Tai Chi and Health Benefits

Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion." There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health.

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Tai chi helps reduce stress and anxiety

Tai chi: A gentle way to fight stress Tai chi helps reduce stress and anxiety. And it also helps increase flexibility and balance. By Mayo Clinic Staff If you're looking for a way to reduce stress, consider tai chi (TIE-CHEE). Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that's now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. Often described as meditation in motion, tai chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements. What is tai chi? Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. Tai chi has many different styles. Each style may have its own subtle emphasis on various tai chi principles and methods. There are also variations within each style. Some may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi. Who can do tai chi Tai chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. In fact, because tai chi is low impact, it may be especially suitable if you're an older adult who otherwise may not exercise. You may also find tai chi appealing because it's inexpensive, requires no special equipment and can be done indoors or out, either alone or in a group. Although tai chi is generally safe, women who are pregnant or people with joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis or a hernia should consult their health care provider before trying tai chi. Modification or avoidance of certain postures may be recommended.

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Beat Alzheimers and Dementia With Tai Chi

BEAT ALZHEIMERS AND DEMENTIA WITH TAI CHI Improving your balance through Tai Chi can help curtail the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia A recent article in the Sunday Mail suggests that improving ones balance (as Tai Chi does) helps to curtail the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. From his book (100 Simple Things you Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer’s) Jean Carper quotes the following: As heart breaking and devastating as Alzheimer’s is, optimism is growing that we can lessen the risk and possibly save ourselves. Experts now say that whether we develop the disease – the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 per cent of cases – is not random or fate, nor an inevitable consequence of ageing. For nearly 40 years, as a medical writer and senior medical correspondent for TV network CNN, I have followed closely the findings on Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss, including a new surge of research into how to deter, slow or even reverse the pathology and symptoms. More interestingly for us he quotes the following: Researchers at the University of Washington tested the physical ability of 2,288 people aged 65 or over with no signs of dementia. After six years, 319 had developed dementia. Those with the best balance and walking abilities at the start of the study were three times less likely to have developed dementia as those with lower physical abilities. The good news is that practicing can dramatically improve your balance within months or even weeks. Be sure to include exercises to maintain and improve balance in your daily routine, especially after the age of 60. Try balancing on one foot or stand up and sit down without using your hands. Adults of all ages should make it a goal to stand on one foot, eyes open, for at least 30 seconds. This sounds like a very good reason to me to practice Tai Chi and Chi Kung. Some other great tips in his book follow: A cocktail or glass of wine may help delay dementia as it is an anti-inflammatory (just don’t over do it as it will have the opposite affect.) Eat two apples or drink two glasses of apple juice per day as it can boost the production of acetylcholine in the brain which is the same thing the prescribed drug Aricept (donepezil) does to treat Alzheimer’s, according to recent research Eat red berries and strawberries as they block brain-cell-destroying oxidative damage and inflammation and can also stimulate the birth of new brain cells Keep a close watch on your blood pressure So in conclusion, Eat, Drink (the right things), practice Tai Chi/Chi Kung and be Merry.

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An Interview with Sifu Fong Ha

Sifu Fong Ha discusses how one finds their own path of enlightenment, awareness and personal desire. May your journey be filled with light, happiness and health.