Everyday health

Tai Chi promoted

A study, which reviewed 47 previous studies, confirms that Chinese gymnastics improves heart and lungs in the elderly and reduces anxiety.

Born from the meeting of martial arts and traditional practices to ensure health and longevity, Tai Chi actually seems to be able to offer numerous benefits to both body and mind.

This is confirmed by a study, recently published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, in which the authors reviewed 47 works, published in specialized journals of English and Chinese, on the effects of Tai Chi for individuals afflicted by various chronic diseases.

Body and mind
From the large amount of data collected, it clearly emerges the confirmation that the practice of Tai Chi increases the sense of balance, makes you more agile, improves cardiovascular and respiratory function.
In addition to having these effects, highlighted mainly in elderly patients suffering from various chronic diseases, Tai Chi would also help reduce anxiety in otherwise healthy individuals.”Today there are more and more studies that report the beneficial effects of movement as such, whether it is Tai Chi or any other form of exercise,” comments Lucio Pippa, professor of the specialization course of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University of Milan. “It is in fact now established that physical activity is good both from a metabolic point of view, cardiovascular and joint function both from the point of view of quality of life”.

The soft and slow execution of the typical gestures of Tai Chi – which can be practiced at any age – in addition to improving muscle tone and elasticity, helps to increase balance and flexibility. “Not only that, Chinese “medical” gymnastics – as Tai Chi is defined – also guarantees other benefits linked, mainly, to breathing, being calm and deep, in fact, it improves the efficiency of the cardiorespiratory system and relaxes the mind, helping to counteract anxiety, stress and insomnia» points out Pippa.

Characteristics The historical origins of Tai Chi are not certain. According to some, its first elaboration is to be attributed to a Taoist monk of 1300 AD; while other bibliographic sources date its origin even over 3000 years BC. What is certain is that already in 1700 various schools of Tai-chi were well defined and still present. In practice, the Tai Chi that in China is practiced outdoors, in squares and parks, by millions of Chinese, consists of a series of exercises that constitute a middle ground between Qigong, based on mainly meditative aspects (and which essentially involves static exercises) and martial arts, such as Kung Fu, in which movement finds its maximum expression.

“In Tai Chi, – concludes Professor Pippa – since physical exercise and therefore also the movement of the various joints has a fair amount of space, there is – according to traditional Chinese medicine – an activation of the personal energy charge that helps to remove a whole series of ‘stagnation’ that can lead, if not adequately treated, to important pathologies”.

Energy is important, not strength.
The basic exercise of Tai Chi is the so-called “form”, a series of codified movements performed calmly and concentratedly. The relaxation and breathing techniques implemented during the execution of the exercises help to develop the “internal energies” that play a prevalent role.

Source: Corriere Salute del Corriere della Sera


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