What you need to know about Tai Chi & Health
Today Tai Chi is more often practised for health than for self defence, thanks to the fact that it is basically a very enjoyable, relaxing exercise that is also very social.
What it is
- Taijiquan (tie-jee-chuan), commonly known as Tai Chi, originated in China as a sophisticated martial art and is now generally taught as a low-impact, health-promoting exercise.
- Tai Chi and its sister art Qigong (chee-gong) is practised for health by many millions of people throughout the world.
- It is an art form that has been proven to work at many levels, using slow, smooth and continuous movement to improve body, mind and spirit.
- Health-specific Tai Chi and Qigong can be easy to learn, generally beginning to be effective as soon as you start practising. These are exercises that can be started safely when you are older, with no restriction on improvement as you age, offering true health capital growth.
- It is a weight-bearing exercise that can have benefits to bones and balance.
- Tai Chi improves muscle strength, coordination and flexibility, helping to reduce risk of falls, especially in elderly people.
- Tai Chi helps reduce joint and back pain and stiffness (e.g. arthritis).
- Better body posture is developed, which can improve confidence and encourage a positive outlook.
- Stress reduction benefits are experienced through relaxation and meditative focus, and overall wellbeing is thus improved.
- Tai Chi and Qigong classes encourage positive socialising, and are suitable for all ages and abilities. Many exercises can be done sitting, with no requirements for floor work.
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