In the Western world, when they think of “Martial Arts”, it talks about punching, body contact, kicking and fighting. Tai Chi is old-Chinese martial art that originates from qigong, an ancient Chinese discipline that roots in traditional medicine. People in China believed that Tai Chi can prolong life, strengthen the tendons and muscles, increase flexibility and can be an aid for treating heart ailment, arthritis, blood pressure, cancer, digestive disorder, depression, and skin diseases. Unluckily, there is still no scientific proof to support these claims. In meta-analysis, a special study for Tai Chi, the author concludes that though there are some evidences supporting positive result of Tai Chi to human health, balance and fitness. Many studies have limits based on the type of Tai Chi.
Benefits of Tai Chi
The benefits of Tai Chi martial arts for older adults are incredible. Because of the subtle movement methods, Tai Chi can help the health seekers and provide a great source of health development. For the elderly, this is the best exercise because it gives more emphasis on muscle control and balance that usually lost in old age. Older people find this exercise an easy activity and peaceful environment where they can meet other people with the common interests. Older individual becomes less active. Tendons and muscles become less flexible with the absence of movement and the biological organ started to slow down. Tai Chi needs only a little movement that produces additional fluid in the muscles, which makes it optimal for mature age individuals. Tai Chi considerably increases the psychological well-being. This includes depression, anxiety and stress. This exercise also makes the flow of energy to the body better that empowers and nourishes the body system which shows benefit to people who have allergies, ADHD/ADD, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, chronic pain and liver disease.
Here are some of the documented benefits of Tai Chi:
Preventing balance and fall
This area of studies is very essential because fall related damages are the main reason of death from injuries to disabilities among older people. One of the most considered severe fall injury is the hip fracture. Older adults who have been hospitalized for this kind of injury never regained their normal function since Tai Chi activities are slow and measured with changes in body weight from one leg to another in coordination with the higher body movements.
Improves Self Confidence
Confidence in general is an intentional benefit of Tai Chi but is surely worth pursuing. Researchers found out that older adults who practiced Tai Chi improved their balance and self- confidence.
As people get older, their aerobic capacity gets lower but studies on the traditional way of aerobic exercise showed that it can be improved with regular trainings. Researchers focused on the result of aerobic capacity to adults.
The speed in walking diminishes with age and studies advise that in lead to high risk of falling. In some studies, they found out that people who accomplished Tai Chi walked suggestively have more steps than those who did not. Walking has been evidently associated with decreasing the risk of diabetes, cardio vascular disease and other illnesses.
This is a musculoskeletal disorder and is related with high level of painful symptoms and impaired health that often flair up without aid. The cause of FM is still unknown and no known cure. In a research with 39 individuals who has Fibromyalgia that engaged themselves in Tai Chi twice a week, they found out that their health improved after the study. Learning and performing Tai Chi can have a positive effect in improving one’s health. To maintain the benefits Tai Chi, you should be practiced continuously to become more skilled.