Tai Chi, Your Body and Your Mind

These slow, graceful movements have been shown helpful in improving balance and reducing stress

You’ve probably seen the images – extremely graceful, flowing, dance-like movements that are designed to condition and balance the body and reduce stress.

It’s called Tai Chi – a form of mind-body exercise that was originally developed in China more than 2000 years ago as a martial art form.

The benefits of Tai Chi? There are many, including the following:

  • Psychological – Research shows that those who practice Tai Chi demonstrate increased relaxation, better sleep patterns, reduced stress, improved self-esteem and mood, increased feelings of self-awareness and, because it is generally practiced in a group setting, many report increased sociability and a better disposition.

  • Musculoskeletal – Those who practice Tai Chi report improved physical strength, posture, flexibility, muscle tone and strength and decreased bone loss as they age, especially in women.

  • Cardiopulmonary – Tai Chi produces a decrease in blood pressure and more effective breathing.

  • Physical – Many who practice Tai Chi experience increased energy, improved immune function, relief from chronic pain symptoms, and better balance and motor coordination.

    The practice of Tai Chi is beneficial to all, but particularly for seniors who require simple movements and a slower pace in their exercise routine. Many older individuals report fewer falls because of better balance.

    The March-April 2006 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine published the results of a study, which found that Tai Chi helped to improve balance, muscle strength, endurance and flexibility in only six weeks; additional improvements were noted after 12 weeks. The research concluded that Tai Chi is a “potent intervention” that may facilitate the reversal of certain limitations and help older individuals to continue living on their own longer.

    There are many ways to improve your body and your mind, including using hypnosis and other mind-body techniques to reduce stress and let go of old emotional baggage.