Tai Chi is an easy way to maintain health and well-being and offers an alternative to physical exercise. The practice of Tai Chi does not demand higher than normal energy capacities in terms of coordination and agility. It does not require concentration of muscular strength or special endurance. It is a gentle gymnastics accessible to all ages. The general aim of Tai Chi is to improve flexibility, sensitivity and at the same time providing a feeling of vitality. It is a balanced physical discipline. The practice of Tai Chi is performed through a series of movements in a slow and gentle manner.
Recent studies have shown that the practice of Tai Chi is very useful in relieving the chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis. And so, it is confirmed that the treatment for osteoarthritis should include exercise to strengthen the muscles, thus reducing joint wear and tear. Tai Chi, is a physical discipline, similar to a very gentle gymnastics and easy to practice for people of all ages and physical condition. This discipline, which has been practised in China for centuries, increases muscle strength and relieves pain in people with chronic illnesses.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, carried out by experts from the National University of Chung Nam (Republic of Korea), Professor Rhayun Song, leading author of the study and an expert on the effects of Tai Chi in the management of osteoarthritis, recommends the practice of this discipline.
This type of exercise has been found to be just as effective as conventional physiotherapy. This is demonstrated by data published by researchers at the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, published in the prestigious journal “Annals of Internal Medicine”. Dr. Paul Lam, is a family doctor in Sydney. He has been practising Tai Chi Chuan for many years, to reduce the impact of arthritis on his life. He became a Tai Chi Chuan practitioner and teacher of different styles. In 1997, Dr. Lam saw the need for a program specifically for people with osteoarthritis. This program has helped hundreds of thousands of people with osteoarthritis to improve their pain and quality of life. It is supported by many osteoarthritis associations worldwide -including the Arthritis Foundation, an OAFI partner- and has been proven effective by Dr. Lam himself.
The practice of Tai Chi is recommended for people with physically limiting conditions. Tai Chi improves overall joint function as well as the quality of life of people with osteoarthritis. Pain and stiffness are also significantly reduced.
Author: Pilar Serrano, Tai Chi teacher