Are you looking for ways to improve your body’s ability to resist and fight off common illnesses? From colds to the flu and worse, our bodies have natural abilities to protect and heal. As daily life progresses, many factors can cause our immune system to function at a less than ideal capacity, leaving us vulnerable to more illness. Stress, dietary choices, exercise, disease, and hormones are just a few of the factors in how strong or weak our immune systems may be at any given time. There are ways to counteract some of the daily stressors that can lead to a weakened immune system. Tai Chi (also referred to as Tai Ji Quan) is a practice that has been proven to boost immune systems. Check it out:
Stress Management with Tai Chi
Stress is one of the top causes of a reduced immune system response. The Way of Meditation details why our immune system is affected by stress. Our immune system is made up of cells that travel through our bloodstream within tissues and organs to defend us against foreign bodies – viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, etc. When our body is under a great deal of stress, the stress hormone, corticosteroid suppresses the effectiveness of our immune system, essentially lowering the number of cells available to rush around the invading cells to destroy them.
Stress management is all about our perception of external stressors. If we can change our perception, we can limit the hormone (corticosteroid) stress response within our bodies.
Among top stress management tips such as eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and keeping a positive attitude are getting plenty of exercise, and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, and meditation. It turns out that Tai Chi checks multiple boxes. Tai Chi is commonly referred to as “moving meditation.” It truly requires the deep focus of meditation while exercising with a focus on breathing and precise form. In addition, after practicing for some time, a positive attitude is often achieved through these moving meditation techniques.
Tai Chi Boosts Immune Systems in Scientific Studies
Many of the benefits of Tai Chi are often shared as philosophical and anecdotal from the thousands of years Tai Chi has been practiced. However, scientists are beginning to study the benefits of Tai Chi classes in a measured approach.
Asian Fortune News reported about one such study conducted by Dr. Michael Irwin at the University of California. After 25 weeks of practicing Tai Chi, a group of older adults gained a higher immunity to shingles than those who did NOT practice Tai Chi, but instead received shingles vaccinations. For those who combined Tai Chi with the vaccination, their “immunity index was twice as high as vaccination alone.”
The Chang Gung University in Taiwan was also able to measure enhanced “functional mobility and important T cells in the immune system.” T cells are the immune system cells that enter into cells invaded by foreign bodies, lock on to the infected cells, and multiply to destroy it. Having more of these cells, ready to defend your body is an excellent boost for your immune system.
If you’re ready to give your immune system a boost, we recommend you give Tai Chi at the US Kuo Shu Academy. Call today to request a free semi-private class.
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