What is Tai Chi?
The world has known about martial arts through the movies of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris decades ago. People became interested in learning karate and other forms of martial arts for self-defense, and they even enrolled their children in karate classes. That was how the Westerners influenced everyone in terms of how we should practice martial arts.
In the Eastern world, on the other hand, Asians have utilized martial arts in many different forms, such as in the practice called “Tai Chi”.
Tai chi is among of the oldest methods in Chinese alternative medicine that has been utilized by almost everyone in China to achieve mental, physical and emotional wellness. It involves performing slow and gentle movements combined with proper breathing techniques to achieve peace of mind, heart and soul. Its purpose is also for self-defense, but not through violence and haste. It practices total focus and concentration.
How does Tai chi Achieve Wellness?
Seasoned Tai chi masters are known to utilize a small amount of energy to push a much heavier force through full concentration and a steady flow of ‘Qi’ or life energy. A smooth flow of life energy is the optimal priority of practicing Tai Chi. It is this energy that’s responsible for creating harmony within our bodies, thereby helping us achieve wellness. With regular practice, it can be an essential exercise for the body, mind and heart.
What are the Types of Tai Chi?
There are actually several ways of doing Tai Chi, but there are three major styles that are more commonly used, their names derived from their founding masters.
- The Chen style is done by doing slow, but explosive moves. It requires coordination of almost all body parts and is therefore not recommended for beginners because of reported injuries to the back and knees.
- The Yang style is the most popular one, although not the oldest. People you see in parks and other recreational places that are doing Tai chi in groups are usually doing the Yang style. The steps are gentle, consistent and easy enough for children, adults and seniors to follow.
- The Wu style is a more recent style derived from Yang and is composed of about 100 movements, but can be done in 36 steps using its shorter version. Some people find the Wu rather boring with much slower movements.
What are the Benefits of Tai Chi?
Here are some of the all-time benefits of Tai Chi for our mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
- Improves flexibility and muscular strength
- Relieves pain
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Promotes normal blood circulation and speeds up healing
- Strengthens joints and ligaments essential for optimal physical function
- Helps improve mental and emotional well being
- Tremendously decreases stress and tension levels
- Regulates blood pressure and helps maintain a healthy heart
Tai Chi goes far beyond physical and mental health. It is a fulfilling spiritual experience as well. The feeling of being free from stress, negativity and physical ailments is more than enough to be grateful for this wonderful Asian healing method known as Tai Chi.
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It’s perfectly normal for people to feel depressed occasionally. Depression is a normal human emotion. However, if you find yourself constantly depressed and it’s been taking a toll on your life in a negative way, then you’re most likely suffering from depression.
The Symptoms of Depression
If you find yourself having most of these symptoms, then you’re probably suffering from depression. Whatever your symptoms might be, it’s best for you to consult your primary health care provider. Here are the symptoms of depression:
- Lack of concentration.
- Changes in your sleeping patterns.
- Weight loss or weight gain.
- Lack of libido.
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness etc.
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings.
A Few Asian Healing Techniques
Asian herbal medicine is not only cheaper than anti-depressants, but it also has no side effects. They are natural and they can even boost your energy levels. They can also come in the form of teas, pastes, pills, and powders. Most of these medicines are usually plant-based. However, some might contain animal products. Ensure that you consult your therapist and health care provider to confirm which medication is most suitable for your needs.
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The Benefits of Yoga for Your Physical Health
Yoga not only keeps you fit, but it also has many other health benefits such as helping with aches, pains, prevents sicknesses and much more. Read on for more benefits.
Yoga Improves the Blood Circulation
Yoga increases your blood flow, especially in the feet and hands. It also boosts the levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the lungs. Yoga reduces the risks of blood clots formation which prevents strokes and heart attacks.
It Helps with Tension in the Limbs
At times, we have tension in our body and we can’t always pinpoint it. Yoga can help you to determine where the tension is located. The yoga exercises can help with relieving the tension in your body.
Yoga Improves Your Balance
By practicing yoga regularly, it will improve your balance. People, who have poor balance and poor posture, can benefit from yoga. It is also good for the elders, as this could mean fewer falls. So, no more slumping!
Yoga is Good for Your Cardiovascular Health
Yoga lowers the blood sugar levels and the ‘’bad’ cholesterol levels. It boosts the ‘’good cholesterol. Yoga also helps with lowering the blood pressure. It also boosts your heart rate (in a good way.) People who are suffering from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases should also take up yoga. All of these conditions prevent heart attacks and promote good cardiovascular health.
However, people, who are suffering from heart disease and diabetes, should consult their doctor about certain postures that can’t be done. Some postures might have a negative impact on people who are suffering from these conditions — high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes.
Yoga Improves Your Lung Functions
People who do yoga take fewer breaths with greater volume. This is because of the increase in oxygen in the lungs. Yoga promotes the lung function and can even help with soothing sinuses.
Yoga Improves Digestion
Like many other forms of exercises, yoga can prevent constipation. It also reduces the risk of colon cancer. For people who suffer from IBS and ulcers, yoga is highly recommended.
The Benefits of Yoga for Mental Health
Yoga is recommended for many people who are suffering from various mental health conditions. It’s also a great way to relieve stress. Here are the mental health benefits:
Yoga is Good for Relaxation
Yoga increases the blood flow and lowers the blood pressure levels. This helps with relaxation and relieving stress. The breathing techniques that are used in yoga also help to relax both the mind and body.
Yoga Improves Your Sleep
If you’re suffering from insomnia or poor sleep, then yoga might be the solution. Due to the increase of the blood flow in your body and the relaxation that yoga provides, it can help to put you in a deeper sleep. By getting a good night’s sleep, you feel less stressed during the day.
Yoga Boosts Your Self-Esteem and Improves Your Relationships with Others
Yoga boosts your self-confidence and makes you feel good about yourself. You get a peace of mind. You learn to love yourself. Yoga also improves your relationships with your spouse and even family members because you develop compassion as you do it. Yoga also calms you, which can make you less aggressive and snappy with others.