Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Tai Chi Helps Aches and Pains

A quiet place aids peace and serenity

Gentle Tai Chi Practice
Tai Chi is a gentle practice that helps to ease aches and pains. It is a gentle form of exercise. Because of its gentle movements it is especially suited to the elderly although it can be done by anyone, from children to adults. Children often prefer the more active form of tai chi - Kung Fu. They are also familiar with this through the popular film of the same name.

Qi Gong is another form of Tai Chi. It focuses more on breathing and slow movement. Its movements focus more on the arms than combining legs and arms as in tai chi. 

How does Tai Chi Work?
The slow movements of tai chi and qi gong are designed to open up the meridians, the energy channels of the body. When these channels are open, the energy can flow easily, thus clearing any blockages or stagnant energy. When there is blocked energy we get aches and pains and other symptoms of ill health.

The mind is part of the whole person. Remembering the sequence of moves of tai chi also helps the mind. People look at others doing tai chi and qi gong. It looks so easy and simple. However trying to remember all the moves can be challenging.

It is a much better idea to be able to remember the sequence of moves because then you can do tai chi and qi gong wherever you are and at any time in your life. If you rely only on 'follow the leader' type classes, you have to be in the class to do the moves, otherwise you cannot remember them for yourself.

Scientific Studies to Prove the Health Benefits
These gentle Chinese forms of exercise have been proven to help the body and the mind. Much study has been done on them at universities both in China and in the West to scientifically prove the health benefits. 
Because Tai chi challenges the memory, it is good exercise for the brain. Any exercise for the brain helps to ward off Alzheimer's Disease. There are forms of tai chi developed especially for Diabetes and Arthritis although any form of tai chi or qi gong will benefit the body. There are also specific forms of medical qi gong.

Annie's Story
When Annie started doing tai chi she had great difficulty with her shoulders as well as lots of other parts of her. She had been ill for some time. It was hard to lift her arms very far and her shoulders hurt with the movement. She used to get angry at having to be shown how to do the exercises all the time. She used to get angry at herself because she could not remember, even immediately after she had been shown.

However, Annie turned up to classes each week. Sometimes she would not appear when things got too much for her. But then she was there again, ready to learn the next movement.

Gradually her shoulders loosened up and did not hurt anymore. Slowly her mind began to work and she found she could remember some of the moves. After each achievement, the next one was not so far away.

It became easier and easier. Her body loosened up, she lost her anger. and she was so happy that she had achieved. Now she can do tai chi every day at home or wherever she is. She found that it was a good idea to do the movements regularly to keep her body supple as it warded off most of her aches and pains.

Annie found that when she started the class each week she was not feeling well but as she performed the exercises her mood changed and by the end of the class she was feeling great. When this happened Annie became to come to classes more regularly because she knew that, even though she didn't feel great at the start, she soon would.

Finding a Good Teacher
It is worth finding someone who can guide you through tai chi. You will get so much more information about how to do the movements and why they are done in a particular sequence.

If you are in pain you should adjust the movements so that they are comfortable for you. If you find a considerate teacher, he/she will help you to do this so that they do not cause you extra pain.
Tai chi exercises can also be adjusted for people in wheelchairs.

Have a great day!

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