Tai Chi has benefited millions throughout its history of three hundred years. People use it in every aspect of their lives including:
- illness prevention
- self defense
- fitness/flexibility/muscle toning
- stress relief
How does Tai Chi offer so much to an individual?
Tai Chi cultivates a person’s inner strength with his/her physical abilities and channels “natural energy” (Qi) throughout the body.
Tai Chi emphasizes the coexistence of yin and yang in a person and the adjusting of yin and yang to cope with the changing environment. Tai Chi Chuan helps an individual be in his/her prime condition of mental and physical health.
The following is what U.C. Berkeley Tai Chi Club listed as the benefits that Tai Chi practice can add to your quality of life:
- Control your stress level and lower your blood pressure
- Build strength and improve balance through the practice of Tai Chi forms.
- Increase the level and flow of qi (internal energy) in your body through the practice of qigong exercises.
- Learn a system of self-defense that neutralizes an opponent’s actions and uses his own strength to your advantage.
Research on Tai Chi Chuan
There is a good deal of research and many studies proving the benefits of practicing Tai Chi Chuan. The following are some of them:
- Significant improvement in balance maintained (Wolfson 1996)
- Most recommended aerobic exercise for coronary artery disease (Ng 1992)
- Reduced tension, anxiety fatigue, depression and confusion (Jin 1989)
- Improved mood states, reduction of anxiety states, (Jin 1992)
- Reduced falls by up to 47%, reduced fear of falling (Wolf 1996), (Wolf 1997), (Henderson, 1998) , (Myers & Weiner, 1996)
Immune Response (Blood T-Cells)
- Marked increase during and after practice (Sun 1989)
- Enhanced ventilary capacity without cardiovascular stress (Brown et al, 1995)
- Efficient use of ventilatory volume, efficient breathing patterns (Schneider 1991)
Weight Bearing Exercise
- No exacerbation in joint symptoms of individuals with RA (Kirstens 1991)
- Improved co-ordination, skeletal muscle strength (Koh 1982)
- Relaxation therapy for chronically ill (Jin 1992)