The benefits of Tai Chi are many and varied as it is a complete exercise with a focus on breathing and slow movement. Of course, each individual is different so the benefits achieved will depend on the health and physical condition of the individual as well as the amount of time given. Generally speaking, people who practice Tai-Chi may experience improvements in various conditions including high blood pressure, chronic pain, digestive conditions, stress relief, arthritis, diabetes, heart health and insomnia. In addition, you may also find your general health, coordination, balance, strength, flexibility and concentration improving as well.
Physical benefits of Tai Chi in the western context
Having a correct body posture helps to align the spine and relieve tension and pressure caused by poor posture. The correct alignment will also reduce the stress placed on the back and improve digestion.
Tai Chi uses the whole body in gentle, weight bearing movements. Incorporating Tai-Chi into your routine will help increase joint mobility and improve muscle and ligament strength. It can also increase the flow of body fluids and circulation which may aid in the recovery from accidents and surgery.
The movements in Tai Chi are deliberately slow and controlled. They may appear easy but are highly effective in building and maintaining muscle and tendon strength with regular practice. Tai-Chi can also help to build and maintain balance as well as assist in the improvement of cardiovascular health.
Tai-Chi in the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
TCM treats the individual as a whole and incorporates all aspects of the mind, body and soul. The ability of Tai Chi to improve your physical health is due to the specially designed whole-body movements and breathing methods. Tai Chi cultivates and stimulates energy flow and assists mental health through its gentle meditative exercises which help to relax, clear and clarify the mind. It is important to note that Tai Chi needs to be practiced correctly and regularly in order to maximise the benefits.
Beginning Tai-Chi is easy as you only need a safe, comfortable environment and loose fitting clothing. The ideal environment may be your home, backyard or park. A place where you can be calm, relaxed and focus on yourself.
In the coming weeks, I will be presenting some simple exercises which can be done at home or at work. Keep an eye out for the YouTube videos and newsletters.
It is important to check with your medical practitioner or healthcare professional before beginning a new exercise regime.
The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.
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Sydney Acupuncture & Sydney Chinese Herbal Medicine