The Health Benefits of Tai Chi

by / Sunday, 09 November 2014 / Published in Kung Fu, Tai Chi
The Health Benefits Of Tai Chi
The Health Benefits Of Tai Chi

Tai Chi being practiced on Wudang Mountain. Thanks to Dugang for use of the photograph.

Tai Chi Health Benefits

While tai chi is regarded as a martial art, one of its main objectives is to improve the health of its participants, both physically and mentally. Read on to find out how tai chi can provide health benefits in your life.

1. Increased Strength

A recent study that was commissioned by the Oregon Research Institute shows that six months of regular tai chi classes results in a measurable increase in physical strength. Those who participated in tai chi became twice as likely to experience little to no difficulty in completing strenuous physical activities.

Lest you think this is just for people who are already physically strong, the study showed that the most benefits were delivered to those who started off at the weakest point. A person's balance is also proven to be improved, as another study showed a decrease in falls, especially among the elderly.

2. Decreased Pain

Muscle pain and soreness is markedly decreased for regular participants in tai chi. Patients who had been suffering from osteoarthritis were tested over the course of three months. The ones who began to participate in tai chi reported feeling much less pain than when they had begun.

Joint pain is decreased and the muscles are able to respond to the workout much more easily. Studies also showed that muscle stiffness is lessened.

3. Better Sleeping Habits

Tai chi is the perfect cure for that nagging insomnia. The same Oregon Research Institute study that displayed increased strength in tai chi participants also showed that they received longer and better sleep each night.

Two out of every three people who began a tai chi class have reported that they are currently sleeping better than when they began. These benefits have been compared favorably with those gained through the usage of prescription drugs.

4. Improved Walking Speed

It is only natural for walking speed to decrease as one ages. Studies have shown that is due to a person's increased susceptibility to falling. But, with tai chi participation, a person's balance improves, reducing the risk of falling. As such, they are then able to walk at a much faster pace.

With increased walking speed comes reduced risk of diabetes and other chronic forms of illness, so it's certainly worth the effort you will put in.

5. Stress Relief

Life can be stressful for anyone, regardless of their age. Tai chi harnesses this stress by focusing in on movement and proper breathing techniques. By participating in tai chi, it allows the body and mind to take a much needed break from the usual stresses of life.

Tai chi emphasizes the connection between a person's body and mind. With increased body movement comes an inflated sense of calm. Tai chi has been recommended by many fitness experts because it promotes a sense of peace in participants.

Students are able to study Tai Chi at the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School.

If you would like more information you can visit our 'Learn Tai Chi in China' page or 'Get in Touch' with us anytime.

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6 Responses to “The Health Benefits of Tai Chi”

  1. Phillip R. Just says : Reply

    I have been a student of martial arts in the past, and then I served in the military, I am recently getting ready to retire from the military and started getting my interest in martial arts to a growing inner desire. I also am wanting to learn how to be blessed to get deeper into my own being to be able to control my anger as well as inner being. I am also wanting to learn how to be able to heal alot of my pains that I feel from past injuries and I know that the Shaolin Kung Fu style as well as Tai Chi would help me do this. Any device or tips as well as training advice would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU,

    PHILLIP JUST

    • HI Phillip,

      It seems as though you’re trying to heal emotional and physical pain. Depending on your injuries Tai Chi and Qigong can be extremely useful in treating and overcoming both mental and physical pain. Shaolin Kung Fu can be extremely taxing on the body, so if you have problems in your joints it would be best to take it slowly, regain a healthy range of pain free motion and soft tissue strength and then begin training in high intensity Shaolin Kung Fu. Tai Chi can certainly aid in that process. Shaolin kung fu as we teach it here also incorporates Shaolin qigong techniques, both static and dynamic, which certainly help in regaining strength and healthy ranges of motion.

      About specific training tips, the best one I can give you is to take it as slowly as possible if you are injured. Also, write down all of your goals before beginning your training. Once you have your goals, focus your training to achieving those goals. Lastly, keep your training fun by cycling through different training methods to ensure that you keep enjoying and thus, keep doing your exercises.

      Finally, you’re more than welcome to come to learn kung fu or tai chi in China with us here 😀

  2. 百家樂 says : Reply

    Nice Blog, thanks for sharing this kind of information.

  3. Roberta West says : Reply

    Tai Chi and Qigong saved my life, and continues to do so every day! A very helpful and encouraging article on the Benefits of practicing Tai Chi. I have shared it on fb and twitter. Thank you

    • Thanks for your feedback Roberta and for sharing the post. We’re so glad to hear how beneficial Tai Chi and Qi Gong have been in your life. We continue aiming to help people discover Tai Chi and Qi Gong so that they too might discover how it can benefit their lives. All the best with your practice!

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