In the world of conventional medical science, the health-related benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong may have once been overlooked. However, now some of the leading experts in medicine are fully recognizing these practices as beneficial to a person’s health and wellbeing. In fact, the Harvard School of Medicine is touting the benefits of these practices in the form of two publications: Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi and An Introduction to Tai Chi.
The first is a book that compiles extensive research to present the science behind Tai Chi’s health benefits as well as providing a great introduction to the practice itself. The book includes a 12-week program outline for those who wish to begin practicing Tai Chi on their own. There are also practical tips for integrating Tai Chi into everyday life as well as research-backed evidence to support how Tai Chi can enhance work productivity, athletic performance and creativity.
The second publication is a user-friendly guide to Tai Chi, created from a new special health report from Harvard Medical School. In An Introduction to Tai Chi, readers get a practical guide to understanding Tai Chi’s health benefits as well as safety tips and guided calisthenics.
Tai Chi and Qigong – A Brief Summary
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that is practiced for both self-defense training and numerous health benefits. Some of these benefits include improved muscle strength, improved balance, increased flexibility, aerobic conditioning and even better sleep quality. The mental health benefits of practicing Tai Chi are also worth noting, with many individuals experiencing improved mood, decreased anxiety and depression, and the ability to manage their stress better.
Qigong is another Chinese practice that integrates posture, movement, breathing, sound and other elements to help the individual improve their mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Similar to yoga (though with very different origins), Qigong uses breath to move energy and invoke a meditative state. Some people even use Qigong and Yoga together. The postures and movements vary, but the two practices often complement each other and can each produce substantial benefits to the individual.
More Official Endorsements for Tai Chi and Qigong
• According to Harvard Magazine, Tai Chi leads to greater improvement in cognitive function, including attention, concentration, and mental tracking, as well as balance.
• The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported that Tai Chi can help ease chronic pain, benefiting people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, tension headaches and other ongoing painful conditions.
At Lexington Healing Arts Academy, we are proud to offer Tai Chi through a series of workshops that will help students enhance body mechanics, improve core strength and balance, and increase flexibility. Our immersive program integrates body, mind and spirit and can be easily accommodated to people of varying levels of fitness.
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