Did you know that Tai Chi
- Enhances Aerobic Power
- Improves muscular strength, flexibility, balance –three months of training improves flexibility to that of a person 3-10 years younger
- Benefits patients with hypertension, arthritis and coronary artery disease
- Prevents falls in the elderly and reduces subsequent morbidity.
- Decreases tension, depression, anxiety and mood disturbances
- Increases noradrenaline secretions in the urine. (Noradrenaline causes increased heart rate, rigidity of the muscles, palpitations, increased blood pressure)
- Decreases cortisol in the saliva. (Cortisol is produced in stressful conditions, suppressing the immune system)
- Enhances the immune and endocrine functions by increasing the level of T3, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone to retard aging.
- Increase production of rosette-forming procedure to improve immune function
- Reduces hypertension by lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- Improves flexibility of the knee – 18.1% for knee extensor, 15.4% knee flexor,
- Improves quadricep strength 15%
- Is an exercise of moderate intensity which enhances aerobic power, strength, flexibility and balance
- Can be prescribed for a patient with hypertension, arthritis and coronary heart disease
- Requires no high technology or special facility
- Can be done anywhere – indoors or out
- Is inexpensive
- Significantly improves symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels
- Uses the mind to command the body movements and abdominal breathing to facilitate energy flow
- Is an aid to improved concentration and focus
(References available from the American Journal of Medicine and Sports, Vol III, Number II, March/April 2001)
Tai Chi is shown to increase brain size – Study done by U of S Florida and Fudang U in Shanghai showed that Chinese Seniors who did Tai Chi 3 times a week experienced an increase in brain size and improvements on test of memory and thinking in an 8 month randomized trial. Group that did not do tai chi showed normal brain shrinkage for that age group http://breakingmuscle.com/other-martial-arts/tai-chi-shown-to-increase-brain-size
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – Study shows Tai Chi:
- seems to improve balance and stability
- helps manage chronic pain
- improves range of motion
- improves mood, reduces anxiety
Randomized Controlled Trials from 1993-2007 include 77 articles explaining that Tai Chi:
- improved bone density
- had a positive effect on physical function
- reduced falls and related risks
- improved quality of life
- improved immune function
- improved psychological function
A study at the U of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness found Tai Chi increases the gray matter in the hippocampus (the area associated with learning and memory); this area helps regulate emotional stability. Increase in gray matter occurred over the 8 week study. http://www.umassmed.edu/uploadedFiles/cfm2/Psychiatry_Resarch_Mindfulness.pdf
The Huffington Post wrote a good article about this.
A study at Mass General Hospital found people who meditated 27 minutes/day over an 8 week period had thicker cortical walls compared to those who did not mediate. Thickness of cortical walls is linked with slower rate of cognitive delicate, better memory, improved sense of self and empathy, quicker decision making, sharper focus and reduction in stress. Meditation, motor learning and single focused attention are associated with changes in the cortical regions of the brain. http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1329
A 2017 study Effects of Tai Chi and Qigong in Children and Adolescents: showed two outcome domains: (1) psychological wellbeing and behavior, and (2) physical health and function.
A study at the Mayo Clinic shows tai chi helps reduce stress and improve other health conditions.
A study at the U of Wisconsin discusses the effect of stressful incidents during childhood on brain development and size. While we don’t understand why stressful childhood produces these changes in the brain, it does exist. But it doesn’t have to be irreversible. Activities such as Tai Chi can reduce stress and overcome many of those negative effects.
Harvard Medical School explains the health benefits of Tai chi
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder “Benefits from Tai Chi”
Thirteen adolescents with ADHD participated in Tai Chi classes twice a week for 5 weeks. After the 10 tai chi sessions the adolescents displayed les anxiety, day dreaming behaviors, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity and improved conduct.
Study by Tiffany Fields, Touch Research Institute
University of Miami School of Medicine
Think Beyond Drug Therapy for Treating ADHD
A 14 month study showed that drugs become less effective over time, behavioral options, while not as effective immediately, have a more lasting effect, and do not slow growth.
American Medical News, April19, 2004
Fit Kids, Smart Kids – New Research confirms that Exercise Boosts Brainpower
Studies with children and adults show improvement in performance on mental tests after 4 months of exercise.
Somatic literacy, bring somatic education into physical education.
Linden’s (1994) study states that individuals who learn how to stay in a state of relaxation and mental/physical clarity during disagreements will improve communication, increase sensitivity and empathy towards others, thus reducing the use of violence to settle conflicts. Linden, P. (1994). JOPERD-The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Volume 65, Issue 7.
Examination of the effects of traditional and modern martial arts training on aggressiveness Nosanchuk & MacNeil (1989) have shown that the psychological benefits of martial arts are correlated with the length of participation. Nosanchuk, T.A., & MacNeil, C. (1989. Aggressive Behavior, 15, 153-159
An effective approach to violence prevention: traditional martial arts in middle school. Zivin et.al. (2002) concluded that the introduction of martial arts courses to high risk boys in a middle school working class neighborhood where many residents receive welfare indicated an increase in self-respect and respect for others. According to their study, practicing martial arts three times a week in the classroom, helped to retrain the boy’s nervous system away from impulsive reactions. The boys reported using breathing techniques for stress control in daily life. Teacher rated behaviors showed a decrease in inappropriate social behavior, impulsivity, and resistance to rules. Ziven, G., Hassan, N., DePaula, G.F., Monti, D.A., Harlan, C., Hossain, K.D., Patterson, K. (2002 Adolescence.Vol 36, Issue 143.
The effect of a physical activity intervention package on the self-esteem of pre-adolescent and adolescent females A study on the effect of a physical activity intervention package on the self-esteem of pre and post adolescent females showed the greatest increase in over all self-esteem, post intervention, was in the pre-adolescent girls. Boyd, K.R., & Hyrcaiko, D.W. (1997).. Journal of Adolescence. Volume 32, Issue 1.
The main focus of adapted physical education should be on the development of self-esteem . Matthews-Saunders et al. (2003). Fostering an, “I can do it!” attitude, especially in the preschool and early elementary years, motivates students to take on more challenging endeavors. They reported that few individuals, with or without disabilities, are willing to try new concepts. The idea of failing in front of their peers is distasteful. Positive esteem can be developed and maintained through improvement in various fine and gross motor skills. Matthews-Saunders et al. (2003) state that positive self-esteem is important in everyone’s life and education.
The effects of a task-oriented physical education program on the self-perceptions of third, fourth and fifth grade students Newsham, S.L. (1989).. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, San Diego, CA: United States International University. A general trend among exercise studies indicate that self-concept increased positively, and behavior problems lessened, after exercise interventions were implemented.
Should the main objective of adapted physical education be the development of motor skills or the development of self-esteem? Stein, J.U., Matthew-Sanders, J., & Williamson, P. (2003). The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. JOPERD. Volume 74, Issue 9.
Martial arts training: a novel “cure” for juvenile delinquency. Trulson, M.F. (1986). Trulson’s (1986) study of the impact of the Korean martial art (tae kwon do) on delinquent adolescents. After studying this art, the adolescents exhibited lessened aggression and increased self-esteem. It is important to note that these results occurred in adolescents who studied the old, traditional style of tae kwon do, and not the more modern style that puts and emphasis on fighting. Human Relations, Volume 39, Issue 12.
Psychotherapeutic aspects of martial arts. Weiser et al outlines the psychotherapeutic aspects of martial arts and the enhancement of self-esteem. Weiser, M., Kutz, I.K., Kutz, S.J., & Weiser, D. (1995 American Journal of Psychotherapy. Volume 49, Issue 1.
The health and fitness benefits of tai chi. Yan, H.J. (1995). Taijiquan, also know as tai chi, can help students improve relaxation skills and concentration which, in turn, result in improved physiological and psychological well being. The practice of tai chi reduces levels of tension, depression, & anger. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. JOPERD. Volume 66, Issue 9.