What is Tai Chi? Part I

Tai Chi is a slow motion exercise that promotes mind and body health.  It is gentle and relaxing.  In fact, Tai Chi strengthens your mind and body through the power of Relaxation. Sounds simple, right?

There’s a lot more to it and practitioners of the art have spent lifetimes developing their technique and meditation practices.

Tai chi is a slow motion and low impact exercise that promotes health, mind, body and mental relaxation. It is practiced as an effective exercise for health through a series of flowing, graceful and gentle postures and movements.

The gentle flowing movements contain inner power that can strengthen the body, improve mental relaxation and mobilize joints and muscles. It is especially suitable as a therapy for arthritis because of the slow and gentle movements.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Tai chi improves balance, strength, and flexibility and lowers the risk of falls. A study from the Oregon Research Institute found that tai chi improves balance and reduces frequency of falls and risks of falling among older people.
  • Tai chi also reduces pain, stiffness, and stress and improves sleep quality.
  • Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine noted that patients over 65 years of age with knee osteoarthritis who practiced a 60-minute tai chi class, twice a week for 12 weeks showed a significant decrease in joint pain and stiffness compared with those in the control group.
  • They also found the patients in the tai chi group had improved physical function, self-efficacy, depression, and health status.
  • Both the Oregon and UCLA researchers reported that tai chi helped improve sleep quality in older adults.
  • Other UCLA studies also suggested that tai chi helps people reduce high blood pressure and tension headaches.
  • For people who carry extra weight and have a hard time doing exercises without pain, tai chi can be a gentle and safe way to get moving. A one-hour tai chi exercise can burn about 292 calories. By practicing tai chi and making wiser food choices, people can start burning calories and losing weight.

In this sequence, we’ll be learning more about what Tai Chi is as well as the health benefits of Tai Chi. If you’re a Maryville local thinking of taking classes, we offer Tai Chi instruction and classes several days a week, just take a look at our class schedule n the site.