Tai Chi is a form of activity that can be practiced regardless of age and its associated limitations. What are the benefits of practicing this ancient art of mastering the body and mind?
It is not difficult to encounter the belief that physical exercise is only for the young. Nothing could be further from the truth! Seniors can also be active, and it is even advisable for them – you just need to find the right forms of exercise. Older people may not be able to cope with exercises that require a lot of physical fitness, but there are, after all, plenty of activities that can be practiced regardless of age.
One of them is Tai Chi, the traditional Chinese art of mastering the body and mind. Studies show that practicing it makes a person younger (mentally and physically), and also improves the functioning of older people struggling with illness.
Tai Chi is sometimes referred to as meditation in motion, and there’s no coincidence in that – for it’s a technique through which one can significantly calm down, as well as relax from the problems of everyday life. Calmly performing smooth movements allows you to calm your own thoughts and improve your concentration. From the perspective of seniors, the latter aspect is especially important. Regular work on the mind with the help of Tai Chi will make us able to maintain a great memory even despite advanced age!
In the context of the art of Tai Chi, it is impossible not to mention the physical benefits as well. Practicing this ancient technique strengthens the body structure in a slightly different way than popular gym exercises do. At a certain age, muscles stop developing and unfortunately become weaker as a result, at which point it is worth focusing on other body structures. Tai Chi allows the body to build strength based on, among other things, the skeletal system, tendons, joints and fascia. That’s why masters of this art, even at a very old age, impress with incredible physical fitness!
It is a fact that Tai Chi has a positive effect on the condition and functioning of people with many diseases and ailments, such as rheumatism, osteoporosis, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, joint pain and multiple sclerosis. The example of the latter can be used to illustrate how health-promoting practicing Tai Chi will prove to be.
Multiple sclerosis is an extremely intractable and malignant disorder. The commands and orders sent by the diseased person’s brain to various parts of the body become distorted or, worse, do not reach their destination at all. How can Tai Chi help in the fight against this disease? By practicing the traditional Chinese technique, the body relaxes, while joints, tendons and ligaments become stronger. In the process, we also learn to maintain that all-important balance between body and mind.
If the brain of a sick Tai Chi practitioner sends an impulse to a particular muscle group to go forward and the message becomes distorted along the way, the tendons, ligaments and joints worked out will help maintain the balance. In comparison, a person with a stiff body will have problems with muscle control and will immediately fall to the ground.
main photo: unsplash.com/Christian Bowen