Tai Chi For Arthritis Pain And Relief And Joint Health
Tai Chi has, until relatively recently, been a martial arts/meditative practice used primarily by patients who followed traditional Chinese medicine, which is centuries old and which has been shown to help many different ailments. Now, the information that Tai Chi is helpful against pain, including the pain of arthritis, has reached Western medical circles so that doctors we see every day may just as likely recommend Tai Chi as an aspirin for arthritis pain.
Arthritis can affect any part of the body, from the large joints of the knees, elbows, and hips, to the small joints of the hands and feet. Along with pain, there can be stiffness, and crunching sound in the joints, and a lack of coordination of the muscles surrounding the joints. Medications to control these symptoms generally help; however, they often have untoward side effects that make them difficult to use on a chronic basis.
The Practice Of Tai Chi
Tai Chi, which makes use of gentle and slow movements associated with meditation and deep breathing, has also been found to aid in helping the pain and stiffness of arthritis dissipate. In fact, its practice has been shown to decrease the need for medications altogether in some patients who regularly engage in Tai Chi.
Tai Chi is a meditative exercise program that allows you do a series of motions that gradually move from one to the other over a period of 30-60 minutes. There are short forms of Tai Chi, involving only about 20 different motions and long forms of Tai Chi, which can involve a hundred or more different motions.
During Tai Chi, proper posture is emphasized as well as graceful movement using all the muscles and joints of the body. It requires no special equipment, can be done solitary or in groups, and can be done by people of varying physical abilities. Most of the movements can be done by one individual alone, although a few of the movements require a partner.
Tai Chi comes in many different styles, of which the Yang style is the most commonly used style among Westerners. Circular movements are emphasized along with deep concentration on how the movements and breathing go together. In the beginning, it is all about learning the various movements and how they go together. Later, you can learn best how to combine the movements with breathing and meditation for the maximum effect.
Tai Chi And Arthritis
The movements of Tai Chi are very gentle and do not stress the joints at all. There is nothing about Tai Chi that jars the body or overextends the joints, it is very low impact and slow moving, but offers unparalleled results. When practiced, it has been shown to decrease the perception of pain and stiffness in arthritic patients. Many people across the world and in the US practice Tai Chi for various health reasons, including the improvement of arthritis symptoms that in turn boost one’s quality of life and mobility.
It doesn’t take years for the effects of Tai Chi to become apparent.
In fact, most people begin to feel better after just a month or two of studying Tai Chi. It brings about an increase in the flow of joint fluid within the joints so that the joints get the gentle activity needed to feel better. The joints are nourished by the practice of Tai Chi and begin to heel. The joints are more slippery and move more smoothly, making them less painful.
Tai Chi has also been found to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints so that there is less pressure on the joints themselves. If you have pain in your large joints, such as those in your legs, Tai Chi can also improve balance and flexibility so you move with less risk of falling and have better coordination of your muscles and joints.
It is very important to learn how to do Tai Chi correctly, as it is very intricate and detail oriented, and learning how to do the moves correctly along with applying the breathing and meditation element is critical. Try out a Tai Chi class if you have arthritis and want to experience less pain. Tai Chi can also be taught at home using a Tai Chi DVD.