Tai Chi and Preventive Health Care

There is much talk and publicity nowadays about preventive heath care, and how a healthy lifestyle that includes positive thinking, healthy nutrition, intelligent exercise, meditation, and enjoying fresh air and sunshine, is the key to preventing and healing most if not all illnesses.

The problem with health care

As a society, we have been conditioned since early childhood about what is health care, and what to do when we feel sick. Television, internet, and other forms of media bombard us with everything we need to do from taking drugs to balancing our chakras, and everything in between.  Big Pharma is the biggest contributor of this conditioning – but of course.  Selling drugs is how they make their money!

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This conditioning, no matter how much information is out there regarding so called “alternative” methods, is slow to change.  I will give a perfect example:

Doctor or tai chi teacher?

I live in a small village on the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica.  This village is famous for surfing, as we get exceptional waves here part of the year.  Whenever the visiting surfers or Ticos (Costa Rican natives) hurt their backs, necks, shoulders, knees, etc. they would come to me, the village doctor (Chiropractor) to “fix them up” i.e.- give them a treatment.  How they came to me was by referral from the locals and foreigners who live here telling  them, “Oh, you should go see Dr. Bob the Chiropractor” He will take care of your pain!”

Tai chi for health

What is interesting is, all of the locals and foreigners see me every day on the beach practicing tai chi.  (Its a small village so we all know each other).  I am always explaining to people what is tai chi, how great it is for health, healing, and preventing health problems. And  how its regular practice keeps your body youthful and full of energy, through its soft flowing movements. And whenever a person would come to me for a chiropractic treatment, I always gave them specific tai chi exercises that they can do to help themselves.

So why is it that I am always introduced as “Bob the Chiropractor”, rather than “Bob the tai chi teacher”?  I mean, I was a Chiropractor for 35 years, and I have been a tai chi teacher for more than 50 years.  I have much more experience and knowledge as a teacher than as a doctor.  And most importantly is, when people practice the exercises I give them regularly and correctly, they don’t have the dependence on chiropractic, or acupuncture, or massage, or medical doctors, or any kind  of treatment at all.  Because tai chi addresses most, if not all, of the things responsible for causing most health problems and pain!

Why do the surfers not come to me and say, “I hurt my back surfing, can you please teach me some tai chi to correct this, and to prevent it from returning?”  No. They just want a treatment to temporarily relieve their pain, and then go back out surfing and tear themselves up again, because they don’t loosen up their bodies properly and regularly.  They do nothing to prevent these things.  So of course the potential to hurt themselves is much greater than if they did do tai chi regularly!

I have taught thousands of people all over the world – students, patients, friends. I always explain to them that this is the best thing I know of, that they can possibly do for themselves for their health, self healing, managing stress, reversing the effects of aging, and cultivating a long healthy life free of pain and suffering.

But what I find still is, most people are not willing to learn this art properly or practice it regularly so that they reap its amazing benefits.  Its so much easier to “get a treatment”.  Treatments only takes a few minutes, and it makes you feel better for a little while. Tai chi requires time and effort, but it makes you feel better for the long term.

So the bottom line is that each of us must ask ourselves what is it that we really want?

When we want to put and end to our pain and suffering, we have to change our lifestyles.  We can continue to get every kind of treatment under the sun, but we will never really get better because we choose not to deal with what is causing our pain and illness.

Wishful thinking

Just once, I would like to hear, “Oh this is Bob the tai chi teacher”, or “Oh you should go to Bob the tai chi teacher for your back pain”.

Health care or sick care?

Health care in our society is in reality sick care – that means, you get sick, you go to the  doctor, and he prescribes pills.  My question is, what does that have to do with health?

Health care professionals earn they living by giving treatments.  If everyone was living a truly healthy lifestyle, the need for these treatments would dramatically reduce overnight. Its up to you the individual.  You just have to decide what is it that you truly want.

Do tai chi

As for my opinion (which is based on a lifetime of experience with healthy living and helping others), I recommend that you learn tai chi properly and practice it regularly.  I believe this is your best chance to prevent sickness and pain and to heal yourself from within.

Real health care

Lastly, a little philosophy from Bob the tai chi teacher:

I believe that the best way I can help you with your health problems is to teach you how to help yourself, so that you do not have the need to depend on me or any other kind of therapist or treatment or pill or chakra balancing.

Teaching you tai chi is much more rewarding than giving you a treatment. I can not express this clearly enough with words.

For those of you interested to learn more about tai chi, you can get my online courses at:


You can also book a Tai Chi Immersion in Costa Rica, a week of tai chi in a beautiful tropical oceanfront setting.

If you have any questions about tai chi and preventive health care or if you have specific health issues, please feel free to contact me here or via email at:  chenti@mac.com


Bob the Tai Chi Teacher

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