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Tai Chi to improve physical function and depression

Depressed and/or have back pain? Maybe you should consider taking up Tai Chi. Tai chi is a traditional Chinese exercise system that always have been known to be used for relaxation. But now, there are studies that show that Tai Chi helps improve physical function and depression – especially for the elderly.

Tai chi is originated from martial arts but now is used as a gentle exercise that almost looks like a slow-motion dance. It helps combine mental concentration, slow breathing and dance-like movements to increase life force energy.

Helen Lavretsky of the University of California, Los Angeles had a control group and try a simplified form of tai chi to treat depression among the elderly. She named in Tai Chi Chih!!! The outcome was greater improvements in physical functioning and depression relief within older people.

Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine have found that patients over 55 years old with knee osteoarthritis have reduced knee pain and better improvement in their physical functions with Tai Chi.

So if Tai Chi is a bit too difficult for you, maybe start with Tai Chi Chih! Tai Chi Chih refers to a set of 20 movements, learned over 8 weeks that is a form of “mindful exercise.” Another beneficial effect of Tai Chi Chih is lowering blood pressure and weight.

Maybe try tai chi the next time you’re feeling a little depressed or have back pain! You can even invite your parents and grandparents for some bonding time!

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