Though stretching and flexibility exercises are considered the most effective and suitable for treating arthritis pains, experts have arrived on yet another way to strengthen the muscles and joints that have become way to sensitive on account of the wear and tear of the cartilages that support the bone and muscle structure. This new discovery is a form of martial art which originates from and is being practiced in China since centuries now.
What is tai chi?
Tai chi is an exercise that anyone can do safely claimed the founder and architect of this art Dr Paul Lam who was engaged in this program in order to treat his own condition of osteoarthritis.
Researchers claim that the movements of tai chi are tender, elegant and mystic. These exercises help people to not only get rid of their aching joints and muscles but to gain balance, strength and flexibility of the bones and muscles.
Common styles of tai chi:
Experts claim that tai chi is practiced in various styles and have significant effects for every individual. The most common styles include:
The above styles are considered to be very effective for treating arthritis aches and in increasing the flexibility and strength of joints without straining them.
Apart from providing health benefits, tai chi is easy, safe and enjoyable to learn. These distinct features of tai chi are making the art more popular among people. Infact most arthritis foundations have been lending their relentless support to the art since years now.
How is it effective for arthritis?
It works with an effective program designed with the specific needs and requirements of an individual. This incorporates exercises that are meant to strengthen the joints and enhance oneâ€™s flexibility and balance.
A renowned researcher, Cate Morrill explains that â€˜chiâ€™ pronounced as â€˜cheeâ€™ in Chinese means â€˜energyâ€™. Tai chi is therefore an art that â€˜healsâ€™ and in a way promotes the movement of energy through the body like the flow or circulation of blood throughout the body.
Tai chi exercises therefore, allows the body to be refreshed, energized and become more flexible coupled with better balancing abilities. Though there have been no testified results of the long term benefits of resorting to tai chi, arthritis sufferers rely on tai chi to cure their aching and inflamed joints.
Tai chi also emphasizes on the distribution of transference of weight which helps in balancing oneself and thereby prevents injury, accidents and falls. Therefore tai chi exercises are aimed at providing the overall fitness benefits to a person.
Benefits of tai chi program for arthritis:
Tai chi can help one in the following ways:
- It helps in correcting oneâ€™s posture
- It encourages the integration of mind, body and spirit
- It increases the energy levels
- Techniques and exercises are simple, easy and involve circular movements
- Most importantly it is enjoyable
- Improves flexibility and strength of joints
- Improves range of motion
- It increases balance
- Reduces acute pains suffered at joints
Where to get help from?
You can approach the following persons if you want help regarding tai chi:
- Your doctor
- A rheumatologist
- A physiotherapist
How to learn tai chi for arthritis?
Tai chi can help in controlling the severe conditions of arthritis through the following ways:
- There are innumerable videos and books available in recent times that seem to be imparting knowledge and instructions on tai chi exercises.
- Consult your doctor and enroll yourself with a leading professional or instructor.
- Try practicing tai chi on your own with the guidance and advice of your physiotherapist or through visual mediums.
Recognized health benefits of tai chi include the prevention of injury and accidents contributed by greater agility and balance through tai chi exercises. This is evident from a study which revealed that the fall rates have reduced among elderly people by about 47.5 percent. This further confirms that the core training in tai chi deals with weight transference and balance.
Oneâ€™s quality of life therefore improves with the incorporation of tai chi exercises by enabling one to pursue his or her daily activities thereby making life more healthy and fit.