In the Tai Chi Hand Form we start in a position of standing up straight, facing forward. There are specific instructions regarding alignment: of the feet, the knees, the lower back/pelvis, and the chest, shoulders, chin and crown of the head. The arms are hanging at the side, and the wrists are extended so that the palms are facing the floor.
From this position we learn, if we don’t already know, how to breath naturally (abdominal breathing). Because we breath naturally and our attention is on our breath, we relax. (I thought that I could find a picture of it, but I found this instead.)
This is the foundation from which we begin the the Form. Throughout the form, everything learned and done at the foundational level is carried forward and maintained: neutral spine alignment and breathing naturally, for example. As the Form progresses we add to it – immediately upon moving there are elements of alignment and timing that come into play. Each time that happens things get more complex. And as the Form continues movements become progressively more difficult and complicated. But, because we have a solid foundation it is possible to do the new, more difficult, things.
It is the same in all aspects of health. When we talk about 5-6 foundational health choices, discussed this evening for example in our One Simple Change wellness presentation, we are describing choices that lay a foundation for other choices. As you add healthy choices together, the benefits of each is leveraged: the total is greater than the sum of the parts.
Tomorrow I will be helping a patient get a Kangen Water machine. That is a foundational move: every aspect of her health will be affected in big ways. From that one decision she can up the impact of many other decisions (the benefits of her JuicePlus+ supplements will be amplified, for example).