Many people’s first experience with Tai Chi is seeing others practicing it outdoors in a park. Tai Chi, with its slow deliberate movements, emphasis on relaxation, and breathing is being practiced by countless people for more than just fitness.
Many practitioners of this martial art have shown a variety of mental health benefits which include reduction in:
- Blood pressure
Physical benefits like an increase in:
Tai Chi has also been shown to aid in
- Improvement in mood
- Reduce the risk of falling in older adults
- Improvement in reflexes
Although Tai Chi is very inclusive and available to most people, we understand if you have some reservations about starting to practice this martial art.
Below we outline 5 questions we recommend you should ask yourself, your primary care provider, or our staff at SOHMA integrative medicine in Long Beach and Lakewood CA prior to joining a Tai Chi class. Whether it’s our free Tai Chi for beginners at Heartwell Park in Long Beach (by the duck pond) or an online option like the 8 part series Tai Chi for beginners on YouTube.
What if I have Disabilities or Health Problems?
When taught and practiced properly Tai Chi is one of the safest form of exercises that exist for anyone who may be be suffering from disabilities of other health conditions, that being said it is important for you to talk to your primary care provider and ask if they feel like there is any potential risk that they can foresee with you when deciding to practice Tai Chi. An example can be exercising too soon after a surgery, as maybe you have to let your body heal before beginning Tai Chi.
The movements done while practicing Tai Chi should never feel forced, therefore even if you feel like you may have limited mobility you can and should modify the movements to fit the range of motion you are comfortable with.
Is Tai Chi safe to learn?
With Tai Chi being practiced by people of all ages, it is okay to presume that Tai Chi is a safe form of fitness. Because there are no high impact movements such as jumping, and movements are slow and soft there is minimal strain to your joints and muscles. Since all the movements are deliberate and careful there is little to no chance of falling. This is why you tend to see many older adults participating in Tai Chi classes. Though everyone is welcome to join regardless of age or fitness level.
How can I get started?
If you are looking to get started with Tai Chi, but you are unsure about how to get started let me start off by saying, getting started in Tai Chi is less complicated than you may think. Even though Tai Chi has its origins in ancient China, and is a martial art It’s not required to learn about Chinese history or philosophy to get started. Unlike other martial arts out there like karate or boxing, Tai Chi is easier on the individual with limited mobility whether it’s due to age or injury. As well as being more inclusive Tai Chi does not require special uniforms, protective gear or special equipment that can be expensive to buy. All you need to get started is a pair of sneakers, comfortable clothes, a little bit of time a week and an open mind.
Where can I learn Tai Chi?
Now that you have decided that you want to give Tai Chi a try, where do you go from there? With all the resources that exist in the modern age, finding a Tai Chi class or a video with the introduction to Tai Chi is fairly easy. As mentioned before, we offer completely free Tai Chi classes for beginners every Sunday at Heartwell Park in Long Beach CA by the duck pond from 9:30am to 10:30am. But this isn’t the only resource we have.
You can also get started by watching our 8 part Tai Chi for beginners course on YouTube where I give you step by step instructions on getting warmed up, how to perform each movement as well as what each movement is called. Even though this is a great tool to learn the basics I recommend joining us for the class so that you can receive feedback, and guidance from everyone there, though I understand that not everyone is able to go out and join us at the park right now.
Do I have the time to practice Tai Chi?
Depending on your schedule you may think to yourself that you don’t have the time to dedicate to learning Tai Chi. You’d be surprised however, as you can gain health benefits with as little as 10 minutes a day. Though in order to learn proper technique and form it is recommended to participate in a class if possible, if not you can do your best by following instructional classes online like the ones mentioned earlier.
Take the Next Step In Improving Your Health by Contacting SOHMA Integrative Medicine
Our goal is to help you improve your health. You can reach out to us and ask us about the Myers Cocktail, IV Therapy, Chiropractic care, or how our other health service lines can help you with your journey to improved health.
Located in Long Beach and Lakewood, CA we help individuals from the surrounding cities.
We look forward to helping you take the next step in your journey to better health.