10 Ways Tai Chi Benefits You
If you are looking for a way to combat the stresses of your day, the benefits tai chi might be a good option. While this martial art is now an exercise, it was originally used as a form of self-defense. Today Tai Chi is being used more frequently as a way to de-stress and alleviate certain health conditions. By better understanding the practice of tai chi and how it can help with the fight against stress, you can decide whether the benefits of tai chi is a good option for your life.
Tai Chi Basics
Tai chi is a graceful exercise that originated in China, and it utilizes a variety of movements that are performed in a focused and slow manner. When participating in tai chi, deep breathing is emphasized, and many students refer to the practice as ‘meditation in motion.’ This exercise is self-paced and noncompetitive, and it focuses on constant motion, as each posture will flow into another without pause.
Students of tai chi can experience a variety of benefits that can help them to achieve overall wellness. In addition to stress relief, tai chi can promote relaxation of the body in a variety of ways:
Mental relaxation. Tai chi calls for focus on the present rather than the past or the future. This helps the mind to see things clearly from a calm state.
Physical relaxation. The movements associated with this exercise are designed to stretch and rotate the ligaments, tendons, and muscles. These slow stretches can help to release tension throughout the body.
Relaxation of the nervous system. Experienced tai chi practitioners can relax their nerves, and this can allow for a higher level of muscle relaxation. With more practice, the nervous system will get stronger while operating more smoothly.
In addition to the relaxing properties associated with tai chi, there is evidence that Tai Chi also benefits in the following areas:
- Improve joint pain
- Promote a healthy immune system
- Improve overall quality of sleep
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Enhance well-being in the elderly
- Improve congestive heart failure symptoms
- Reduce fall risk for older adults
Who Should Practice Tai Chi?
Tai chi is safe for most people regardless of their fitness level or age. This is because this exercise is low impact and causes minimal muscle and joint stress. It is inexpensive and can be done alone and from the comfort of your own home. While this exercise is generally safe, people with certain joint problems and pregnant women should first consult with their doctor before incorporating tai chi into their exercise program.
Getting Started With Tai Chi
While there are a variety of books, DVDs, and other materials available that can teach you the fundamentals of tai chi, receiving guidance from a trained tai chi instructor will help you to gain a solid understanding of the proper techniques. Your martial arts instructor will teach you about the basic positions and how to ensure that your breathing is regulated while practicing them. A Tai Chi instructor can also help you to practice this activity safely, and this will be especially important if you suffer from chronic health conditions or injuries.
Fighting stress can be as easy as incorporating an activity like tai chi into your daily routine. By learning the fundamentals of this exercise, you can work to reduce your stress while achieving greater physical and emotional wellness.