It seems that I am growing with each year of practicing Taiji!
In January of 2003, when I was in my late forties, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia and I measured 65 inches tall. At this time I had my first bone density test done that showed my spinal bone density T-score was -1.3. A “normal” score at this age level would be “0” so I knew that my bones were losing their density.
In January 2004 I started taking classes in Taiji at the Hunyuantaiji Academy in Edmonton. I began learning the Chen Style 81 Form or Old Frameand to the present date have not completely memorized the entire form. I attend one class each week for two hours, one hour for warm-up and and the other for the form practice. The Taiji that I do is practiced gently, though it can be done very energetically if one wishes to. It is easily adapted to each individual’s personal physical requirements.
In October of 2004 I had my second bone density scan. I was pleasantly surprised that my height was now measured at 65.5 inches and my spinal bone density T-score was now +1.0. Most people are in a holding pattern and simply try not to lose any more bone density, but I had actually gained bone density – something of a medical miracle. This reversal of declining bone density was extremely welcome and I believe the result of my Taiji practice.
I continued practicing Taiji once a week and after a year had passed, I went for another bone density test and physical in November of 2005. The Doctor at this time said that she would not request a bone density test that year. The reason was that when she measured my height I was now 66 inches tall. I had been growing steadily one half of an inch each year!
I was told to continue doing whatever I had been doing as it was working.
I discovered practicing Taiji had also impacted my life in other ways. One of these especially was with skiing. I felt an immense improvement with my skiing as I felt more balanced and confident on my skis.
The outcome of an incident that happened to me can also be attributed to practicing Taiji. I jumped off the tailgate of our family’s pickup truck and I felt my ankle give away as Ithe concrete driveway below. It happened so quickly, but I still managed to perform a shoulder roll and immediately stood up (hoping that nobody was watching and witnessing this). Amazingly there was no injury whatsoever!
I am looking forward to the many benefits Taiji will continue to bring with each coming year. Taiji truly adds to one’s quality of life in many ways.