Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese non-violent martial art, which improves balance and enhances the immune system, nervous system and metabolic processes. The art form is used to strengthen the body and the mind, fostering health, relaxation, self-discipline and self-defense. It involves a series of slow precise movements, which can help move the body in all directions. Tai Chi movements are short, simple and focused and can be performed easily by elderly citizens.
Regular practice of Tai Chi can offer multiple physical and mental benefits, such as pain relief and healing chronic diseases. Tai Chi improves balance and posture, and increases the range of motion of the joints. It provides a feeling of peace, clarity of thoughts and inner strength for Tai Chi practitioners. Moreover, it nurtures the inner metaphysical energy known as ‘qi’ , pronounced as ‘chee’ , which flows freely within the body healing all ailments.
The benefits of Tai Chi are multifold, be it physical, emotional or spiritual. Tai Chi is known to cure ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, back pain, joint pain, arthritis and stomachache. Tai Chi can also prevent occurrences of fall in elderly citizens by improving balance, using a variety of body positions. Tai Chi can help prevent strokes, improve blood and oxygen circulation, and release tension. It effectively reduces body pain by incorporating a variety of movements that help the body become more flexible and toned.
Tai Chi also can help the elderly reflect on their emotional and spiritual side, through deep breathing and relaxing movements. It can build confidence and self-esteem in the elderly by improving energy levels. When practicing Tai Chi, you will feel a warm energy flowing throughout the body. You will feel capable of achieving even difficult tasks with ease and power. Tai Chi can offer relaxation, peace of mind, concentration and increased balance. You will renew your cognitive powers and regain insightful thinking.
Tai Chi includes certain basic movements of the arms, legs and body, with dynamic weight shifts from one leg to another. Tai Chi exercises include single stance and double stance positions. Stationary positions act as stabilizers requiring the body to maintain balance. The knees can be straight or bent, apart or together. Once the basic positions are mastered, you can learn the advanced transition movements. These movements are used to shift between stabilizers. Tai Chi exercises improve coordination between upper and lower body, and develop and tone muscles. Tai Chi movements should look easy, seamless and effortless, as if performing in air without any weight. In reality however, the movements require strong focus and mind control. Tai Chi can be performed with or without music, depending on the level of concentration necessary.
Tai Chi can be performed at any location, but it is best to learn the art from an expert. Tai Chi classes are usually available at local health clubs and martial art schools. Several elderly citizens come together in the mornings or evenings to practice Tai Chi in groups.
In addition to the health benefits, Tai Chi also provides immense peace of mind, which can help you concentrate better and achieve a balance in your life.