Tai Chi or rather “Tai Chi Chuan” is an ancient martial art from China which spread like wildfire in China when people realised the powerful health benefits it delivered. Today, research is supporting what Tai Chi masters have known for centuries- Tai Chi practice delivers fantastic results.
So just what are these cool, calm and collected Tai Chi peeps getting from their practice?
Some of the answers might surprise you!
Let’s take a look at these tai-chi benefits.
1) Tai Chi Grows Your Brain
As we grow older, brain degeneration occurs which can lead to cognitive degeneration and damage to nerve cells and their connections. This brain shrinkage associated with old age is linked to dementia.
Wouldn’t you like to know if there are existing interventions to reverse or at least slow the process? You’ll be happy to know that aerobic exercise can slow the degeneration and even increase brain size. Research also shows that Tai Chi produces the same results — a bigger and better brain.
2) It Repairs Your DNA
Research undertaken at a Chinese university showed that just 12 weeks of Ta Chi practice among young sedentary females improved their DNA-preparing capacity and their oxidative stress response.
Oxidative stress is thought to be connected to a whole host maladies like heart failure, infection and chronic fatigue system. Tai Chi could be a powerful preventative measure for a wide range of health issues.
3) Delivers Strength, Flexibility and Balance -Longterm
Do you see yourself lifting weights or doing hard core resistance training into your old age? Possibly not. However, you’re still going to want to maintain your strength, flexibility and balance into old age.
In a review that looked at thirty one original studies, it was found that Tai Chi improved muscle strength, balance, flexibility and increased immune capacity.
4) Improves Your Memory and Thinking
In the same study that discovered Tai Chi improves brain size, researchers also discovered it improved older peoples’ memory and cognitive abilities.
One group trained in Tai Chi for months and took part in lively discussions three times a week. This group showed a marked improved in cognitive abilities and memory when compared to a group that had no intervention during the same time.
5) Emotional Stability and Better Relationships
Research suggests training in a mindfulness discipline like Tai Chi makes you more aware of your emotions and brings us much more into the present moment. This awareness brought into daily life gives your greater control over your emotions and this can improve your ability to maintain harmonious relationships.
Overall, Tai Chi improves your emotional well being.
6) Combats Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Nowadays, the speed and style of living is undoubtedly taking a toll on people’s mental health. City dwellers, in particular, are even more likely to experience stress and anxiety and depression. In the U.K. for example, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in 2013 alone.
Tai Chi seems to be a great answer as research suggests Tai Chi practice increases self esteem and well-being and decreases depression anxiety and mood disturbance.
So how about you? What have your experiences of Tai Chi been?
Feel free to hit me up on Facebook and share your experiences.
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Author: Robin Gamble
Robin teaches internationally and runs Warrior Strategy.com helping people optimise their personal and professional performance with Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung.