Tai Chi is an ancient art that focuses on a philosophy of balance and harmony in all aspects of mind, body and spirit. Known as “moving meditation”, it combines mental and physical benefits, for well-being and healthy ageing.
Tai Chi and Qigong are safe and gentle exercises that have been recommended by TCM practitioners for at least 3000 years. Still prescribed in Eastern medicine to treat high blood pressure, stress and mood disorders, digestive complaints, insomnia, and arthritis, Tai Chi has long been traditionally connected with enhanced well-being and health.
A relaxing, pleasurable form of moderate intensity exercise, Tai Chi is now being studied in the West for both prevention and treatment of cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. Many GPs are now recommending Tai Chi as a therapy for their patients.
In older adults, Tai Chi has been shown in scientific trials to be beneficial in improving range of motion, increasing flexibility, to decrease the risk, number and frequency of falls, improve arthritic symptoms and balance, improve pain and stiffness, to lower blood pressure, improve immunity (and help prevent shingles), and improve muscle strength and cognitive functioning.
Tai Chi has also been shown to slow bone mineral loss in older women, and improve pulmonary function in asthmatic children.
Tai Chi courses may lower HbA1c, a marker of blood sugar control in diabetics, through reducing body fat, particularly around the abdomen.
Regular practice of Tai Chi is associated with better quality and length of sleep duration. The time taken to fall asleep and the number of sleep disturbances are lessened. This may be explained through Tai Chi having also been shown to relieve depression and anxiety, reducing levels of stress hormones.
Tai Chi is an exercise that gives pleasure, relaxation and many health benefits, particularly in the middle and older years. As I’ve told my students through the years, no matter what’s wrong with you, Tai Chi can help it! Find a class near you soon!
TRY THIS RELAXING DIY BATH SOAK You can prepare yourself with items available at your Healthy Life store.
• 1/4 cup Himalayan Salts • 1/4 cup Select Epsom Salts • 1/4 cup Baking Soda • 1/3 cup Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar • 10 drops of Springfields Tea Tree & Lavender Essential Oil
Dissolve Himalayan salts, epsom salts and baking soda in boiling water in a small jar and set aside. Fill your bathtub with warm water. Add apple cider vinegar, salt mixture and essential oils into the bath and soak in bath for approximately 30 mins or longer allowing your body to absorb the benefits as you relax from everyday stresses.