Tai Chi and Qigong are deeply rooted in Chinese culture with links to its traditional medicine, philosophy and martial arts. They are based around the concept of “Qi” (translated as “life force”) which is described as the energy that circulates throughout your body. Both Tai Chi and Qigong aim at balancing and promoting Qi circulation which, according to tradition, and several recent studies, shows that it supports health and overall wellbeing significantly.
There are five main forms of Tai Chi, with a diversity that ranges from self-defense to health per se and while there is no precise record of when it was first originated, it has become increasingly popular around the world. Qigong on the other end can be traced back some 5,000 years ago and has evolved in a multitude of ways since then. Practicing Tai Chi and Qigong regularly carry many upsides and have been mentioned by Harvard Medical School, the NHS, and other credible medical literature – read on for our Top 5 Benefits of Tai Chi & Qi Gong!
1. Lowers blood pressure
A study showed that after practicing Tai Chi 3 times a week for 12 weeks, participants decreased their blood pressure level and even their cholesterol profile. Qi Gong also proved to be effective in lowering hypertension.
5-Minute Tai Chi for beginners
2. Improves muscle strength, aerobic capacity, coordination and balance
This is beneficial for everyone and even more so for the elderly especially in reducing falls, with up to 45% fewer falls occurring. Even if falls do happen, the bone density, muscle strength and flexibility developed allow for much faster recovery times.
Tai Chi Master Wang Shifu
3. Reduces inflammation
UCLA showed that mind-body practices such as Tai Chi, could alleviate sleep disturbances and reduce inflammation. Qigong also proved to be effective in improving cancer patient symptoms such as inflammation.
Mimi Kuo-Deemer: An excellent, well-explained, easy-to-do Qigong practice
4. Immune system enhancer
Tai Chi can increase immune response after just 12 weeks’ practice and Qigong practice resulted in an increased number of immune system cells.
Master Gu (Wudang Mountains)
5. Pain reduction and mood improvement
Both Tai Chi and Qigong are effective in reducing levels of pain, especially in chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, tension headache and can even help reduce depression symptoms.
I practice both Qigong and Tai Chi almost daily, and it makes me feel calmer. My energy levels are effectively and consistently sustained throughout the day and I get less affected by stressful situations. You can start with whichever practice resonates with you most; watch a few of the videos above and see what you prefer. There are many forms accessible to any age useful to a host of different physical conditions: even if your range of motion is restricted, a minimal amount of practice and stretching will go a long way!
Practiced tai chi and or qi gong, what kind of results did you get? Let us know below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram. (Interested in exercises that help increase overall mobility and health? Then these following are for you: 5 Top Tips for Increasing Your Flexibility, 5 Top Hip Flexor Stretches and Top 5 Benefits of Daily Back Bends, designed to help get and KEEP your FIT ON!)