Understanding Yin-Yang Philosophic Concept Behind Tai Chi Practice

Author: Hao Howe Liu1, Charles Nichols, Hong Zhang
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Physical Therapy, Allen College, Waterloo, Iowa (Dr Liu); Department of Physical Therapy, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth (Dr Nichols); Department of Acupuncture &amp; Rehabilitation, Yue Yang Hospital of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China (Dr Zhang).
Conference/Journal: Holist Nurs Pract
Date published: 2023 Sep-Oct
Other: Volume ID: 37 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: E75-E82 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000598. , Word Count: 184

Yin-yang theorizes that everything in the world is interoppositionally unified with 2 dynamic opposites (yin and yang), interrooted, interchangeable, and interconvertible. Tai chi (TC) movements and postures are essentially yin-yang concept-based. However, there is still a lack of understanding of yin-yang concepts and applications among people practicing TC. So, in this concept review, we aimed to provide basic understanding of the yin-yang concept and characteristics behind TC practice. Terms derived from the yin-yang concept in TC practice may include blood/qi (energy), stability/mobility, closing/opening moves, expiration/inspiration, solid/empty stance, and defensive/offensive hand movements and postures. These yin-yang attributes are interrestricted and dependent on maintaining a dynamic mind-body harmony. With the yin-yang application, TC can be considered a self-controlled balance perturbation exercise to challenge the stability-mobility (yin-yang) to a new level of harmony. As a health promotion holistic intervention, TC can facilitate the flow in blood/qi pathways or meridians to improve medical conditions. As an integrative mind-body exercise, TC can activate different body parts and brain regions to participate in and coordinate the combined physical and mental activities.

PMID: 37595124 DOI: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000598