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Jan 28, 2011

Tai Chi Promotes Health

The human body is designed for movement. And because it is designed for movement, the body needs to move in order to function properly. Many health problems arise when the body begins to move less, or when it is moving in a way that leads to harm and injury for the body.
And so the body needs exercise. Health experts constantly preach about the benefits of exercise. After all, exercise gets the heart pumping more blood to the various parts of the body. With the increased blood flow comes an increased supply of nutrients to individual cells. Well-nourished nourished cells are healthy cells, and if the cells of the body are healthy, the body itself is healthy.
Many people, however, have this preconceived notion that to get some exercise going, one must go and work out in a gym on a regular basis. Going to the gym is inconvenient for some and unappealing for others. Some people who find going to the gym thus try to find alternatives in order to get some exercise done. One of these alternatives is a practice known as tai chi.

tai chi
Tai chi is a form of exercise that gets the body moving in a rhythmic flow that is slow, even, gentle and graceful. This flow of movements is combined with deep breathing and meditation. The movements in tai chi are divided into sets. The most simple of these steps have 13 movements, but as a person continues to delve into tai chi, he or she will discover that there are many complicated sets in tai chi that may contain dozens of steps.Although tai chi has its roots as a style of martial arts practiced without weapons in China during the 12th century, many people are now embracing it as a type of aerobic exercise. Central to the practice of tai chi is the idea that the vital force called qi (or chi) is in all things living and non-living. In the human body, qi flows through meridians; the unobstructed flow of qi is needed in promoting health and wellness in the body.
Complementary to the principle of qi is the concept of yin and yang, yin being the cold, passive and feminine force in the body, and yang the hot, active and masculine one. So the qi could flow without disruption through the body, yin and yang must be in balance. The absence of balance and the obstruction of the flow of qi in the body lead to the development of disease.
According to tai chi masters, tai chi is supposed to be good for massaging the body's internal organs, for improving the exchange of gases in the lungs and the digestion of food in the stomach, for increasing the level of awareness and calmness of the mind, and for improving the physical balance of the body. Studies have shown that tai chi is indeed helpful in making people build up muscle strength, flexibility and coordination. It also aids in lessening pain and stiffness in the joints. With less pain and stiffness in the body, sleep is improved.
Tai chi is good because it keeps the body moving in a flowing and graceful way, without putting much strain on the body. For those who do not like the idea of going to the gym, tai chi is definitely worth a try.
In one study, regular brisk walking cut in half the incidence of sleep disturbances in people who suffer from them. It should be noted that exercise in the evening, however, can cause sleep disturbances. Rhythmic aerobic and yoga exercises may be particularly helpful for combating stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

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