Healthy life and better sleep with Tai Chi

Tai chi’s popularity is growing rapidly, largely due to the many health benefits linked to it and the ease with which everyone can participate. Over the last 20 years you may have noticed the emergence of early morning tai chi practices in your neighbourhood parks, beaches and open spaces. Tai chi is becoming an antidote to the high-paced stressful life because of its focus on creating harmony and balance. It slows us down, allows us to contemplate, to relax. Tai chi is being used successfully to manage a variety of chronic conditions and to support general health and even happiness.

Research on tai chi participation demonstrates:

  • reduced psychological stress and improved self-image in teenage students
  • reduced tension headaches in constant sufferers
  • reduced disability and fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis
  • reduced sleeping problems and high blood pressure
  • enhanced perceived health in cardiac rehabilitation patients
  • improved balance in older adults, reducing falls
  • increased glucose control in diabetics
  • reduced cardiovascular risk factors and improved cardiovascular fitness and flexibility in older adults

The meditative aspect brings mental calmness and initiates a relaxation response that reduces the heart rate and blood pressure. Deep breathing increases the flow of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the brain to energize and infuse vitality, promote deeper sleep, reduce anxiety and improve mental clarity. The gentle tai chi movements use the muscles that promote the flown of blood and lymph, which increases the efficiency of the immune, digestive, endocrine and other systems. It is not fully known by what mechanism tai chi works such diverse healing miracles.

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