T'ai Chi Ch'uan has many health benefits, and as a gentle form of exercise is beneficial to everyone, egardless of age or current health. It's one of the few physical activities that can be practiced at any stage of life. T'ai Chi as a healing art detoxifies and oxygenates your entire body.
There is also a growing body of research on its many health benefits. According to a collection of studies reviewed for Harvard Health Publications and the Mayo Clinic, T'ai Chi can:
- Enhance the immune system
- Increase flexibility
- Decrease stress and anxiety
- Increase energy and stamina
- Increase muscle strength
- Improve balance and agility
- Provide aerobic conditioning
- Reduce pain and improve mood in people with arthritis or other types of joint pain (The Tai Chi Academy of Los Angeles helped make a commercial for The American Arthritis Foundation in 2011)
- Increase bone density
- Lower blood pressure and improve levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin in people at risk for heart disease.
- Reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, as well as helping improve the functionality of cancer patients
- Help with sleep problems improving both its quality and duration.
A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests that T'ai Chi Ch'uan may even improve memory, increase brain volume and function, and that it may be protective against the illness.
While these are some of the physical benefits of T'ai Chi, perhaps the most important change for the practitioner is the enhanced awareness, calmness, and overall sense of well-being that T'ai Chi encourages. T'ai Chi Ch'uan is moving meditation.