What Are the Benefits of Tai Chi?

July 19, 2022
What Are the Benefits of Tai Chi


Exploring the Mental, Spiritual, and Physical Benefits of Tai Chi

For centuries, Tai Chi has been a form of martial arts used to promote well-being and health.

If you are interested in practicing Tai Chi, it may be helpful for you to understand the benefits but, with all the information out there, this is not always an easy task.

This guide will answer questions like:

• What are the mental health benefits of Tai Chi?
• What is the primary benefit of Tai Chi?

Join us as we explore the benefits of this ancient practice.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Practice & Potential Health Benefits of Tai Chi
10 Benefits of Tai Chi You May Experience
Who Might Benefit From a Tai Chi Practice?
What Is the Greatest Benefit of Tai Chi?
Start Reaping the Benefits of Tai Chi with Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi

Understanding the Practice & Potential Health Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi has been around for centuries and has long been associated with contributing to the creation of a healthy lifestyle.

There are many benefits you may enjoy when practicing Tai Chi and it is widely accepted to be both safe and effective for helping various discomforts and struggles.

In fact, over the past 50 years, over 500 studies and 120 systematic reviews have extolled the benefits of Tai Chi.

As you practice Tai Chi, you may find yourself experiencing:

• Less stress
• More energy and stamina
• Reduced chronic pain
• Better moods
• Improved muscle definition and strength
• Improved balance, flexibility, and agility

10 Benefits of Tai Chi You May Experience

Tai Chi has benefits in various spheres, including:

• Mental
• Spiritual
• Physical

Below, we discuss the top 10 benefits of Tai Chi in detail.

Two Potential Mental Benefits of Tai Chi

In a day and age when mental health is receiving a lot of attention, everyone seems to be looking for ways to improve their own. Tai Chi has many different mental health benefits.

#1: Can Help Improve Mental Flexibility

Tai Chi relies on slow, intentional, constant movement. Many of the movements may feel unnatural at first and different from how you would typically move your body.

By engaging in different movements than what your body is used to, you can help your brain form new pathways that improve your mental flexibility and agility.

Mental flexibility, or cognitive flexibility, is your brain’s ability to creatively respond to outside stimuli. It is what allows you to do multiple things at once and shift quickly between tasks and thoughts.

The value of mental flexibility is extensive and developing it is vital to improving life functions.

Tai Chi helps you slow down, both mentally and physically, and gives you a chance to recenter and get back in touch with your body. By reducing stress and slowing your pace, your brain is able to realign.

When your body and brain connect and come together, they are able to work in unison and your brain forms new neural pathways based on the actions of your body. These new pathways can help your brain remain healthy and agile.

#2: May Help Improve Your Mood

Especially in today’s world, feelings of sadness and anxiousness seem to be on the rise. As the pace of the world around us keeps speeding up, it is important to find ways to center and slow down.

Tai Chi is a great method for accomplishing this. Stressed-out brains and fried nerves need to rest. The slow, gentle, mindful movements of Tai Chi often help provide that rest.

Movement helps the human brain release endorphins—neurochemicals that operate as painkillers and promote general feelings of well-being.

Tai Chi helps you focus on taking slow, intentional, mindful breaths and it is believed that these breathing techniques may have a positive impact on the body’s nervous system, encouraging the production and circulation of mood-regulating hormones.

While further research is still needed on the relationship between Tai Chi and mood, experiential data and studies suggest that Tai Chi can help improve your mood in some cases.

Two Potential Spiritual Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi has benefits beyond the mental and physical. As the mind finds peace, the spirit often follows.

#1: Stress Management

The slow rhythm and flow of Tai Chi often help refocus and center the mind, allowing it to sync with the body.

One of the benefits of doing Tai Chi is that it helps to create mindful moments that take the practitioner back into their body and out of the stressors of everyday life.

Taking moments to slip away from the chaos that surrounds us and realign with our internal system is a great way to reduce stress. You may find that the issues that seemed so big just a few minutes ago are now back in perspective and feel less intimidating.

As you make sure your own mind and spirit are healthy, you will have the fortitude you need to respond to stress in a way that is helpful for both you and those around you.

When engaging with the basic movements of Tai Chi, you may find that you experience less stress and more general well-being.

#2: Self Reflection and Connection

Tai Chi provides you with the opportunity to slow down—and when you do, you may find that you have some awakenings. Previously confusing situations may make sense when you step out of the hustle and bustle.

Tai Chi offers you the chance to connect with yourself and ask questions that you might not be in the mental space to ask at another time.

Practicing Tai Chi allows you to come back into yourself and reconnect with all of yourself.

Six Potential Physical Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi has a litany of physical benefits ranging from improved muscle strength to better sleep.

#1: May Increase Muscle Strength

You might not look at a group of people engaged in Tai Chi and think that they are gaining much muscle strength or definition. They aren’t lifting weights or doing never-ending rounds of pushups and pullups, but that doesn’t mean they are not working their muscles.

Since Tai Chi is a weight-bearing form of exercise that utilizes all muscle groups, it can help improve your endurance and strength.

Even though you don’t use weights or resistance bands, you are using your body to support itself through all of the movements. The slow, intentional movements work both upper and lower extremities as well as core muscles.

Because the movements are slow and self-restricted, the effect can be quite similar to that of resistance training

#2: Can Boost Physical Flexibility

Tai Chi is heavily comprised of stretching and moving your body in ways that you typically wouldn’t during your everyday activities. Moving your body in this way may help to improve flexibility.

Consistently moving and using your joints in a gentle, intentional way can help to keep them flexible and healthy.

#3: Can Help Improve Balance

Tai Chi is often associated with aiding in balance and it is even suggested to help reduce falls.

A key part of balance is proprioception, or being able to sense the position of your body within space. Sensory neurons in the inner ear, along with stretch receptors in ligaments and muscles make up the key aspects of this ability.

Unfortunately, as we grow older we lose much of our proprioception, leading to faulty balance and frequent falls or missteps.

Tai Chi may help reduce the loss of these functions and can help offer confidence in one’s own balance, something some studies have shown to possibly help reduce falls.

#4: Is a Form of Aerobic Conditioning

Aerobic conditioning is an important factor in a healthy lifestyle. While not as aggressively aerobic as some methods, Tai Chi, depending on the size and speed of each movement, can be an aerobic form of exercise.

In addition to getting your heart rate up, the breathing patterns of Tai Chi can help to improve your lung capacity.

#5: Can Potentially Assist With Pain Management

Tai Chi may help alleviate pain.

The release of endorphins, coupled with improved joint flexibility and deep breathing, may help to relax the body and relieve pain

#6: Promotes Better Sleep Quality

Exercise has long been known to help improve sleep and Tai Chi is another avenue to possibly achieve quality sleep.

In fact, according to a study published by the National Institute of Health, “Tai Chi significantly improved sleep quality in both healthy adults and patients with chronic health conditions.”

At the time, the study’s authors concluded that further testing and studies are needed before clinical advice could be given, the results seem to indicate that Tai Chi may help improve sleep quality.

Who Might Benefit From a Tai Chi Practice?

While commonly seen as an activity for seniors, Tai Chi is great for all ages. The gentle movements are indeed helpful for the elderly community, but the benefits extend to all age ranges.

Tai Chi is great for those experiencing feelings of sadness or anxiousness as well as people looking to improve their sleep, mental fortitude, or stress management skills.

What Is the Greatest Benefit of Tai Chi?

Tai Chi has many benefits, including stress reduction, flexibility, agility, improved mental health, muscle strength, centeredness, mindfulness, and many more.

What is the primary benefit of Tai Chi?

Finding balance within oneself and discovering the peace that centering can bring.

Start Reaping the Benefits of Tai Chi with Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi

If you are looking to discover the benefits of Tai Chi for yourself, Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi is here to help you start your journey. Body & Brain practices are available at over 80+ locations all around the country, in addition to online options, it is not hard to begin your journey with Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi.

We have spent the last 25+ years helping people find peace and happiness through Tai Chi. Start today and find your path to peace and centeredness through the mindful movements and restoring breathing techniques taught in Tai Chi.