TAI CHI the most beautiful martial art form. But how does Tai chi work? How does tai chi heal the body and mind? Tai Chi Heals Body and Mind “It is the most unbelievable, beautiful, harmonious, blissful exercise,” Fung says, as she lifts her arms to the sky in the preparatory movement called Wu Chi.
“Yang is your mind, it’s a cerebral activity. It’s your emotions. Yin is your body,” Fung said. “By practicing Tai Chi, you connect these two parts, and you balance the yang energy with the yin energy.” “When these two things are in balance, then harmony is achieved,” she continued. “When harmony is achieved, then transformation follows. And the transformation is — you feel better.”
Other health benefits
Jacksonprogress-argus But there are other physical benefits that Tai Chi seems to offer such as Bone health: Tai Chi doesn’t require any resistance or weight-bearing exercise, both known to increase bone formation, yet studies have shown that it can improve bone mineral density.
It’s also been shown to reduce bone loss and fractures in postmenopausal women. Research on men, however, has been contradictory. Tai Chi also reduces falls and improves balance in the elderly, and is easier than traditional exercise for someone with frail health or physical limitations.
Cardiovascular disease: Tai Chi and Qigong, a very similar centuries-old system of movement, breathing, and meditation, have shown to be extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health.
Significant blood pressure reduction was a key finding in most studies, showing the ancient practices to be as effective in reducing hypertension as weight loss, a low-sodium diet or reducing alcohol use. Some randomized clinical trials, the gold-standard for research, have found Tai Chi can reduce cholesterol levels; other studies have seen improvements in blood sugar control.
Inflammation: A few small studies have shown Tai Chi can reduce levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, a cardinal sign of inflammation. If that research is replicated, it could explain some of Tai Chi’s health benefits due to a reduction of disease-causing inflammation in the body.
Mental health: The calming, meditative trance needed to do a Tai Chi series has been shown to greatly reduce anxiety and stress, even lowering levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the blood of participants.
In Hong Kong, where Fung lives, the practice of Tai Chi is common. In addition to a healthy diet of fish, rice and vegetables, access to green spaces and a lack of crime, experts point to other health benefits of Tai Chi, the lifespan has increased in Hong Kong over the last 50 years.
“For women, it is 88 years,” said geriatrician Timothy Kwok, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Less in men, it is 82 years.” The health benefits are so impressive the Hong Kong government promotes the practice of Tai Chi by providing free classes. For Fung, the ancient Chinese movements are a key to self-healing she cannot live without.