A Scientific Perspective of the Three Harmony Principle of Taijiquan

C.P. Ong (Independent Reseacher, Potomac, Maryland, USA)

Article ID: 4654

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jim.v11i1.4654


The Three Harmony Principle helps to regulate whole-body motion in harmony by balancing and aligning the movements of the body segments. Taijiquan uses the fangsong-relaxtion modality to resolve the switching back and forth of the active muscle forces and the passive tensional forces of tendons, ligaments and fascial tissues. Fangsong induces the modulation of the muscles to resettle in a better state of balance, thus is necessarily a manipulation of the fascial tissues enveloping the muscles, organs and structures. In so doing, fangsong-relaxation cultivates the cognition and sensation of the fascial tensional network, which traditional Taiji theory refers to as Qi. Taijiquan harnesses Qi in the discipline of body motion to balance and align the momenta of the body segments in force transmission. This gives rise to maximal force potential in balance—the force of neijin (internal strength)—in response of application. Crucially, the settling into balance by fangsong functions as a neutral countermovement in the stretch-shorten cycle that primes the muscle-tendon unit in an ever-ready state of action, which endows neijin with the liveliness of response. Secondly, the fangsong manipulation of the fascial tissues serves as a fascial massage and release that provides relief to chronic pain syndrome caused by tenseness of muscles and fascia, a therapy that accrues with the many health benefits of Taijiquan. Lastly, but not least, the attentiveness required in the fangsong process develops into the meditation component of the practice which brings tranquility and the insight of mindfulness. Taijiquan thus bestows the triple gems of neijin, health well-being, and equanimity.


Tai Chi; Yin-Yang; Harmony; Qi; Neijin; Fangsong; Chinese Medicine; Wellness

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