View Full Version : overstating benefits of TJJ and qi gong?

10-02-2004, 04:00 PM
About overstating benefits of TJJ and qi gong i think medical conditions should be combined with mainstream methods and a good diet. The latter is most important, the best TJJ does not work when diet is bad.

Just to share my experience with epicondylitis:
I went to see Paul Lam for an acupuncture treatment. He suggested a series of treatments but i had to leave the country and couldnt continue. The Pain was nearly instantly relieved but not yet completely over. I did Tai Chi for some time but what i think helped me most was nordic walking(brisk walking with ski poles) which had studies which benefit tendinitis.

What was it? Was it my strong will because i wanted to become healthy and treatment was not possible due to my business life?

Another experience with diet:
I changed my diet a bit while having a little go once in a whil(pizza, chocolate, cakes) but else eating fruits, vegies, white meat and fish. I lost 15 lbs, now look like my own granddaughter and my bp improved without any medical intervention

10-02-2004, 09:17 PM

true skill.

10-03-2004, 01:27 AM
Needing to loose weight I aproached my doctor for help. I also asked his advise about gentle exercise until I am a more sensible weight. I showed him the Tai Chi book as I use it and a video in conjunction with class.

I got sent to the dietician who told me not to eat chees, eggs or nuts, but to eat lots of lean meat. I am a vegetarian. The diet without meat was not an option for her so I got sent back to my doctor with the instruction to do more exercise.

My doctor is very anti tai chi and yoga, and swimming and said go back to the dietician.

Having been given the run around I said a few very rude words continued with tai chi, read the threads here and listened to friends. The weight is slow to come off, but the tai chi is keeping me mobile, and I know where to get expert advice any time of the day or night!

10-03-2004, 05:18 AM
How large are the effects of Tai Chi? I'm confident it varies according to what you are measuring, and ranges from small to huge. In either case, it is not quick.

For rehabilitation of range of motion after a severe shoulder injury, I got back full range of motion in about 9 months. i believe that I got about as much benefit from the Tai Chi/Qiqong as the exercises prescribed in the first weeks of rehab by the Physical Therapist.

For pure strength, Tai Chi is probably not the exercise of choice.

For aerobic fitness, Tai Chi probably has a much greater effect size for the untrained athlete than the trained endurance athlete. With interval training, I've been able to sustain a heart rate of 164 beats per min for the 53 minutes it takes to bicycle 40 km (my best is 52' 52"). In the off season, doing no intervals but doing a lot of Tai Chi, I "blow up" in 7-8 minutes at that output level. However, no less an authority than three time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond spent a lot of time doing "breathing exercises".

For pain management, I credit Tai Chi with a lot. I don't respond to opiates (probably a p450 2d6 deficiency, for the medical types here) and non-steroidals interfere with bone healing, so I have to do something else. Tai Chi has greatly enhanced my ability to deliberately relax. That seems key in tolerating discomfort. I've been able to function well at work, and have only missed a week over the last 5 years, despite numerous fractures, and several bouts of Open Reduction/Internal fixation followed by having hardware removed.

Confidence is the last issue. it is amazing to see, especially in children, how much more confident people are after spending time to learn martial arts.

Regarding weight management-changing to a lifestyle consistent with your goals is far more important than a rapid diet, or diet/exercise plan. tai Chi will not "burn off" 600 kcal/hr like hard Nordic Walking. It will replace 600 kcal you might have eaten at the time you did Tai Chi if Tai Chi were not part of your lifestyle. Bill

10-03-2004, 06:11 AM
t'ai chi is NOT nor should have anything to do with a dietary regime;in fact a t'ai chi workout can actually have the adverse effect of making you hungry!!!! if you want to keep your weight down it's simple;watch your portions and use the two finger excercise.(push the plate of food away).combine this with a daily walk of 30min/day and see what happens;it's surprising how little food the body actually needs to live on.
My understanding of the benefits of t'ai chi are that they are preventative
and longterm,not a quick fix;but they are definitively real unlike the claims of some infomercials out there; people are actually discovering new benefits applicable to the modern world from this amazing excercise centuries after it was invented.
the longterm benefits of t'ai chi can not be overstated;there are actually too many of them to bother discussing with the student
here are a few (and i mean a smattering) of benefits achieved thro longterm practice:
improved circulation
improved balance
improved function of internal organs
increased bone density
reduced high blood pressure
improved performance in sports
promotes chi or body's internal intrinsic energy
accelerates healing of disease
improves concentration and mental alertness
relieves stress and tension
enhances relaxation
improves breathing ability and capacity
energizes the body after workout instead of tiring it

10-03-2004, 07:20 AM
In studies there is a general population with the same conditions to determine the general benefits of tC regardless of end result and influening factors. Therefore i do think both Bill, Shark and caroline are right.

Just a few facts plus my own experience:
Exercise starts to burn fat at app. 120-135 bps dependent on age. When exercising Chen style esp cannon fist my rate goes up to 130 - 150 dependent on intensity.....Chen 56 has the right hr of 135 for my needs

After practicing Chen style cannon fist i am satisfied, peaceful thirsty but not particularly hungry. I would like to eat a lot of fruits and vegies after Tai Chi. Why did i lose weight? I did and do practice nordic walking with Tai Chi intrinsic principles. Apart from TJ forms and zhan zhuang at least 90 min/7 days/week of 4 major styles of TJJ.Plan to run workshops on nordic walking with TJ principles, still need to work out more results

When my bowel has problems, my stomach aches or is nervous, have minor headache it vanishes instantly after tJ, true Stanton its not voodoo,

Caroline, if you are a vegetarian there is excellent options for you. Recommendable is plenty of fruits and vegetables, preferably salads, find good recipes for vegetarian foods. Oh.....i will find out about physicians in London. Maybe Paul can give you a list

10-03-2004, 10:43 AM

thank you for your offer of finding out about physicians in London. There are not too many in my area, and none of them are any good! The only decent ones are private and VERY expensive!

10-03-2004, 10:24 PM

For your problem i would suggest a fitness centre which is quite expensive. I do't know how you practise your TC but to gain weight benefits you need to practice in low stance with jumps and stumps.

There is a diet for vegetarians but best is to have a personal consultation. When i am in Sydney i use my background in clinical nutrition but the health funds don't pay so i have to charge my time privately

You do need a mixed program of diet and exercise, along with positive thinking. If you eat out of frustration than you need to handle the frustration. TC helps you to achieve more mental clarity, focus, performance, physical performance and inner harmony. If you want a direct fast fat burner you need to do at least a 30 min brisk walk, with skiing poles it is better. Buy a pulse watch, they are not expensive. Also you need to build up muscles by strength training but this will strain your muscles you give them a rest esp when you want to do TC.

You have to reduce fat to 50g primarily poly-unsaturated fats or at least monos. Low fat is not NO fat because you need it to absorb vit A, B, D. Take becel or flora pro active which lowers your cholesterol actively or just one with unsaturated fats and no choles. Cook with olive oil, this does not saturate when heated.

You need to reduce carhydrates, in conjunction with fat this is poison. Take whole meal rice, pasta, noodles etc. These are poly carbohydrates. Stop eating milk choc, eat dark choc 1 week.

You need about 50% of your diet of proteins to build up muscles. This is contained in eggs(2/3xweek), nuts(contains unsat fats, low GI much vit and minerals, high in protein, tofu, tempeh. This is necess to replace white meat. Eat cottage cheese low fat, low salt much herbs. Eat lite cheese with high protein, 0 carbo and 45% fat in dry mass.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegies.

Have a go 2xmonth, eat cake, choc whatever you want but set a certain date. Do something to distract you from eating which makes use unable to handle food physically. I roller blade past Chinatown. Bike hard, this is good training

10-04-2004, 11:43 AM
This would be a good separate thread.

Soraya mentioned not eating out of frustration. This is one of several emotional aspects of overeating which are part of lifestyle. A second is social eating. Here in the US there is a lot of using food as a social event; people "treat themselves", go for ice cream with the children, etc. Diabetes and obesity are epidemic. A third issue is trying to cope with fatigue by eating something, rather than recognize that lack of rest is the real culprit. Fourth is eating to cope with boredom. People are most successful at long-term weight management when they address each of these lifestyle factors as such, and eat only because they know they should, rather than for emotional reasons.

There are various perspectives on this, but it appears that most people do best with a diet where about 15% of calories come from fat (as Soraya suggests unsaturated or monosaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil), 15-25% from protein, and the rest from complex (low glycemic index) carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates like refined wheat flour, as in bread or most pasta, raises blood insulin levels aggressively, causing you to STORE FAT AGGRESSIVELY. I DO NOT advocate the very high protein diets. They crank renal acid load out through the roof as well as being deficient in some necessary nutrients. However, this is the original theory as to why high protein diets help people be more lean.

In a 2000 kcal diet with 15% fat, 20% protein, and 65% carbohydrate, 300 kcals come from fat about 31 grams at 9 kcal/gram; 400 kcals from protein, 100 grams at 4 kcals/gram; and 1300 kcals from carbs, or 325 grams at 4 kcal/gram. My base metabolic rate is about 2150 kcal/day, low for my 80 kgams. My PERSONAL strategy, which will not suit everyone, is to try and get the protein around 100 grams/day, and fill in as much of the rest as is possible from a variety of vegetable sources like rice, whole potatos, vegetables like turnip, mustard or collard greens, brocolli, squash, etc. My recent favorite is Brussell sprouts with green beans, water chestnuts and mushrooms, usually steamed or microwaves until firm but not crunchy. This is a LOT of vegetables! Chris Carmichael, the personal coach of cycling great Lance Armstrong, makes his riders eat a lot of oranges. They eat potatos and bananas too, which do have a high glycemic index, but do it at the end of a race or training session when the body stores it as Glycogen more readily than pre-race.

Speaking of Glycogen, I think you got something backwards, Soraya. Below the "Aerobic Threshold" of about 60-65% maximum heart rate, the body preferentially burns fat for energy. For me, my resting pulse today is 43 BPM; my measured max last year was 180. This yields about 108- 117 bpm. Above that, muscles start cutting into glycogen stores. The reaction of oxygen and Glycogen produces Lactic Acid, which some endurance coaches use in calculating a "Lactate Threshold". This is the point at which your body accumulates lactic acid faster than it can be removed. The physical sensation is one of burning in the muscles. A major factor which separates elite endurance athletes from the rest of us is the ability to buffer, and then tolerate, lactic acid. For me, my lactic acid threshold is about 158 bpm, or 88% maximum. Finally, there is an anaerobic threshold, the point at which you use oxygen faster than you can take it in. This occurs at 161-164 bpm for me, or about 90-91% maximum heart rate. I don't hit this (or lactate threshold) in usual Tai Chi training.

I burn about 7 kcals/minute at aerobic threshold, 25/min at lactate threshold, and ~30/min at anaerobic threshold. The lesson is that you can burn extra calories without depleting your energy by keeping your pulse below aerobic threshold. You will burn more faster above that, but be relatively comfortable until you hit lactate threshold. There is a higher cost for recovery; and anaerobic efforts burn slightly more, but at great expense in terms of needed recovery time.

I weighed 110 kgs when I stepped on the scales for the New England High School wrestling championships in 1978 (where I got squashed by bigger monsters and embarrassed by smaller ones). I've held ~80 kgs since except in the years following the birth of my two children, when I gained to ~90 kgs by spending time on the kids instead of myself.

Bill (amatuer nutritionist and ex-bike racer)

10-04-2004, 01:10 PM

Great post.
Though I have been involved with clinical trials for about 15 years, I still see a big deficit between the trial outcome and actual subject compliance. This is confounded by the statistcal concept of means/mean (value) where it appears that everybody is within that mean (aka average) but enough fall outside the mean?, whether below minimum or maximum (outliers? while there is some close clustering (left or right?) of the mean value.

In perspective and in relation to diet (another thread), only about a 1/4 of subjects will be able to follow the diet as presecibed by soraya and quoted by the general media whilst another 1/4 will fail to achieve any benefit. The rest will fall somewhere in between (bell curve conept). SOme people can smoke, drink, eat all they want and no problem, the rest suffer in various ways.

I think social eating cannot be helped. We are all bombarded with the esthetic marketing of food that we have become (pavlovian conditioning) puppets in food wars, like being 'greedy through ones eyes, even though the stomach is full'.

10-04-2004, 11:18 PM
Thiis already out of topic so will be my last post.

First of all, my post was a guideline, especially for caroline. But i don't know her so i need to see her and analyze her activites. As to the lactate treshold I said it as a rough guideline but i nearly think for Caroline it is lower. Not for me, i start to reach my lactate treshold at 150. I also need a higher intake of carbohydrate. People who can eat what they want and never gain fat also have problems gaining muscle mass.

About the glycogen i am also not backwards but only stated general guidelines for the barely exercising person and the overweight. But this needs to be tested and assessed.

Frustration is one, boredom etc. So you need to find out and i can't spend hours of writing posts.

protein may crank renal acid load but this needs to be tested
As to the high protein diets, this also depends on the person. Some people don't cope with 50%, I do but have quite high muscle mass for a woman. My uric acid level is OK. It also depends where the proteins come from and this is individual. It has to do with the general level of exercise and overweight which needs to be assessed.

Actually most diets suggest fresh fruit and vegies on the upper rank, with complex carbohydrates and lots of vitamins. Proteins rank on place 2 and then comes complex carbohydrates.With all sweets and ice cream rank at the bottom.
What you stated about protein was stated in a few studies, there are a few of them and quite controversial to each other.

Social eating can't be stopped and can be reduced. I said to cut down. and not to stop socialising. I love ethnic eating and the company i enjoy. Just look back at Christ' last supper

Last but not least, no matter how bad the diet is. But people have a sense of being successful by losing weight and develop more consciousness towards eating and them may find their own rhythm

For ANY person who starts a diet please consult an expert for individual consultation

10-05-2004, 07:09 AM

excellent. People on this board should have some common sense, at least, to always consult their MD/family pracititioner as a first result. I would hope peopel are also smart enough (conscious) since we are all adults.

your ideas are mind opening for people to do their own research, and make up their own minds with informed decisions.