If you thought the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi is only for self-defence, then you are wrong. It has physical and mental health benefits too.
Tai Chi can be practised by people of all age groups, be it a kid, a man, a woman or an elderly person, as it is a very gentle exercise. But people suffering from health problems should consult a physician before taking Tai Chi classes. It has slow, measured and gentle movements that are easy to perform. Tai Chi is all about engendering energy through movements.
Practice of Tai Chi helps in improving the overall blood circulation in the body, thus strengthening the immune system and keeping blood pressure in check. It helps in balancing and harmonising mind-body co-ordination. It is very helpful for people suffering from joint pain as it reinforces the bone structure.
As this art form involves deep breathing, one of its key elements, it can effectively reduce asthma symptoms. In fact, there are certain Tai Chi programmes especially designed for asthma patients. Tai Chi helps in maintaining bone health by relaxing and toning muscles. And good fitness, in turn, helps in self-defence.
Tai Chi has mental health benefits too. It improves the flow of internal energy and has a soothing and meditative effect on the mind. Tai Chi is a form of meditation as it helps in calming the anxious and stress-ridden mind. It enhances concentration as the movements it involves are slow and measured, requiring a lot of focus and unity of mind and body. Regular practice of Tai Chi helps in alleviating physical effects of stress and tensions that people encounter nowadays in their daily lives. A focussed and customary practice of Tai Chi brings about an overall mental tranquillity and clarity.
Various medical studies on Tai Chi acknowledge its effectiveness. Tai Chi classes have become popular in hospitals, clinics, etc. apart from privately run training centres.
Kanishka Sharma of Shaolin India lists out the health benefits of the art, "Tai Chi relaxes both your mind as well as your body. It helps in monitoring blood pressure. It is really helpful for people suffering from various chronic ailments. Nowadays due to hectic lifestyle, people suffer from problems like insomnia, anaemia, joint pain, spondilitis, depression, lack of concentration, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and various other heart ailments. Tai Chi provides a solution to all."
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