Tai Chi

How Tai Chi Can Aid in Reducing Pain  

 

If shoulders are stiff, hips are creaking, or knees ache, there’s a good chance Tai Chi can help. An ancient Chinese martial art, Tai Chi has recently emerged as a popular form of low-impact exercise. Often recommended by physical therapists for back pain relief, it is an effective method of relieving osteoarthritis pain by working to improve balance and body strength. In recent research published by the National Center for Biological Information, Tai Chi was proven to relieve Fibromyalgia, lower back pain and osteoarthritis.` 

 

Tai Chi’s recent surge in popularity is due in part because it requires no specialized equipment making it inexpensive to begin. Tai Chi can be practiced alone, in a group class, indoors or outside. Literally anywhere there is room to move. By strengthening your core, Tai Chi can reduce dependence on prescription pain medicine. 

 

 

What is Tai Chi? 

Tai Chi is based on the ancient Chinese belief of when the “chi” (life force) becomes unbalanced by tight, closed joints then aging and infirmity occur. By opening your joints and allowing your chi to flow naturally through the body, it is believed the aging process will be slowed and vitality restored. 

 

Performing set sequences of gentle movements and focusing on breathing while allowing each movement to flow into the next, Tai Chi can open closed joints and help the body relearn the proper way to move. 

 

Benefits of Tai Chi  

Following a set of Tai Chi sequences moves your body through a complete range of motions, emphasizing deep abdominal breathing and straightening of your spine, while staying anchored to your natural center of gravity, which has been reported to be beneficial for people suffering from sciatica, arthritis of the spine and disc pain. The practice of Tai Chi can:

Increase Core Strength
By focusing on the core muscles supporting the spine, Tai Chi can strengthen the entire spine, and therefore, the entire body.
Increase Oxygen Flow and Circulation
Specific breathing techniques and muscle movements involved in Tai Chi increase the oxygen and blood flow to your muscles, helping to flush toxins from the body and speeding the healing of injuries.
Increase Mental Well-Being
The meditation component involved in the practicing of Tai Chi can help increase mental strength, allowing you to better deal with pain, and allowing you to rely on topical pain relief application rather than depending completely on prescription pain medication.
Low-Impact Exercise
Slow, low-impact exercise is easy on the spine and reduces jarring impact common to most forms of exercise. Because it does not cause stress to muscles or joints, and is not strenuous, you’re more likely to include it in your daily routine. 

 

If you decide relieving pain through Tai Chi is right for you, check your local martial arts center for available classes, or search online for a community group that meets informally at a park, beach or community center. For practicing Tai Chi at home, there are a variety of TV programs, online guided instruction or CDs to choose from.  

 

When beginning a new exercise routine, it’s common to experience sore muscles due to using them in a new way. Applying Super Blue or White Stuff OTC before and after a workout will help to alleviate pain and allow you to pursue your favorite activities in comfort. This unique formula features the natural pain relief of menthol along with MSM, emu oil, glucosamine along with 11 therapeutic herbs. The non-greasy lotion is absorbed fast so it reaches the affected areas to deliver pain relief in as fast as five minutes! Super Blue Stuff OTC is considered by many people to be one of the best pain relief creams on the market. If you want to speed up your relief, this is the all-natural over-the-counter topical pain reliever for you! In combination with Tai Chi and other activities, you will be able to strengthen your body in order to take back your daily life.   
 
 

Sources: 

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/tai-chi/art-20045184 
http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/features/tai-chi-for-arthritis-relief 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22609642 

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