Tai Chi is an ancient form martial arts from China. It is one of the most effective ways of exercising the mind and body, which can turn into a lifestyle. There are many forms and styles of Tai Chi, but all forms integrate the mind and body together. Tai Chi also focuses on control of movements and breathing, while generating internal energy, mindfulness, song (loosening 松 ) and jing (serenity 静 ); ultimately cultivating your qi.
Tai Chi is very beneficial to one’s health. It can improve cardio-vascular fitness, strength, and flexibility. Studies have been done which showed long-lasting improvement in cardio-vascular fitness and decreased blood-pressure. Tai Chi movements also build strength that can stave off the possible on-set of chronic pain due to aging. Flexibility is another benefit which can improve mobility and normal activities. Other benefits of Tai Chi can include improved posture, decreased stress, better balance, mental awareness, and a positive mind/spirit.
It has also, been shown that once a person starts regularly practicing Tai Chi they are more likely to stick to it and reap the benefits, compared to attempting to start a gym program. You do not even have to practice for hours on end daily to notice the benefits, even practicing 20 mins a day can give noticeable results.
Sarah Ortiz, DPT, PT
www.hohmanrehab.com (LIVE Chat Available)