When it comes to interesting and useful art forms, Tai Chi often comes to mind. It is quite easy to practice, and it only requires a little space for you to be able to practice. Additionally, the positive effects of Tai Chi are instantly seen by anyone who continually practices it.
“In a broad sense, the goal of Taoist practice is to integrate the three centers of the Belly, the Heart and the Head into a coherent flow of energy and information. As this flow becomes more stable, we also open to the energies of Heaven and Earth and become optimally permeable to our social and natural environment. The Belly controls our capacity for physical strength and vitality and is the power center that allows us to master our three dimensional existence in time and space. The Heart Center develops our capacity for Compassion and emotional attunement with all beings. The Head Center is the doorway to experiences of pure Presence and the pregnant Emptiness of Spirit.” – Michael Robbins, LMHC
Here are some facts about Tai Chi that you ought to know.
- Everyone Can Participate. It’s gentle yet physical, so the young and the old are certainly welcome to join. In China, it is one of the most ancient practices that most seniors up to 90 years old participate in.
- It’s Not Just A Trend. Tai Chi, unlike Zumba or some other modern activity that comes and goes, has existed in China for more than a thousand years. It has become popular in other countries, including the Philippines and the United States.
- It Increases Endurance And Strength. The long-term practice of Tai Chi has been known to improve one’s overall muscular endurance and strength and develops better balance and flexibility. A study was done on seniors aged 60 to 70, where they were asked to practice Tai Chi three times a week for three months. Even before the trial concluded, there were already substantial improvements seen in their endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance.
Ray Blume, LMFT, says, “Qi Gong aids in balancing your internal life with your external life. Moving slowly, in a controlled way activates the Qi (bio-electric energy) through the body to promote healing. Because the movements are done slowly, without tension in the body, the circulation improves which aids in the healing process. It takes energy to go slowly in a controlled way and Qi Gong is considered to be a moving meditation.”
It Improves Asthma And Fibromyalgia. The concept of Tai chi involves proper breathing techniques, which is why it is very effective for people who have asthma. On the other hand, it has also been found to be useful in the treatment of fibromyalgia, a painful musculoskeletal disorder that often affects a person’s health and activities of daily living. The pain symptoms decreased with regular Tai Chi practice.
- It Relieves Stress And Anxiety. The gentle movements and the slow, patterned breathing in Tai Chi improves a person’s mood and reduces his anxiety and stress levels. It can be considered as a good kind of distraction for those who have a hectic schedule and are looking to relax while clearing the mind.
According to Barry Bastian, LMFT, “By stimulating and channeling one’s inner energies, Tai Chi reconnects mind to body, attention to intention, and the individual to his/her environment. The practice enhances balance, restores energy, strengthens muscles, improves coordination, expands awareness, eases stress, cultivates mindfulness, and reduces anxiety.”
- It Promotes Joint And Bone Health. Several exercises make the joints of the shoulder, elbows, and knees vulnerable to injury. With Tai Chi, people become aware of the proper way to move their bodies because it has been practiced from generation to generation. Further, it has taught them the importance of posture and balance in helping protect and improve bone and joint health.
- Increases Aerobic Capacity. This was proven after a trial was done, which centered on how a person’s aerobic capacity improved or increased with over a year’s practice of Tai Chi compared to those who lived sedentary lives.
- Enhances Gut Health. Tai Chi’s versatile body movements accompanied by the meditation and breathing routines are said to produce a massaging effect on the body’s internal organs. This consequently releases the gut from the constrictions that have been caused by poor body mechanics, stress, and anxiety. It also aids in better digestion.
Despite the many exercise routines existing, and others still rising to popularity, the practice and the corresponding benefits of Tai Chi have remained to be at par with the other practices. It doesn’t matter how old it is, the old and the young and the modern and the traditional continue to appreciate how Tai Chi has evolved and helped them go through their lives with a peaceful.