Tai Chi (Tie-Chee) is a non-competitive martial art which is commonly known for its self-defense techniques and health benefits – It mostly involves slow movements and deep breaths, is a traditional Chinese form of exercise. This gentle physical exercise combines stretching with mindfulness. Some of its benefits have been known to include decreased anxiety and depression. It may also help you to manage the symptoms of several chronic diseases.
It has several styles. Each style has its own subtle emphasis on various principles and methods that it offers. As a result, there are more than one hundred possible movements and positions that can be practiced with Tai Chi.
Tai Chi vs. Yoga
While Tai chi emphasizes fluid movement and has Chinese roots, Yoga focuses more on posing and originated in Northern India. Both of these exercises involve meditation and deep breathing. They also share some of the same benefits.
While Tai Chi is safe for people with all ages, as it does not put too much stress on the muscles and joints, it is necessary to practice and learn this with qualified instructors and under proper supervision. Read more to understand the benefits and risks of practicing this form of exercise:
- Promotes Weight Loss: Practicing Tai Chi regularly can result in weight loss. A study which tracked weight changes in a group of adults practicing Tai Chi five times a week for 45 minutes showed that – at the end of twelve weeks, these adults had lost two kgs without making any additional lifestyle changes.
- Reduces Stress: Stress and Anxiety have become a common outcome of living in the city. Tai Chi’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety have found to be very useful. It was found that it provides the same benefits for managing stress-related anxiety as exercise. Tai Chi also includes meditation and focused breathing, it gives superiority to its art form than other forms of exercise for reducing stress and anxiety.
- Better Sleep: In a study conducted it was found that practicing tai chi regularly may help you to have a more restful sleep. The individuals who practiced tai chi experienced significant improvements in their quality of sleep compared to the others who didn’t. The same group also noticed a decrease in their anxiety symptoms.
- Reduces Chronic Heart Failure: Some veteran practitioners of Tai Chi believe it as an effective management tool for people with chronic heart failure. A systematic review of twenty studies showed that it was beneficial for multiple areas of cardiovascular health – such as blood pressure and heart rate. However, it was noticed that practicing Tai Chi significantly improved maximum oxygen capacity.
- Improves Mood: It is seen that practicing Tai Chi can reduce the symptoms of depression. The slow, mindful breaths and movements have a positive effect on the nervous system and mood-regulating hormones. Further researches have been carried out to establish a clear link between both this form of exercise and improved mood.
This form of exercise can benefit both healthy adults as well as adults with chronic conditions. Even though tai chi is slow and gentle and doesn’t leave you breathless, it does address the key components of fitness – muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.
There are several communities and specialized studios that will provide you with adequate training that you would need to start with this meditation in motion.
Omkar Kulkarni is a self-proclaimed art appreciator, a certified film reviewer and someone’s favorite human being.