy and serenity after her class.
How is T’ai Chi Chih different from T’ai Chi Chuan?
Unlike traditional T’ai Chi Chuan, the ancient practice that originated in China which has 108 movements and may require many years of practice to obtain benefits, T’ai Chi Chih® has only 19 movements and one pose, making it easier to learn and it takes less space to practice.
Practitioners say this simple, healing routine brings them serenity in the midst of activity and other health benefits as well. “It’s like giving yourself your own acupuncture treatment because it gets your energy flowing and balanced,” says Beck. “Practicing T’ai Chi Chih has changed my life. It has taught me how to clear my mind, find calm in stressful situations and I am much stronger with less pain now than I was before I learned TCC,” she said. “Plus, it just makes you feel really peaceful.”
Another certified teacher, Carmen Brocklehurst, who was Beck’s teacher, lives in Albuquerque and is well known for her successful 13-part PBS TV series on T’ai Chi Chih that aired in 1994. Today, Carmen offers two hour intensive classes at the center, leads weekly practice, and travels to various T’ai Chi Chih retreats and workshops across the US. An early student of T’ai Chi Chih, Brocklehurst learned directly from Justin Stone and studied with him for decades until his death in 2012. She also wrote the forward for Stone’s popular book titled “T’ai Chi Chih: Joy Thru Movement.”
TCC is Recommended by:
• The Mayo Clinic,
• The Arthritis Foundation,
• The American Medical Association,
The strong relationship between the practice of T’ai Chi Chih and improvements in the immune system have been studied for many years, initially led by Michael Irwin, MD at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Dr. Irwin and other medical researchers have found, for example, that shingles immunity is greatly strengthened by regular TCC practice. In one study, people who practiced TCC experienced up to a 50 percent increase in the immune system’s memory T-cells, which are responsible for attacking the virus that causes shingles.
This is groundbreaking research in the meeting of Eastern and Western-based traditions. Dr. Irwin is the Norman Cousins Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute; Vice Chair Elect of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine; and a member of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Justin Stone, who originated T’ai Chi Chih and trained the very first teachers many years ago, always encourages students to try the practice and see for themselves whether there’s any benefit. From world-class scientific studies to each person’s individual experience, the answer usually is ‘yes.’
About the The T’ai Chi Chih Association
Now in its 27th year, the Association continues its mission of providing teaching space, seminars, and fundraisers specific to the practice and cultivation of learning T’ai Chi Chih movements and the financial support of the T’ai Chi Chih Center. Each year, certified Albuquerque Tai Chi Chih teachers volunteer at local hospitals, the New Mexico Cancer Center, donate their time teaching at community centers, and offer free practices at the center in order to help those who are suffering from illness or physical limitations or wish to just improve their sense of well-being. The TCC Association is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit. The volunteer-based Association is headquartered at the center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
T’ai Chi Chih® is a federally registered trademark.
Learn how to do T’ai Chi Chih at the Open House on April 22nd from 10 AM to 1 PM
The public is encouraged to attend the open house and take a free class or watch a demonstration. All ages and abilities are welcome. To learn more about T’ai Chi Chih go to www.taichichih.org. To get directions to the center or sign up for a beginner’s class go to the T’ai Chi Chih Association website at:
Albuquerque Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/Tai-Chi-Chih-Albuquerque735885679793198/
Tai Chi Chih Association
Sun Valley Commercial Center
320 Osuna Rd. NE Suite G1
Albuquerque, NM 87107