Most people know about the meditation and relaxation that comes from practicing Tai Chi. And while this martial art does involve a lot of both, it also comes with many other benefits in the area of health. Tai Chi can help with countless injuries and health problems, and can completely change the lives of those who practice it.
Tai Chi is a calm, slow-paced way of exercise that focuses a lot on breathing and the flow of energy (or qi) in your body. Classes or lessons may begin with warm ups that loosen your body and regulate your breathing, followed by learning some short and long forms, all comprised of flowing, slow movements. While doing all of these exercises, your balance will start to improve. You will become more steady and grounded during Tai Chi. With this eventually comes improved flexibility and muscle strength. Students of Tai Chi can start to notice these changes over the course of several weeks, and after longer time spans, will find dramatic improvements in their overall health. Many of those who’ve studied Tai Chi for months and years have been able to heal old injuries, become more flexible, improve their mental health, and more.
One specific result that many older students have benefitted from is the use of Tai Chi to relieve or prevent arthritis. By practicing such flowing, smooth, balanced exercises, these students become more flexible and build up muscles. This increased muscle strength can protect joints and support them, relieving a lot of the pain caused by stiffness and ache. The stiffness and difficulty to move caused by arthritis can also be lessened by the free-flowing, weight shifting forms you learn. This balance and constant flow of energy can allow for easy, healthy movement.
A study in 2003 proved that Tai Chi was extremely beneficial, in particular to those with arthritis. Adults were studied after twelve weeks of practicing the martial art, and were found to have around 35% less pain, and around 30% more ability to move around and hold their balance.
This, along with hundreds of testimonials around the world from those who have studied tai chi, has solidified its reputation as an extremely healthy and beneficial way to exercise. Arthritis is a serious matter that affects many people, and a calming method to prevent and relieve it can be revolutionary. In addition to this, those with injuries may find themselves improving movement and lessening pain. People who have difficulty with balance or fall often can become more grounded and steady. The practice of Tai Chi can also improve concentration and deal with stress, among many other mental health benefits.
The rewards of Tai Chi are different to every individual. Some may find joy in the relaxing, soothing nature of it all, while others may look to cure their ailments and pains. Through breathing, studying the flow of qi, and learning forms, Tai Chi can be a reliable and enjoyable way to greatly improve the quality of your life.