The secret to discovering the benefits from Tai Chi and Qi-gong comes from regular practice
At first the benefits will appear as improvements to your overall physical condition, strength and balance. Then over time further benefits will come such as:
The health benefits of Tai Chi have been recognised for a long time. In an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine ( Tai chi: physiological characteristics and beneficial effects on health) the authours, J X Li, Y Hong, K M Chan reviewed 31 one studies into the effects of Tai Chi on health and concluded that Tai Chi “is a moderate intensity exercise that is beneficial to cardiorespiratory function, immune capacity, mental control, flexibility, and balance control; it improves muscle strength and reduces the risk of falls in the elderly.
The key to unlocking the benefits from Qi-gong and Tai Chi is to commit ones self to regular practise. Benefits are felt by doing it once a week but, they are far more significant if you practice 2 to 3 times a week especially over a number of years.
The things to think about are firstly, that it is pretty easy and straight forward to do and, secondly that over time the body will tend reflect what it does most. So if you practise Tai Chi and Qi-gong then it will lead to a signifant effect on both mind and body.
Mental calming effect
In both Tai Chi & Qi-gong we teach deep breathing which we use throughout all the movements which creates cardiac coherence. This has been shown to result in the significant reduction of mental stress and anxiety and of restoring a natural balance to your mind. As Dr Alan Watkins in his book Coherence – The Secret Science of Brolliant Leadership, states:
“When we breathe rythmically and smoothly we create a coherent HRV signal. This then stabilises our physiology and creates cardiac coherence – turning our heart rate from chaos to coherence. This allows us to maintain our self-control in highly charged situations, prevents our brain from shutting down and enables us to think clarly and become more perceptive. Plus it gives us a better chance to change the way we feel and most importantly for our energy levels, coherent breathing prvents the unconscious expenditure of out most precious energy reserves.”
Many students report to me of the improvements they have seen when they go for checkups and have their ploob pressure taken. One student used to measure it before and after a class and said he always saw a drop.
All the stance work we do in both Qi-gong and Tai Chi leads to an improvement in leg strength which, results in things like makeing it easier to climb stairs or walking up hill.
When I began Tai Chi I had some serious back issues meaining I needed to see a chiropractor every 4 weeks. I have not seen a chiropractor in almost 18years now and I am not the only person for this to happen to.
In the legs, we develop flexibility while under load (i.e standing or stepping) this helps to release pressure on the ciatic nerve (ciatica) and stretches the muscles in pelvis and lower back. Increasing flexibility of pelvic and lower back muscles in the key to solving most lower back issues.
Becasue of the attention to knee alignment in standng and stepping during the form this strengthens the both sides of the knee and helps to offset imbaances in the leg muscles that ae oftn the root cause of the knee problem in the first place.
Qi-gong and Tai Chi are great for rehabilitation by strengthening leg muscles, tendons and ligaments after a knee replacement operation once the initial physio comes to and end.
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