The Three Treasures (jing qi shen)

Usually translated as essence, breath and spirit. These are the cornerstones of Traditional Chinese Medicine and practices like Tai Chi and Qi gong.


Jing also means “mental quietness or serenity”. The mental quietness of tai chi is different from some other forms of meditation. While you are serene from within, you are still aware of your environment and able to assess the situation around you at any time – being mindful of the environment as well. A more jing state will help you deal with any crisis in real life more effectively.


Song is often translated as “relaxation”, but it means more than that in Chinese, conveying a sense of loosening and stretching out of the joints. Imagine all your joints opening, loosening, or stretching out gently from within. This method of loosening constitutes a type of controlled relaxation, because when you gently stretch your joints, you’re attaining song, and you can’t be tense. Song helps your qi flow powerfully through the joints, builds internal strength and also improves flexibility. It will also enhance jing. When your joints are song, your mind becomes more jing, and as your mind becomes more jing, it in turns further song your joints, thus setting up a positive circle.


Jingshen is a phrase that colloquially relates to a sense of wellness or wholeness of mind and body. It is literally defined as a combination of spirit, mind, consciousness thought and psychological essence.

Spiral Force (chan ssu jin)

The movements of Tai Chi are in spiral and curve shapes, these movements are expressed outwardly by twining of muscle and skin of the whole body, at the same time there is an internal force twining throughout the internal parts of the body.  This force is elastic, loose and yet powerful. The force is present in most styles of Taijiquan.

Being aware of spiral force will help improve our skill of Tai Chi. When practising Taijiquan we should be using our conscious mind to control the Qi and using Qi to control the internal force. When thinking of spiral forces, imagine a string twining around the reel either in a clock wise direction or anti-clock wise directions. From these two types, we further classify the spiral forces based on: eye movements, body movements, stepping methods and hand movements. 


The physical or exercise form of Tai Chi. Taiji is the pinyin spelling of Tai Chi.

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