The Health Benefits of Tai Chi
October 30, 2018
A person playing tai chi
If you suffer from back pain, many of these health benefits will help reduce your current amount of back pain and even prevent you from experiencing more. In practice, it combines gentle exercise and mindfulness. Tai Chi practice can help improve your balance, increase your fitness level, and boost your flexibility.
Based on an ancient Chinese tradition, Tai Chi is now used to reduce stress and anxiety. This ancient martial art is meditation in motion and helps promote inner peace. You don't have to learn much about the philosophy behind this practice to enjoy the physical benefits.
Tai Chi is safe for people from most fitness levels, as it doesn't stress your muscles or joints. This makes it a great exercise for those who suffer from back pain and can't participate in typical forms of exercise.
Here's a brief rundown of the benefits you can enjoy from implementing a regular Tai Chi practice.
Greater Muscle Strength
Regular Tai Chi practice helps improve your body in the same way that resistance training and fast walking does. Arm motions strengthen your upper body, and most movements will strengthen your abdomen and back muscles.
Some back pain can be caused by weak abdominal muscles. Your abs and your back muscles work to support your spine. If one set of them is weak, the other will have to work harder to make up for it. Hence, if your core muscles are weak, you're more likely to experience back pain.
When these core muscles are stronger, you're less likely to injure them doing typical motions. Stronger muscles are also less likely to start hurting and give you better support during the day. It'll also be easier for you to maintain proper posture, and prevent further strain on your back.
Tai Chi requires you to build a sense of balance. Without it, transferring your weight from one leg to another while flexing your joints will be incredibly difficult. These motions help improve your coordination by forcing you to improve your sense of position.
Being more aware of where your body is and how it's moving will also help you prevent accidents that often lead to back pain. You'll also be more aware of how your movements affect your body and will be less likely to move in a way that could injure your back.
Increased flexibility means a better range of motion. Practicing the motions required in Tai Chi every day can help you become more functional. Staying flexible will help you prevent injuring, or further agitating, your back.
Bad posture can sometimes come from a lack of flexibility. If your muscles are too stiff, you won't be able to move them very far.
Starting with Tai Chi is a great option for those who feel too stiff to try other exercises like yoga or cardio. Anyone from any fitness level can perform these motions. Improved flexibility also means that you'll be able to keep an upright posture during the day, which in turn will ease your overall level of back pain.
Lessened Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
If you have widespread back pain accompanied by fatigue, you could be dealing with fibromyalgia. Even if your back pain doesn't come from this common disease, treatments that benefit those who suffer from it can also help you. Both cause significant amounts of pain and mental distress.
One study found that 79% of patients who suffered from fibromyalgia had a significant improvement in quality of life after 12 weeks of regular Tai Chi practice. Many of these patients also stopped relying on medication to treat their pain symptoms. None of them experienced any negative effects during the trial.
You don't have to let back pain control your life. Regular Tai Chi practice is a great way to help you ease your current amount of pain and prevent your body from experiencing any more.