According to Arthritis Research UK, not only are we living longer, but we’re also struggling for a greater period with any existing conditions towards the later stages of life. Dealing with the physical pain from conditions such as arthritis is an excruciating battle. Physical exercise has been proven to ease the symptoms, although exercise will be last thing anyone will want to do when suffering with joint pain. Tai Chi is a more relaxed, less intense form of Martial Art. Here are a few ways it’s known to help.
Why Tai Chi?
Dr Paul Lam has been an advocate of Tai Chi for arthritis for nearly 20 years. His website – Tai Chi For Health Institute states: “Although especially effective for arthritis, it is a great start for beginner to improve health and wellness. The program is proven to be effective to prevent falls, that is why health departments around the world have utilized it for this purpose.”
So why is Tai Chi perfect for sufferers of Arthritis? For a start, this martial art is almost meditative, which empathizes slow movements, gradual breathing patterns and improving balance.
If you have Arthritis and you’re worried about the impact on delicate knees or shoulder, the movements within Tai Chi do not put any stress on the limbs, despite being obviously physical.
There are many different forms of Tai Chi, with the most popular and well-practiced being the Yang-style. This is also very popular with beginners because of its freestyle physical coordination, adaptability and non-competitive nature.
Does it Work?
Generally, physical activity is thought of having no detriment to the symptoms of Arthritis. It’s even known to ease the onset of adverse physical disability. However, doing Tai Chi is not seen as a cure for Arthritis, and is only for supporting of any ailments. Maximizing strength in muscles will help protect bones, but also support and protect vital mobility when dealing with day to day activities.
Tai Chi is seen as of the more physically friendly sports for people suffering with all stages or forms of Arthritis. It can be a gateway to improving confidence in getting involved in sports or even other martial arts.
The movements used in Tai Chi are known to improve mobility, especially around hips, knees and shoulders. It’s completely safe to learn and helps build confidence if you’re anxious about falling – which is a prime concern with people who have arthritis.
Am I Ready?
If you have Arthritis, always make sure you consult with your doctor before partaking in anything that could be physically exhaustive. You can also contact your local Tai Chi instructor with any concerns you may have and you should be able to get into your course with full confidence.
Take things gradually. Even though there are slow movements, if you feel exhausted or feel physically fatigued, take a break. There’s no right or wrong.
Set yourself small goals. Tai Chi can be exhausting despite its gradual manoeuvres, but it’s good to enjoy in the practice by seeing as a collaborative sport involving your peers. There are also plenty of groups outside of the gymnasium.
Other Benefits of Tai Chi
Still being a physical exercise, you should see improvements with yourself feeling physically fit. And through learning all the core techniques that come with Tai Chi, practitioners have been known to feel more relaxed. Additionally, some practitioners have seen improvements in mental health too.