Tai Chi or Tai Chi Chuan is a form of Chinese martial arts. It is termed “soft or internal because it does not provoke an aggression type of style. In fact some refer to Tai Chi as being closer to a form of meditation than to martial arts.
Regardless, it seems clear that Tai Chi can provide a low impact, effective exrcise for older Americans who desire to improve their overall health. Tai Chi relieves stress, helps to maintain a physical and mental balance, and promotes overall flexibility.
Tai Chi involves standard, very deliberate, and slow movements through a natural range of movements over the body’s center of gravity.
The Oregon Research Institute has recently reported that Tai Chi can help with the prevention of falls in the elderly population. The rsearch institutes lead rseaercher reported:
“Our results are very important from a public health perspective,” says Li. “The U.S. population is aging rapidly and falls are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity among adults age 65 and older. Falls are associated with an enormous burden to individuals, society, and to the health care system. Tai Chi, as a proven fall intervention, may have much to offer in terms of reducing the public health burden of falls and the benefits accrued for prevention.”