Benefits of Tai Chi
and 4 Minute Fitness
... In other words, why
Increased flexibility - particularly in the
often forgotten spine. Maintenance of flexibility in spinal joints is 'oh so important'.
Full range of motion in a lot of your joints -
motion is lotion, as they say. Better yet - use it or lose it!
Increased strength, particularly of the leg
Better balance, fewer falls
Improved immune functioning. (Why? Mental
stillness and reduced stress help immune function, as does exercise.)
Improved, deeper breathing - leading to increased
oxygenation and vitality of all tissues, improved immune functioning, deeper relaxation
Many people have reduced pain - particularly
noticed in shoulders, back, legs and knees
Increased vitality, energy and life - and an
increased awareness of the ever present 'chi'.
Enhanced coordination, and improved fine motor
Decreased blood pressure
Decreased breathing and heart rates
Increased concentration and mental focus
Increased sense of happiness and contentedness
(is that a word?) and inner peace
Greater ability to 'be in the moment', to pull
out of the craziness of everyday living
An often profound sense of being here, now.
(Wherever you go, there you are...) In other words, reducing the tendency to live in the
past, or worry about the future.
A higher level of happiness
There are two Keys to Success
Do not purchase a DVD where the instructor faces
the camera. Think about it. If he goes to the left,
you must go right. Forward is backward. It can drive
Do not try to learn too many postures in a class
OR by DVD. Most instructors focus on the number of
postures, but the essence of tai chi can be found in
just ONE. Better to practice a few GREAT postures
than many weak ones.
How to Choose a Tai Chi
There is a whole range of possible benefits, many being documented by western
- Find your inner "ohm"
using Easy Tai Chi and 4 Minute Fitness.
In an interview on CBS This Morning (July, 2014), Dr. John Denninger
stated that sciences confirms practices like tai chi "turn genes on and
off in a way that is beneficial for health" and as a result - improves
cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, supports the immune system
and reduces inflammation. The research states that getting into the
"relaxation response" using a variety of different techniques yields a
lot of physiological benefits.
Is this important? You bet. Stress can make almost any disease worse!
Stress reduction PREVENTS many disease from even taking hold.
(Dr. Denninger is from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine
at Massachusetts General Hospital where they teach patients ways to
counteract stress and build resiliency by eliciting the Relaxation
- "One study took adults
in their 60s and 70s who practiced tai chi three times a week for 12
weeks (60-minute classes). These adults were given a battery of
physical-fitness tests to measure balance, muscular strength and
endurance, and flexibility before and after the 12 weeks. After just six
weeks, statistically significant... improvements were observed in
balance, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility measures.
Improvements in each of these areas increased further after 12 weeks.
The authors of the study concluded that tai chi is a potent intervention
that improved balance, upper- and lower-body muscular strength and
endurance, and upper- and lower-body flexibility in older adults."
Three hours of class time a week would involve lots of standing around,
talking and teaching. Odds are that 10-20 minutes a day of Easy Tai Chi
and 4 Minute Fitness practice would do the same or better. Why not find
- Tai chi to the rescue!
"Nearly two-thirds of seniors treated for depression fail to achieve
remission with pharmaceutical treatment."
Any guess as to what will significantly improve these results?? You got
it! The addition of tai chi to the regime "showed a greater reduction in
depressive symptoms, improved physical functioning, improved scores on
cognitive tests and a decline in inflammatory markers." (From the
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry).
- Here is some exciting
"anti-aging" news for Easy Tai Chi and 4 Minute Fitness practitioners!
Regular tai chi practice increases stem cells (CD34+) that are involved
in cell self renewal, differentiation and proliferation. The study was
in young people (under 25) and compared people who did nothing, those
who walked briskly and regular tai chi practitioners. Tai chi players
had the greatest increase in these anti-aging cells.
Tai Chi “has also been confirmed to benefit” patients with mild to
moderate Parkinson’s disease and fibromyalgia, increases blood flow in
the body, prevents falls, increases aerobic capacity, decreases blood
pressure and reduces stress. Not bad.
- Tai Chi better than
stretching in Fibromyalgia study
The slow, flowing
movements of tai chi are better for relieving pain and other symptoms of
fibromyalgia than conventional stretching exercises, doctors reported on
Wednesday. "Week by week they changed. The pain and depression improved.
They feel better, People said it changed their lives" according to study
leader Dr. Wang. They also reported better sleep quality
improved physical conditions.
Tufts University School of Medicine
New England Journal of Medicine, Aug. 19, 2010
- Better balance
Patients who had vestibular disease (resulting in poor balance)
noted subjective improvements in dizziness and balance disorders after
practicing tai chi.
In a paper presented at the
2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego
- Tai Chi eases osteoarthritis
Tai chi is effective in the treatment of pain and physical impairment
in those with severe knee osteoarthritis, according to research
presented at the American
College of Rheumatology (Oct-08). The study involved 40 moderately
overweight seniors who had knee osteoarthritis. They were divided into a
group engaged in tai chi and another which did stretching exercises.
After three months, the tai chi group had significant reduction in pain.
- Practicing tai chi exercises regularly can improve sleep as well as daytime
functioning in elderly people with moderate sleep disorders.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2004;52:892900).
- Tai Chi may help elderly have
fewer restless nights.
112 people who
averaged about 70 years old and had complained of having trouble
sleeping met for 40 minutes three times a week for about 4 months OR
attend classes on sleep issues, exercise and relaxation that met for
about the same time.
63% of those who practice tai chi, compared to 32% of the others, were
no longer considered sleep impaired based on standardized rating scales:
they fell asleep more quickly, slept longer, awoke fewer times in the
night and had less daytime drowsiness.
From Sleep , July 1, 2008. From the Mayo Clinic
- Tai chi boosts shingles immunity in elderly
people, new research shows. It adds to their general health, too -- especially
when those in poor health practice the gentle meditation. The practice fosters a
calm and tranquil mind.
In what is believed to be the first
study of its kind conducted in the United States, researchers at the University of
California, Los Angeles have shown that behavioral interventions and integrative exercise
programs such as tai chi can have a direct, positive effect on the immune
system in older adults.
Psychosomatic Medicine, September, 2003
- According to a review done my the Harvard
Health Letter - July, 1997, tai chi... reduces some stress hormones,
reduces risk of falling (the leading cause of death by injury in older
folks), and improves balance.
- The Mayo Health Letter - February,
1998 - "In recent years, a gentle form of ancient Chinese martial arts, called tai
chi, has gained attention as a method for improving balance... reduced their risk (of
falling) by about 40%."
- The BC Medical journal reports -
(May, 1997) - All manner of illnesses have been researched, mostly in China, but also in
North America and Europe. Benefits have been claimed for joint disorder, heart disease,
hypertension, substance abuse disorders, and stress related illnesses, to name just a
- Other studies conclude that tai chi
may delay the decline of cardiorespiratory function in older individuals
(Lai et al. in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society - 1995), and appeared to be a
part of rehabilitation and a safe alternative exercise for people suffering from
rheumatoid arthritis (Kirstens et al. in American Journal of Physical Medical
- a 1992 Australian study of 96 practitioners found
that tai chi had the same effects on heart rate, blood pressure, and stress
hormones as brisk walking.
- An Atlanta study of 200 people in their 70's found
that 15 weeks of tai chi training cut their risk of falling nearly in half, and
reduced their blood pressure as well.
- According to Robert Whipple, an expert on balance
and gait at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, "The human frame is
phenomenally unstable. We stand on a narrow foundation... Tai chi has come up with
the best possible biomechanical scenarios for keeping a person stable - to
maximize your base by widening your stance, and to keep your head and torso as vertical as
- According to "Health After 50" (John
Hopkins Medical Letter, July,1999), on "Nipping Anger in the Bud..."
Practice a relaxation technique. The most popular are deep breathing, yoga and tai
chi (a Chinese martial art involving a series of slow, graceful movements). These
techniques decrease blood pressure, breathing rate, heart rate and muscle tension."
- Another John Hopkins publication (1999). "Deep
breathing may improve fitness levels in people with chronic heart failure. Yoga-derived
breathing training (as practiced in tai chi) may increase oxygen levels and ease
- Consumer Report, Feb. 2000. "A routine that
combines moderate exercise with meditation techniques, such as a concentration on
breathing, may give a two for one reward for stress relief. Tai Chi and
yoga are gentle, slow exercises that promote balance, flexibility, stretching and
of Psychosomatic Medicine,
2003. "Tai chi exercises may help prevent shingles."
Easy Tai Chi DVDs
all these benefits, BUT it is much
easier to learn and practice than traditional
Note: always check with your health care professional before
undertaking tai chi practice.