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The ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi offers a treasure of health benefits. In this discipline, slow rhythmic movements and poses are carried out in a graceful fashion. Relaxation and fluidity of motion are stressed and regular participants of Tai Chi enjoy increased flexibility, enhanced balance, strength gains, and an overall sense of well being.
Since the movements of Tai Chi involve placing both the arms and legs in extremes of motion, increased flexibility results with practice. As we age, flexibility naturally diminishes and increased susceptibility to sprains and strains ensues. Tai Chi can help reverse age related stiffness.
Our abilities to maintain balance wanes with age and is a major reason elderly people have falls and fractures. The poses practiced in Tai Chi have been shown to enable the elderly to become more resistant to stumbling and losing balance. Clearly, the devastating effects of hip fractures can be averted by many Tai Chi disciples.
Strength gains are also experienced with Tai Chi since many movements, especially when performed slowly, generate resistance and promote muscle growth.
Finally, Tai Chi encourages mindfulness or the discipline of “living in the moment.” When we become more mindful, anxiety, depression, and guilt dissipate. Tai Chi masters are absorbed totally in their exercises — they become more aware of the present and there simply is no room for negative emotions to reside.
Centuries of Chinese wisdom have much to offer our health. Give Tai Chi a try. You’ll be healthier and less likely to require the services of an orthopedic surgeon!.