Tai chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is a centuries-old, mind and body practice.
Tai chi involves certain postures and gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation.
The movements can be adapted or practiced while walking, standing, or sitting.
Recent research has shown that tai chi could benefit people with various health conditions.
According to scientists from the NIH, there are four big health benefits of Tai chi everyone should know:
Improving balance and stability
Research findings suggest that practicing tai chi may improve balance and stability in older people and may reduce the risk of falls.
In addition, tai chi may improve balance impairments in people with moderate Parkinson’s disease.
Managing chronic pain
Some studies show that practicing tai chi may help people manage chronic pain caused by knee osteoarthritis.
Additionally, people with fibromyalgia may sleep better and cope with pain, fatigue, and depression better after practicing Tai chi.
Improving physical activities in arthritis
For people with rheumatoid arthritis (e.g., tender and swollen joints), Tai chi may improve lower extremity (ankle) range of motion.
But more work is needed to test if Tai chi could help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Improving health in people with heart failure and cancer
Research shows that Tai chi may promote quality of life and mood in people with the diseases.
The exercise may also provide some mental health benefits, such as reducing anxiety.
Scientists suggest that people talk with their doctors about the exercises they want to do. Doctors can help them make a safe and beneficial choice.
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