With the recent happenings of COVID-19, staying home and even working from home has become the norm for most people. Several of our favorite places are shut down and those who open can’t do so at their maximum capacity like before.
As you can imagine, situations like these mean higher stress levels and even lower immunity. A great solution to help relieve stress and boost immunity is practicing Tai Chi at home.
Tai Chi is indeed a form of martial arts and for many who don’t know, that might mean punching and fighting. Tai Chi is not about all of that but about slow and rhythmic meditative movements that promote inner peace, calm, and relaxation. The practice is an ancient Chinese tradition over thousands of years old.
From being used for self-defense, Tai Chi has evolved to graceful forms of exercises that now help in stress reduction and several other health and lifestyle benefits.
How Tai Chi reduces stress and boosts immunity
Tai Chi is a self-paced system of different gentle exercises and stretching. It is non-competitive. It has different styles that all reduce stress to the muscles and make it suitable for users of all ages.
The flowing movements of this practice contain inner strength which is similar to water flowing into a river. When you practice Tai Chi consistently, you begin to feel an internal energy known as qi and be able to convert it to an internal force known as jing. With jing you can create even more energy.
As you continue, the practice first leads to a balance in your mental state. Fitness and agility start to improve. Tension leaves your muscles and you build strength from the inside out.
More strength in the muscles is necessary to support your joints and ensure normal physical function.
The flexibility exercises boost blood circulation and healing. It also improves heart and lung functions.
Tai Chi is known to increase the T-cells for stronger immunity. It helps you focus on your ‘here and now’. You get to enter a state of mental tranquility where you are free of the hustle and bustle of this world. You find harmony with the world and nature, and for many practitioners, the experience is priceless.
Tai Chi can be done anywhere. You can practice indoors or outdoors, in a group class or alone. You don’t require any special equipment.
As you take advantage of these benefits by practicing Tai Chi at home, we have some tips on what to expect;
- Your sessions will probably start with warm-up exercises. This includes simple exercises like turning the head from side to side, shoulder circles, and so on to loosen your muscles and promote focus.
- Short forms of Tai Chi are recommended for beginners because they include fewer and slower movements.
- It might also involve breath work or energy work to establish gentle breathing, relax the mind, and mobilize the body’s energy.
Yeh SH, Chuang H, Lin LW, Hsiao CY, Eng HL. Regular tai chi chuan exercise enhances functional mobility and CD4CD25 regulatory T cells. Br J Sports Med. 2006;40(3):239-243. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2005.022095
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