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TAI CHI HEALTH ARTICLES & HEALTH TIPS
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Here are some of the articles that have appeared in research and health publications since about 1990.
 
Studies by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), launched in1990:
Two studies, one by Steven L Wolf, PhD, and the other by Leslie Wolfson, MD, and collegues, found that Tai Chi was effective in improving balance and strength among older people. Older people taking part in a 15 week Tai Chi program reduced their risk of falling by 47.5%.
 
The Harvard Health Letter (21:11, 1996) reports a study in the May 1996 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, showing that the slow and precise movements of Tai Chi Chuan improved the balance of seniors.
 
The University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter, 1998, cites the benefits of the "smooth, balanced, and low-impact" exercise to health.
 
The CIGNA newsleter, Wellbeing, winter, 1998, advises that Tai Chi Chuan has been shown to increase immunity, reduce stress, alleviate gastric problems, hypertension, and other ailments.
 
The Harvard Woman's Health Watch, Dec 2000, article, "Tai Chi: Meditative movement for Health" cites the benefits for women, and lists Master William C.C. Chen's video's as a selected Woman's Health Watch resource.
 
The Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2001; 23:139-146, documents improvements over a 6 month period in physical functions in daily and more strenuous activities.
 
The Archives of Internal Medicine, Mar 8 2004, report many benefits to heart, circular system, and joint problems, as well as other chronic health conditions. The study was done by
Wang  Cnenchen, MD, at Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, Mass.

 
 
SOME HEALTHY IDEAS FROM TAI CHI CHUAN

Even if you don't have the time to practice Tai Chi Chuan, or Tai Chi Chi Gung, here are some simple exercises that can make a difference in your life.

ABDOMINAL BREATHING: Relax. Stand or sit in a fairly straight chair. To shift your breathing from upper chest to lower abdomen, place the hands a few inches below the navel. Breathe slowly so that the area under the hands expands against a slight pressure exerted by the hands on the lower abdomen. Relax, and the air slowly exhales. Repeat with inhalation, etc. Do this for five minutes to start with. This basic awareness and development of abdominal breathing is central to many meditative and martial arts. Reader's Digest for December 2000 featured an article about "belly breathing" and its benefits.


RELAX THE KNEES, HIPS, AND SHOULDERS: this releases a lot of stored tension, and allows you to focus on deep breathing, especially when standing.

 
ROCK THE FEET: This is an excellent exercise if you sit for more than 30 minutes, especially in confined spaces, airplane seats, waiting rooms, etc.
Stretch-out the legs, and stretch the toes down to the ground. Next, flex the toes upward creating a rolling motion over the heel. Breathe in as the toes go up; exhale as the toes go down. Repeat for about one minute.

Point of View:   A nice example of how a frame of mind in a situation can affect an inner state of relaxation is related by Chuang Tzu in the story of The Empty Boat:  If someone is rowing and bumps into a log, he pushes it aside, and continues on his way.  If he sees its an empty boat, he pushes it aside, or perhaps ties it securely somewhere out of the way. But if he sees its a boat with people in it, he gets angry.