Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense techniques and its health benefits.
Tai chi, which is practiced as a graceful form of exercise today, has been considered as an effective strategy to reduce stress. Some claim tai chi promotes inner peace and serenity.
The best thing about this gentle form of exercise is that it can be practiced by people of all ages. Also, tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.
There are five major styles of tai chi, each named after the Chinese family from which it originated.
Here are some of the health benefits claimed for tai chi:
- Tai chi reduces stress, anxiety and depression
- Tai chi can help maintain strength, flexibilty, balance and prevent falls
- It lowers blood pressure and improves heart health
- It enhances mood and helps sleep better
It is said that tai chi can help improve cognitive function and reduce the effects of dementia. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and have positive effect on patients with breast cancer.
A new Harvard study has claimed that tai chi may be as effective as neck exercises for relieving chronic neck pain.