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The Benefits of Tai Chi
FITNESS WELLNESS

The Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi reduces tress, increases mobility, relieves pain, promotes happiness and improves quality of life!

Tai Chi's popularity in Australia is on the increase and it is not just the elderly practicing Tai Chi in the local park! People of all age groups and walks of life are embracing the benefits of Tai Chi. So what is it about Tai Chi that is making many of us want to try it?

Tai Chi aims to improve overall health an wellbeing including both the body and mind with a low-impact, slow-style exercise, designed to leave a sense of relaxation and calm after each session. Tai Chi is very different to many forms of exercise as it aims to relax muscles, rather than tensing muscles, using circular motions that flow and are never forces, whilst ensuring connective tissues are not over-stretched or over-exerted.

Tai Chi originated in Ancient China as a martial art, often being described as "meditation in motion" due to the tranquility and fluidity of the movements involved. One of Tai Chi's beauties is that it can be practiced by nearly everyone, spanning across varying degrees of fitness and range of motion as the movements can be tailored to individual requirements.

Tai Chi is said to cultivate and stimulate QI, the energy force believed to flow throughout the body. This then removes blockages that may have occurred and may be causing certain ailments in the body.

Tai Ch also works on balancing Yin and Yang in the body. Yin and Yang are opposing elements that are said to promote balance and harmony.

How could Tai Chi help you?

Tai Chi boasts many benefits to health and wellbeing, including:

Stress

Tai Chi may help reduce stress levels from the gentle movement, breathing techniques and mental concentration required. During a session you are encouraged to remain tranquil, yet alert enough to consciously command the body.

Balance and Fall Prevention

Most research surrounding Tai chi's health benefits have been on fall prevention. With studies supporting Tai Chi's involvement in assisting balance and fall prevention, due to increased coordination in the elderly. Proprioception- the ability to sense the position of one's body in space - declines with age, meaning the elderly are at a higher risk of losing balance and falling. Due to Tai Chi's ability to be adjusted, it is an exercise form that many elderly can embrace and add to their lives.

Muscle Strength

Continued Tai Chi will improve muscle strength in both the upper and lower body, similar to that of bris walkgin or light resistance training. Increased muscle strength helps joints remain stable and protected, which may prevent certain types of injuries and may be beneficial in those who exercise frequently and more vigorously.

Flexibility

Flexibility allows us to move and improves our range of motion. Tai Chi is believed o be beneficial in those wishing to improve their range of motion, particularly after certain injuries.

Other reasons to try Tai Chi

You can do it anywhere as minimal space is required. Many people choose to practice Tai Chi outside, however this is not a requirement, just personal choice.

Many classes available Australia wide as well as many DVDs and online classes available, if you prefer the comfort of your own home. The risk of injury is very low from Tai Chi.

You can do it alone, at your own pace, or with others.

No fancy outfits required, just loose clothes to move freely in and flat shoes that you can still feel the ground in.

Look out for instructors or courses in your local area if you are beginning and / or buy or download some Tai Chi DVDs if you prefer to practice in the comfort of your own home an enjoy the many benefits Tai Chi can bring to your life.

Disclaimer

If you suffer from any medical condition or pre-existing injuries check with your healthcare professional before undertaking any exercise program. 

Caruso's Natural Health
Author

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