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Tai Chi(3 posts)

Tai Chinetso
Aug 7, 2002 3:42 AM
I have been taking Tai Chi for approximately one year. I did it at first because my wife made me go. However, I swear I sleep better when I go, my flexibility has improved, and the pain from my arthritis is better. Has anyone experience with Tai Chi? Is it my mind?
Been doing it (off & on) for several years.Len J
Aug 7, 2002 4:25 AM
I don't think it's in your mind.

I have all of the benefits you describe plus I find that I am able to easily identify which areas of my body are not relaxed & relax them, I have "Hyper" body awareness. I think this is a trained capability that comes from the concentrated relaxation while doing the form. This is a great benefit while on the bike as it allows for more effeicient blood flow.

I have given a lot of thought as to why Tai Chi is so effective at improving/reducing pain from older cumulative injuries. I think that when you are able to fully relax your muscles while at the same time over oxiganating the blood (thru the deep breathing), you are getting more blood & oxygen to the area of injury than normal. I think this somehow has a healing effect. My hips, bing an area that was heaqvily damaged in years of running, are an area where I tend to "carry tension". The muscles around the hips are normally (if I'm not paying attention) "clenched" which restricts blood flow. I think this is a natural "learned"
way to protect me from the pain. Since I started Tai Chi I have relearned to relax this area, Especially while doing the form (I couldn't do some of the positions if I couldn't relax) and as a result my pain is lessened dramatically.

That's my theory anyway. Obviously I am taking a very "western" approach of trying to expalain it, as opposed to an accepting Eastern approach.

re: Tai ChiIAM
Aug 7, 2002 4:50 AM
My mother is 67 and has been taking Tai Chi for a couple of years now. She swears by it. Like you, she says it helps her flexibility and arthritis. Based on what I have seen and heard from her I don't think it's in your mind.