During our stay in Portugal we did a wellness relaxing workshop on TAI CHI CHUAN.

Practiced around the world and very popular in the U.S. and Canada, tai chi consists of slow, balanced, low-impact movements. Tai chi chuan (its full name) originated in China centuries ago as one of the martial arts; it was an outgrowth of the ancient Taoist philosophy, which values tranquility and reflection. The martial side is no longer central to most practitioners. Instead, tai chi combines elements of a workout, meditation and dance.

Great claims are made for the benefits of tai chi—that it provides an “inner massage for your organs,” for instance, and that it benefits your heart as much as aerobic exercise. This is not totally farfetched. Studies have long shown that tai chi offers physical and mental benefits for young and old, healthy and less so. It is especially beneficial and safe for older people, even the very old. It’s a good complement to aerobic exercise and weight training.

Here are some of the benefits:

Balance, coordination and reduction in falls: Much research has shown that tai chi can improve balance and coordination, as well as reduce the risk of falls.

Arthritis relief: In a 2009 study from Tufts University, people over 65 with knee osteoarthritis who took tai chi classes twice weekly for 12 weeks experienced less pain and had improved physical function, compared to a group that did stretching and received counseling.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation: As a highly adaptable adjunct to other kinds of physical therapy, tai chi can aid in recovery from injuries and after a heart attack or surgery. The exercises take your joints through their full range of motion, and can thus restore lost flexibility. Physical therapists can individualize tai chi programs for various problems.

Relaxation and sleep: Tai chi promotes relaxation and can relieve tension and anxiety. In a 2008 UCLA study, older people with moderate sleep complaints who took up tai chi (20 simple movements) reported better sleep and daytime functioning (less drowsiness, for example) after 25 weeks.

Diabetes control: A 2009 study from the University of Florida School of Nursing focused on people with type 2 diabetes who took tai chi classes twice a week, with three days of home practice a week for six months. Those who adhered to the program significantly lowered their blood sugar and also managed the disease better than those who did not stick with it. Tai chi’s effect on diabetes control is similar to that of aerobic exercise, the researchers concluded

Overall fitness: Studies have shown that older people who start doing tai chi can improve their ability to walk, lift weights, run and do daily activities.

AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
AMU3 Relaxing time
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