In China, it is believed that tai chi can delay aging and prolong life, increase flexibility, strengthen muscles and tendons, and aid in the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, digestive disorders, skin diseases, depression, cancer, and many other illnesses. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a good deal of scientific evidence to support these claims. In a special study of tai chi called a meta-analysis, where many studies on one subject are reviewed, the author concludes that although there is some evidence to support the positive effects of tai chi on health, fitness, and balance, many of the studies are limited by small numbers of subjects and wide variation in the type and duration of tai chi used. Bearing these limitations in mind, here are some of the documented benefits.
Some more reasons to practice tai chi:
- Movements are low-impact and gentle and put minimal stress on your muscles and joints.
- The risk of injury is very low.
- You can do it anywhere, anytime.
- It requires very little space (no excuses apartment dwellers!) and no special clothing or equipment.
- You do it at your own pace.
- It’s noncompetitive.
- It can be done in groups or by yourself (find a tai chi instructor to come to your workplace at lunch hour!).