Tai chi can become an important aid to improving overall health in holistic ways. When aiming for holistic health, one must think of improving oneself spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Tai chi has been found to positively affect all aspects of health, in mind, body, and spirit, the hallmark of holistic medicine’s philosophy.
Tai chi began as a form of martial arts, but soon became a means to health and wellness when the movements are performed in a slow meditative fashion. In modern times, this slow form of Tai Chi is used by more than 250 million people around the world for health and wellness.
Because Tai chi originates from Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the focus is on the prevention of “dis-ease” rather than on treating diseases that are already in place. TCM’s view stems from the belief that “dis-ease” occurs when the body’s energy is blocked. Tai Chi helps to release this blockage in order for the chee to flow freely through the body, resulting in overall health and wellness.
How do You Incorporate Tai Chi into a Holistic Care Plan?
Your care plan should involve many areas of your life, such as those described above. This means choosing to eat healthful foods and eliminating the use of highly processed salty or sugary foods.
It means getting enough sleep so that your mind can assimilate the memories of the previous day.
It also means practicing good healthcare practices, such as seeing your doctor on a regular basis for preventative care and choosing mindful exercises such as yoga, Qigong, and Tai Chi. These add to all aspects of your health, including spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health.
Research studies from East Asian researchers and Western researchers have found that Tai chi is a good exercise for those who are not in great shape, aren’t confident in their physical prowess, or want an exercise that involves a deep body-mind connection.
Tai chi, with its fluid movements, breathing and meditation, has been found helpful for many conditions, such as high blood pressure, stress, depression, fibromyalgia, anxiety, supporting immunity, and heart disease. It is an all-natural means to calm the mind and elicit the relaxation response that helps to alleviate daily stress, and generally results in practitioners being able to better cope with daily stressors. This is mainly due to its holistic approach in uniting mind, body, and spirit where those who practice Tai Chi are simply able to let things go easier than those who do not. Better sleep, a more positive attitude, and lower incidence of depression and anxiety are all seen with regular practice of Tai Chi.
Important Reasons to Practice Tai Chi
Tai chi is an excellent part of a holistic healthcare plan because it is low impact and can be done by just about any physical fitness type of person. Even the elderly and infirm can practice Tai chi and can get a good workout that helps balance the stressors of the day.
Because it has its roots in meditation, it can do more than a typical aerobic activity. Along with its aerobic benefits, Tai chi helps calm the mind, lowers blood pressure and heart rate and by eliciting the relaxation response in the body helps one to be healthier on a day-to-day basis.
In a sense, a half hour to forty minutes of Tai chi per day can do double duty as an aerobic exercise and as a meditative exercise. You can learn flexibility, strength, and overall balance by doing this form of exercise and you can enhance your sense of wellbeing at the same time.
One of the key benefits of this ancient practice is that its elements of movement, breathing and mediation treat the whole person, and uniting mind, body and spirit.
Tai chi relies on having some skills to meditate while you do your Tai chi motions so that, at the end of the session, you feel refreshed and clear of distractions in your mind. For busy people, being able to do a mindful and physical exercise like Tai chi, can improve your physical and mental/emotional difficulties with just thirty minutes per day.
People do Tai chi alone in their living room or den. Others go to parks, especially in China, where Tai chi is practiced in large or small groups. Martial Arts studios also offer group Tai Chi classes. There are also instructional DVDs available that can teach you how to do Tai Chi in the privacy of your own home.
If you really don’t have much time, try doing short forms of Tai chi, there are those that only include 19 or 24 forms, and can be done in as little as 5 minutes.
Longer forms of Tai chi are recommended, but doing the short form right after getting up in the morning or in the late afternoon can improve many physical and emotional aspects of your life.