Tai Chi Exercises

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graphic tai chi exercises 1

Tai Chi Exercises

This study investigated the effects of Tai Chi exercise on the levels of blood glucose, insulin and insulin receptors of patients with type 2 diabetes. Twelve subjects aged 58-75 years old (66.5 +/- 8.5 years) with type 2 diabetes participated in the study. They were trained with the protocol of Tai Chi exercise for 8 weeks. Blood glucose, serum insulin, and insulin receptor activity were measured before and after the 8-week intervention and immediately after a single bout exercise of Tai Chi after the protocol. The results showed that by 8 weeks of Tai Chi exercise, the blood glucose decreased (p < 0.05), while high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers (r1, r2) and low-affinity insulin receptor binding capacity (R2) increased. Serum insulin increased (p < 0.05) but was still within the normal range. After the single bout Tai Chi exercise, blood glucose, high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers (r1, r2), and their binding capacity (R1, R2) increased (p < 0.05), while serum insulin did not change. The 8-week Tai Chi intervention therefore showed benefits on health status of patients with type 2 diabetes.
tai chi exercises 1

Tai Chi Exercises

AbstractThis study investigated the effects of Tai Chi exercise on the levels of blood glucose, insulin and insulin receptors of patients with type 2 diabetes. Twelve subjects aged 58-75 years old (66.5 +/- 8.5 years) with type 2 diabetes participated in the study. They were trained with the protocol of Tai Chi exercise for 8 weeks. Blood glucose, serum insulin, and insulin receptor activity were measured before and after the 8-week intervention and immediately after a single bout exercise of Tai Chi after the protocol. The results showed that by 8 weeks of Tai Chi exercise, the blood glucose decreased (p < 0.05), while high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers (r1, r2) and low-affinity insulin receptor binding capacity (R2) increased. Serum insulin increased (p < 0.05) but was still within the normal range. After the single bout Tai Chi exercise, blood glucose, high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers (r1, r2), and their binding capacity (R1, R2) increased (p < 0.05), while serum insulin did not change. The 8-week Tai Chi intervention therefore showed benefits on health status of patients with type 2 diabetes.
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Tai Chi Exercises

Holding Tai Chi Positions. Take a freeze frame photo of any point in the tai chi form. You can hold that pose, and remain motionless while letting your body learn the nuances of that tai chi position. Ideally and with practice, all positions throughout the entire tai chi form should feel comfortable and full. Coordination exercises. Some exercises are designed to give practitioners a better body-sense and to unify the movements of the body. A basic principle of tai chi is that when one part moves, all parts move.
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Tai Chi Exercises

Warming up your body is important for facilitating Tai Chi movements. According to Tai Chi instructor Ellae Elinwood in her book, “Stay Young With Tai Chi,” Tai Chi warm ups not only help open your body, they also promote a relaxed attitude and encourage a state of well being. One basic Tai Chi warm up is the waist loosening exercise. Stand with your feet parallel and slightly wider than hip-width distance apart. Relax your arms by your sides. Rotate your hips to the right and then the left, allowing your arms to follow the movement of your body. Let your arms hang loosely and flap against your body as you make each rotation. When your body has warmed up, incorporate your neck, shoulders and spine in the rotations, making each movement smooth and fluid.

Tai Chi Exercises

Working with Tai Chi Energies and Applications. Unfortunately, many practice tai chi as an empty dance. Their forms can be graceful and even beautiful to watch, but completely empty of the energy flows responsible for the many benefits of tai chi. Push Hands Partner Exercise. Partner exercises such as push hands are a way to test how effectively you’re able to work with the energies of tai chi.
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Tai Chi Exercises

These are just a sample of the many exercises you can do to deepen your tai chi practice. They’re useful in emphasizing aspects of body alignments, ways of movement, as well as working with the tai chi energies. Once learned through these focused practices, it’s easier to incorporate them in your tai chi form. Next: Read about a simple warm up tai chi exercise, ball of energy. Top
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Tai Chi Exercises

Balance. Tai chi improves balance and, according to some studies, reduces falls. Proprioception — the ability to sense the position of one’s body in space — declines with age. Tai chi helps train this sense, which is a function of sensory neurons in the inner ear and stretch receptors in the muscles and ligaments. Tai chi also improves muscle strength and flexibility, which makes it easier to recover from a stumble. Fear of falling can make you more likely to fall; some studies have found that tai chi training helps reduce that fear.

Tai Chi Exercises

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art form often referred to as the practice of “meditation in motion.” The gentle, flowing movements in Tai Chi promote relaxation, stress relief and conscious awareness of the present moment. Tai Chi may help reduce stress, depression and anxiety, improve your balance and coordination, lower your blood pressure and promote better sleep, among many other benefits. Because it is a gentle, low-impact exercise, Tai Chi is generally suitable for people of any level of physical fitness.
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If you’re looking for a way to reduce stress, consider tai chi (TIE-CHEE). Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that’s now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. Often described as meditation in motion, tai chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements.

Standing in a Neutral Position. Standing in a neutral position, with the hands at the sides is a common exercise to do before executing a tai chi set. This standing exercise is useful for identifying areas of tension within the body, even before the more difficult positions in a tai chi form. Read more about the standing exercise for tai chi here.
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In this low-impact, slow-motion exercise, you go without pausing through a series of motions named for animal actions — for example, “white crane spreads its wings” — or martial arts moves, such as “box both ears.” As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention — as in some kinds of meditation — on your bodily sensations. Tai chi differs from other types of exercise in several respects. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.
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“A growing body of carefully conducted research is building a compelling case for tai chi as an adjunct to standard medical treatment for the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age,” says Peter M. Wayne, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Tai Chi and Mind-Body Research Program at Harvard Medical School’s Osher Research Center. An adjunct therapy is one that’s used together with primary medical treatments, either to address a disease itself or its primary symptoms, or, more generally, to improve a patient’s functioning and quality of life.

The benefits of tai chi are generally greatest if you begin before you develop a chronic illness or functional limitations. Tai chi is very safe, and no fancy equipment is needed, so it’s easy to get started. Here’s some advice for doing so:
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Don’t be intimidated by the language. Names like Yang, Wu, and Cheng are given to various branches of tai chi, in honor of people who devised the sets of movements called forms. Certain programs emphasize the martial arts aspect of tai chi rather than its potential for healing and stress reduction. In some forms, you learn long sequences of movements, while others involve shorter series and more focus on breathing and meditation. The name is less important than finding an approach that matches your interests and needs.
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Consider observing and taking a class. Taking a class may be the best way to learn tai chi. Seeing a teacher in action, getting feedback, and experiencing the camaraderie of a group are all pluses. Most teachers will let you observe the class first to see if you feel comfortable with the approach and atmosphere. Instruction can be individualized. Ask about classes at your local Y, senior center, or community education center. The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org; 800-283-7800, toll-free) can tell you whether its tai chi program, a 12-movement, easy-to-learn sequence, is offered in your area.
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Gauge your progress. Most beginning programs and tai chi interventions tested in medical research last at least 12 weeks, with instruction once or twice a week and practice at home. By the end of that time, you should know whether you enjoy tai chi, and you may already notice positive physical and psychological changes.

“Although you aren’t working with weights or resistance bands, the unsupported arm exercise involved in tai chi strengthens your upper body,” says internist Dr. Gloria Yeh, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “Tai chi strengthens both the lower and upper extremities and also the core muscles of the back and abdomen.”

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