2016 World Tai Chi Qigong Day: Come join us this April
30, 2016 Saturday 10am for a fun FREE world event, beginners or advanced, any style. No experience necessary!
About Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a low impact form of exercise that utilizes slow, fluid movements and gentle stretching. The movements are combined with deep, controlled breathing. This combination leads to physical and mental relaxation. See articles pertaining to Tai Chi at the bottom of this page.
If done on a regular basis, this form of exercise will increase flexibility and range of motion in the joints, exercise the spine, and improve circulation and the cardiovascular system.
Tai Chi is an internal martial art, which leads to the stimulation and revitalization of the internal organs. According to Chinese philosophy and medicine, the body has natural energy pathways, known as meridians. These pathways become blocked or sluggish when we experience illness, injury and stress. When movement of the chi (energy) is blocked or restricted, health problems occur. When the chi is flowing freely in the body, the energy in our internal organs is balanced and we are healthy. The movements of the Tai Chi form help to open up the energy pathways.
More Tai Chi Benefits
Several studies have shown that regular tai chi practice has benefits: It can reduce falls in the elderly or those with balance disorders sometimes dramatically. In one 1996 Atlanta study, elderly people who practiced Tai Chi for 15 weeks reduced their risk of multiple falls by 47.5 percent. Falls are a particular danger for elders and others with brittle bones, or osteoporosis. For such people, falls frequently result in broken bones. Research has shown tai chi has other benefits, too. Participants in the Atlanta study also had lower blood pressure at the end of the study; and a 1999 study that looked at people with multiple sclerosis who practiced tai chi found that it contributed to an overall improvement in quality of life for people with chronic, disabling conditions.
While there are no good, controlled studies that prove tai chi specifically benefits people with arthritis by reducing pain or inflammation, there is a study from 1991 that evaluates its safety for rheumatoid arthritis patients. It concluded that 10 weeks of tai chi classes did not make joint problems worse, and says the weight-bearing aspects of this exercise has the potential to stimulate bone growth and strengthen connective tissue.
And a recent University of Arizona opinion paper on mind-body alternatives, such as tai chi and meditation, for rheumatic diseases concluded that stress and pain are closely related, and therapies that focus on psychological as well as physical function could be beneficial, when used along with conventional medications.
[Article exerpt from Arthritis Today by Judith Horstman]