As Therapeutic Recreation Week, July 6 – 12, approaches, many people are being turned on to the health benefits of Tai Chi, an ancient form of exercise known to be an effective balance and coordination conditioner.
Developed more than six centuries ago by Taoist monks, Tai Chi consists of 108 basic moves carried out in a continuous, non-strenuous and systematic manner that allows every part of the body to exercise. The slow and gentle movements of Tai Chi ease muscle tension and release blocks in the body’s vital energy, or “Qi”, and keeps muscles strong and supple. Suitable for individuals in any state of health, Tai Chi requires no special equipment and takes only 8-20 minutes to do, depending on the form.
Tai Chi is believed to: boost the immune system; slow the aging process; lower blood pressure; reduce the incidence of anxiety, depression, fatigue and overall mood disturbances; minimize the effects of chronic conditions such as allergies and asthma; and improve breathing capacity. Tai Chi has also been recommended as an adjunct therapy for people suffering from chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, asthma, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and psychosomatic illnesses. Other benefits of Tai Chi include building strength, restoring balance, increasing flexibility and reducing stress.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 70 percent of all illness is due to unmanaged stress. Because mind/body therapies can treat or prevent these illnesses, the integration of tools such as Tai Chi into our health institutions could save the United States $700 billion per year, and save trillions per year worldwide. Tai Chi’s gentle movements and low physical impact make it a great activity for aging bodies, those recovering from injury, or people looking to change up their exercise routine.
For more information about Tai Chi and its health benefits, please call (800) 729-0941.