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Surprise Your Body with the Force of Tai Chi and Qi

By Sandy Schroeder

Qi, the basis for a lot of Chinese philosophy and medicine, is the vital life force within you that needs to flow freely. When qi is blocked or weakened,  mental, physical or emotional problems can arise. Now scientists have discovered how the ancient Chinese practice of tai chi keeps qi flowing through the body.

The TaiChiforHealthInstitute.org website says tai chi cultivates a life energy that flows through the body to create a harmony of the inner and outer self. The Mayo Clinic website says tai chi gently fights stress with a constant flow of movements and deep breathing.

Tai chi and qi may sound mysterious but Harvard Health researchers have uncovered many health benefits from the weekly classes. Stress melts. Pain retreats. Balance, strength, and mental alertness flourish.

Sample Tai Chi and Qi Now

Check your local community for tai chi teachers and classes. Sessions usually run an hour and are often done outdoors. You can also sample tai chi at home with online classes.

The University of California, Irvine's Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine offers ongoing sessions presented by Dr. Shin Lin, a world-renowned tai chi expert. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.

I did a class in my local park that was a highlight of my week. Every Friday, about 30 of us gathered under the eucalyptus trees to lift the mind, body and spirit with a dose of qi. Not surprising, tai chi is a preferred practice of athletes, active adults, and people of all ages who have sore knees or other painful joints.

Benefits of Tai Chi and Qi

Here is what a class could do for you.

Lower depression and anxiety - In 83 percent of studies, tai chi greatly improved mood and reduced anxiety

Improve balance - Tai chi lowered the risk of falling by as much as 43 percent, and cut the risk of injury by half.

Erase and ease pain - Many clinical trials show people with neck, back, arthritis and fibromyalgia pain find relief with tai chi.

Stimulate the brain - Tai chi has become a way to reduce age-related cognitive issues and slow dementia.

Fight heart disease - Researchers say tai chi strengthens the heart in five different ways.

Prevent disorders - Insomnia, hypertension, insomnia, and arthritis are all helped by tai chi.

Spark confidence - Tai chi helps people on the courts, in the gym, at work, and at home as they build muscle and establish mind control.

Imagine what it might do for you, and sample a class soon. Tai chi and qi are too good to be missed.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Huntington Beach, Calif.

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