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Tai chi: Benefits, types, and history

History of Tai Chi

The true origins of tai chi remain a mystery, but the concepts are rooted in Chinese history, Taoism, and Confucianism.

The founder of tai chi is believed to be Zhang Sanfeng, a 12th-century Taoist monk. Some stories claim that Zhang Sanfeng left his monastery to become a hermit and that he created a form of fighting based on softness.

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Tai chi: Benefits, types, and history

Tai chi: Benefits, types, and history

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265507.php

medicalnewstoday.com

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Key Ideas

Types Of Tai Chi

There are different styles of tai chi, each has a unique set of methods and principles, lineage, and date of origin. Some of these forms of tai chi lean towards health, while others stress competition or self-defense.

  • Chen-style, which started between 1580 and 1660
  • Yang-style, which started between 1799 and 1872
  • Wu- or Wu (Hao)-style, which started between 1812 and 1880
  • Wu-style, which started between 1870 and 1942
  • Sun-style, which started between 1861 and 1932

Tai Chi Benefits

  • Fall reduction: tai chi helps to prevent trips and falls in the elderly. It also reduced the fear of falling among them and increased balance and posture.
  • Chronic pain: tai chi significantly impacts the chronic pain experienced with specific conditions, such as osteoarthritis of the knee and fibromyalgia. There is also evidence it decreases joint stiffness.
  • Chronic heart failure: tai chi was shown to improve maximum oxygen capacity in people who had heart attacks. And, although the evidence is inconclusive, tai chi seems to benefit areas of cardiovascular health, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Mental health and cognitive function: There is strong evidence showing beneficial effects on cognitive function. And, although scientific evidence is inconclusive, tai chi is associated with mindfulness and psychological well-being.

Tai Chi

Is a martial art safe for most people of all ages, as it does not put much stress on the muscles and joints. It combines gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness.

Research indicates that tai chi may improve balance control, fitness, and flexibility while reducing pain and the symptoms of anxiety and depression in some cases.

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Tai Chi

Is a mind-body practice that involves a series of slow, flowing exercises that combine movement, meditation, and rhythmic breathing. Initially developed as a martial art, it's now commonly p...

Research Based Claims On The Benefits Of Tai Chi

"excellent evidence" that tai chi appears to helpful for Parkinson's disease, osteoarthritis, preventing falls, improving cognitive function in older adults, and rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Improves cognitive functioning, particularly in older adults.

Prevents falls in older adults and Parkinson’s and stroke sufferers by improving their balance.

Ameliorates back pain and cancer-related fatigue.

Helps to rehabilitate the heart of people with chronic heart failure.

Safety And Side Effects Of Tai Chi

It is possible to learn tai chi by yourself through books audio and video but only a teacher would be able to guarantee you are doing the movements correctly and safely.

Done correctly, tai chi seems safe for most healthy people, but it should not be used as a substitute for standard care in the treatment of chronic health conditions. Also, if you have a health condition such as arthritis, it's important to consult your doctor before starting tai chi to see if it's appropriate for you.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is a traditional Chinese form of exercise based in martial arts that involves slow movements and deep breaths. 

Tai chi brings many physical and emotional benefits like de...

Benefits Of Tai Chi
  1. It may help with reducing stress, though most evidence is anecdotal. 
  2. Improves mood if you are depressed or anxious. 
  3. Better sleep as it may leads to a more restful sleep.
  4. Promotes weight loss.
  5. Improves cognition in older adults with cognitive impairment. More specifically, it improves memory and executive functioning skills.
  6. Reduces risk of falling in older adults by improving balance and motor function save and reducing fear of falling.
  7. Improves fibromyalgia symptoms.
  8. Improves COPD symptoms leading to improvements in ability to exercise and quality of life.
  9. Improves balance and strength in people with Parkinson’s.
  10. Safe for people with coronary heart disease.
  11. Reduces pain from arthritis and improves mobility.
Tai Chi and safety

Tai chi is generally a safe exercise with few side effects but it’s good to talk to a doctor before starting. Beginners may experience some aches or pains after practicing tai chi.

More rigorous forms of tai chi and improper practices are associated with increased risk of injury to joints. Especially if you’re new to tai chi, consider attending a class or working with an instructor to reduce your risk of injury.

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10 Benefits Of Tai Chi According To Research
  1. Reduces mortality for those who self-reported engaging in the practice 5-6 hours per week.
  2. Improves muscle strength, balance and flexibility. Evidence is inconclusiv...