Since Tai Chi is Eastern, Should We Toss It?

by Dave Jackson

Tai Chi. Right now all I know about it is what I’ve seen in a few seconds on TV. You see people moving in unison, in a field under a huge sprawling tree, or on the beach in California. And they’re there with a leader who is showing them some Chinese looking moves, where the arms are held in a martial arts stance, but moving slowing. At least that’s what my brain sees.

But since this is something unfamiliar to many mainline Americans, it is often tossed in with meditation and crystals and then out the door as taboo. It is unfortunate we are so closed minded for what we don’t like. If we’re into it – like a new video game where we can kill entire neighborhoods of villains and a few stray bystanders in life-like reality – well, then brother, it ain’t so bad. Bring it on. Oh… they have a new version out? Where can I buy that??!

Craziness. And hypocritical at the same time.

Tai Chi is a Chinese exercise regimen that has now been found to reduce fatigue and arthritis pain.

“Our study shows that there are significant benefits of the Tai Chi course for individuals with all types of arthritis, including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis,” said Leigh Callahan, the study’s lead author and associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

“We found this in both rural and urban settings across a southeastern state and a northeastern state.”

There were only 354 people in this study which came from 20 cities in the USA in New Jersey and North Carolina. And here’s what they did – scientists divided these people into two groups. Now one group went through a twice-weekly Tai Chi lesson that lasted eight weeks. The other group went through the course later.

You had to have something physically wrong with you like arthritis and be 18 or older. And at the end of the eight weeks, those in the first group showed improvement in pain, stiffness, and fatigue. They also had an increased sense of well being – plus scientists say their balance and reach improved as well.

This news comes from the American College of Rheumatology in Atlanta, Georgia.

What do you think? Should you search and take what works for you and toss the rest, or not even go close to things you think may lead you off your path? Have you ever taken Tai Chi?

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