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Essential Tai Chi is intended to help people gain a better understanding for using Tai Chi for health, as well as a resource for researchers in developing effective interventions and research designs (Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your health routines, particularly with chronic conditions).
Most chronic diseases are considered preventable, yet they account for seven out of every ten deaths in the United States (Center for Disease Control**). According to Rula and colleagues**, in 2002 half of Medicare beneficiaries had been treated for at least five chronic conditions, accounting for more than 75% of Medicare spending.
Tai Chi, with a growing body of evidence for a multitude of benefits, may provide an effective prevention exercise that may help stem the growing Medicare crises. Preventive measures have been projected to result in Medicare savings ranging from $65.2 billion to $142.8 billion annually. As a low key moderate form of exercise focusing on relaxation, balance, and enhanced circulation, it may be particularly well suited for older adults.
WHAT IS TAI CHI?
Tai Chi is a slow moving health exercise that acts on the mind and body in ways unique from conventional exercise. Harvard Health Watch calls Tai Chi “Medication in Motion.” Refer to ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF TAI CHI for more details on the unique nature of this exercise.
OVERVIEW OF ESSENTIAL TAI CHI
The links to the left cover important elements in practicing and researching Tai Chi, its reputed health benefits, supporting research, as well as theoretical mechanisms of action underlying these benefits, based on my research and experiences.
Following is a brief overview of each link, offering support for the many benefits of Tai Chi* for the top ten causes of death in society, as well as variety of other health concerns, and recommendations for research and practice. Clicking on the name of each link will take you to that page.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF TAI CHI – Tai Chi is becoming a popular exercise, resulting in a wide range of teaching methods. Some changes are beneficial, but others may reduce or even eliminate the unique benefits of Tai Chi. This link shows what to look for in a Tai Chi class to maximize the benefits of Tai Chi, and a basic overview of how Tai Chi affects the body. An overview of recommendations for research design is also presented.
TAI CHI FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Use of Tai Chi as a Mindfulness Based Activity for behavior modification, including use for addiction, self-destructive behavior, health behavior modification, obesity, and hypokinetic diseases (diseases caused primarily by a sedentary lifestyle).
TAI CHI AND CANCER – It was the dramatic effect of Tai Chi on cancer patients in my classes that prompted me to return to school at the University of Florida, to promote the effective diffusion of Tai Chi in society. Presented here are my observations over the years, coupled with support from the scientific literature.
TAI CHI AND HEART DISEASE – Linked to diet and inactivity, Tai Chi, due its basis on the efficient use of oxygen in the body, may help prevent heart attack and support benefits of aerobic exercise. Suggestions for using Tai Chi as an aerobic exercise is also presented.
TAI CHI AND STROKE – Tai Chi, with its focus on relaxation and increased blood flow, can have a direct effect on blood pressure and blood flow, reducing risk of stroke.
TAI CHI, CHRONIC LOWER RESPIRATORY DISEASE (CLRD), AND SMOKING – Tai Chi, as an exercise specifically developed to maximize efficient exchange of oxygen in the lungs, can have positive effects on the many conditions associated with CLRD. Effects on smoking behavior (accounting for approximately 80% of CLRD) is also presented.
TAI CHI, BALANCE, AND FALLS – According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately one third of older adults fall. Falling is the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for persons age 65 and older. One of the central elements of Tai Chi is the development and control of BALANCE.
TAI CHI AND MISCELANEOUS HEALTH CONCERNS – Research related to Diabetes, Alzheimer, Flu/Pneumonia, Fibromyalgia, Parkenson and Multiple Sclerosis.
LINKS TO YOUTUBE VIDEOS: The links below will take you to a youtube video of the complete 24 Tai Chi form, as well as a walking exercise that will make it easier to follow the directions in the 24 Tai Chi form. Verbal cues are given (Westernized for better aquisition, i.e., "serve the pie," rather than - "part the horses mane"). All movements are performed in real time. Once you can follow the video with ease, turn down the volume and put on whatever relaxing music you enjoy. These videos are provided to increase access to Tai Chi, but are poor replacements for learning in a class, or from a teacher. If possible, people are encouraged to seek out a suitable teacher or group, and are recomended to consult a doctor before beginning any exercise. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tai Chi Walking Exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVQCXAPDCTY&feature=channel
24 Tai Chi Short Form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa4NhmnfV6U
** Center for Disease Control. (2010). Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm
& Rula, E.Y., Pope, J.E., & Hoffman, J.C. (2011). Potential medicare savings through prevention and risk reduction. Population Health Management, 14, S35-S44.
For more information on material in this site, please contact me at: email@example.com
Essential Tai Chi © 2009 Peter Gryffin
All rights reserved. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of the author. This site is for informational purposes only, no claims nor liability from misuse is assumed. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your health routines. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org