Tai Chi Chuan or better known simply as Tai Chi is a Chinese exercise system based on a series of slow, gentle movements that promote stretching of the body and channeling of internal energy.
Very popular in Asia, this three-hundred-year-old discipline is a martial art known to reactivate the blood circulation and help better fight certain health problems. Accessible to all ages and regardless of physical condition, Tai Chi exercises are relatively easy to memorize and perform. These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg, and there are hundreds of other benefits, some of which we will look in this post.
Traditional Medicine and Tai Chi
One of the basic theories of Chinese medicine, is that men’s anatomy is focused on energy (Chi) and women’s anatomy is focused on Blood. Tai Chi not only helps to build energy, but also to circulate and enrich the blood and is therefore suitable to both men and women.
Tai Chi is one of the most effective ways of learning to deal with stress. Not a short-term fix, that will end up causing more harm than good. Quite quickly you will start to feel calmer in situations that used to stress you in the past. However like all good things in life it takes practice. Your weekly class will also keep you on track and practicing.
Tai chi helps to stimulate flexibility of the upper and lower body, as well as coordination and strength. Tai Chi moves are perform in various positions, often standing or sitting to warm, stretch, and relax tense muscles and joint tissues.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that Tai Chi helps improve balance and strength, while decreasing the risk of falls in older adults, especially those at "high risk". Tai Chi also helps with proprioception, the ability to feel the position of one's body in space. Proprioception generally declines as you get older because of the changes in the structure of the inner ear, as well as the decrease in the strength of certain muscles and ligaments. This supports the famous Atlanta study of some two decades ago concerning the benefits of Tai Chi and maintaining balance in later years.
Increased Muscle Strength
Tai Chi can also improve lower body strength and upper body strength at the same time This is comparable to resistance training exercises like yoga or using bands and elastics. It can also improve knee health and lower body strength, trunk, back and abdominal muscles.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Tai Chi helps reduce blood pressure by reducing the body's stress response. It improves breathing and reduces inflammation, and can sometimes be used as aerobic training. Harvard Medical School confirms that faster forms of Tai Chi have similar benefits to brisk walking.