Just like yoga, Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese practice in which modern medicine starting to embrace due to its many health benefits. For instance, one study1 finds Tai Chi practice is beneficial for heart health.
Those who have experienced a heart attack, chances are high it would happen again in the future when health habits and lifestyle are not addressed. Even worse, the next occurrence of a heart attack could be fatal than the first one.
Among the recommendations for those who have heart attack include dietary changes and regular exercise. However, these changes are not that exciting for most patients especially those who are overweight, which make treadmill sessions very difficult to sustain.
Fortunately, there are far easier means of rehabilitation towards a healthy heart such as practicing good postures. Of course, one of the easiest exercises and probably easier than yoga is Tai Chi.
Beginners on Tai Chi may find it difficult but easier and even more fun to do than sticking to regular treadmill sessions. Without giving patients easier options for their rehabilitation, it can be stressful to them.
Unfortunately, stress is one of the predictors for heart disease and might trigger another heart attack.
Tai Chi on Heart Health
You might think that practicing Tai Chi requires going to a gym. However, in this small study with participants both men and women, they were only given Tai Chi instructional DVDs.
Of course, the participants involving 29 men and women were assigned to 2 groups. One group were instructed to practice Tai Chi 2 times a week for 12 weeks while the other groups did it 3 times a week for 24 weeks.
Initially, the participants attended Tai Chi session in the hospitals but eventually given DVD. This allows the participants to continue practicing Tai Chi following the instructional DVD at home.
Then, the results are in after 3 months. The researchers found that participants in the group doing more Tai Chi practice are more physically active than the other group.
At 6 months of the study, the results are very apparent. The group doing more intensive Tai Chi practice are also more active physically outside of their sessions. Among the outside activities, these active Tai Chi participants include biking and climbing stairs up and down. They are now doing the things they’re used to afraid of doing in the past.
This is not the first time researchers find Tai Chi beneficial for heart health. As a matter of fact, Harvard researchers have done the study in the past. Even Harvard Medical School has published a book about it.
Previous Studies Findings on Tai Chi For Heart Health
Previous studies have similar findings supporting the benefits of Tai Chi practice for heart health. For instance, one study2 finds Tai Chi a beneficial support therapy for some patients with heart disease and even those who are at risk.
Another earlier study3 says that some patients with heart disease may be given Tai Chi prescription as an alternative program.
Other Known Benefits Of Practicing Tai Chi
Tai Chi is not just for heart health. There are many other health benefits of doing this ancient Chinese practice. Here are among the many health benefits of practicing Tai Chi;
Reduces fall incidents in senior population by up to 45%.
Enhances cognitive health by delaying brain shrinkage due to aging. It also improves thinking and memory.
Improves balance by targeting all the physical components necessary to stay upright such as leg strength, flexibility, the range of motions and reflexes, which all decline with aging.
Reduces the fear of falling better than a wellness education program for older adults who have past experiences of falling.
Relieves geriatric depression especially when used in conjunction with other therapies.
Burns calories and increases muscle strength particularly in the lower extremities and of course improves flexibility.
Promotes natural and more relaxed breathing, sharpens the mind and enhances psychological wellness and improve sleep quality. Furthermore, those who are practicing Tai Chi in a group, it helps promote social bonding and interaction.
Mayo Clinic Embraces Tai Chi
Mayo Clinic embraces Tai Chi in their rehabilitation program. This an amazing development that modern medicine starts embracing natural solutions such as Tai Chi along with modern methods.