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Yoga & Meditation

What are the health benefits of tai chi?

Tai chi is a noncompetitive martial art known for its health benefits. It combines gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness.

Research has produced mixed results but appears to show that tai chi can improveTrusted Source balance control, fitness, and flexibility. The activity may also reduce the risk of falls in older people.

Tai chi also appears to reduce pain and the symptoms of depressionTrusted Source in some cases.

This martial art is an ancient Chinese tradition that has evolved over centuries. Some people use tai chi to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Others claim it promotes serenity and inner peace.

People generally regard it as safe for individuals of all ages as it does not put too much stress on the muscles and joints.

This article explores the documented evidence for the benefits of tai chi.

Benefits

Various research suggests tai chi offers a range of benefits for people with and without chronic conditions. These benefits include:

Fall reduction

Tai chi showed some potential benefits for helping prevent trips and falls in older adults across a range of studies.

A 2012 review looked at 159 randomized controlled trials of various types of practices to prevent falls in older adults.

The studies involved more than 79,193 people, with the authors concluding that tai chi could reduce the risk of falling.

A 2015 systematic review Trusted Source of seven trials involving 544 tai chi chuan practitioners concluded it helped improve balance control and flexibility.

Meanwhile, a 2014 review Trusted Source found that exercises, including tai chi, might have reduced the fear of falling among older adults in a retirement community immediately after a workout. However, the review did not reach any conclusions about tai chi reducing the frequency of falls.

One 2012 trialTrusted Source of 195 older adults with Parkinson’s disease showed that tai chi helped treat balance issues with more success than resistance training or regular stretching.

Another article notes that the activity is a successful exercise interventionTrusted Source for factors related to falls in older people.

The evidence from these studies suggests that tai chi might help support many aspects of balance and posture.

Chronic pain

Several small studies suggest that tai chi can significantly impact the chronic pain that people experience with specific conditions, such as osteoarthritis of the knee and fibromyalgia.

A 2013 meta-analysisTrusted Source of seven different trials seemed to demonstrate that a 12-week course of tai chi could improve the stiffness and pain symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and improve physical function.

However, the review authors recommended further, larger-scale trials to support their conclusions, as the studies they examined had flaws and potential biases. ……….. Continue Reading……….

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