Tai Chi & Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is for many simply a part of the aging process and it seems to be the most prevalent in women of both Caucasian and Asian descent over the age of 50 who are post-menopausal. Recent surveys reveal that if you are a woman who fits into this demographic and have had a blood test that shows you to have osteopenia, described as decreased calcium in the bones or osteoporosis a reduction of calcium in the bones; you are at risk for bone fractures. Studies are under way to determine the effect of Tai Chi such as is taught in Portland Oregon on reducing these losses.
What is truly strange is even though this problem seems to be becoming far more prevalent in women, very little is being done by the medical community to develop much in the way of effective treatments beyond the use of certain drugs, many of which have some very unpleasant side effects. Despite this lack of effective research being conducted by the medical community, many women are taking matters into their own hands quite literally by enrolling in Tai Chi classes.
Tai Chi Chuan involves movements that use a steady shifting of body weight while maintaining good posture. Taiji is a slow smoothly flowing range of movements that involve every part of the body and is considered to be a very low impact form of exercise. In recent studies it is thought that the many arm movements, circular movements and moderate flexing of the knees are proving to be of significant benefit to those suffering from osteoporosis.
One of the most important details to come of out those studies that have been conducted is that the practice of Tai Chi showed a significant reduction in the amount of bone loss in the majority of those patients who were involved in the study. Another well documented benefit, especially for seniors, is that regular practice of Tai Chi will significantly improve a person’s balance, which in turn leads to a much lower risk of falling and suffering from broken bones.
Tai Chi Can Help!
While many will claim that there have not been enough studies to prove conclusively that Tai Chi can help with osteoporosis, those that have been conducted show very promising results. One thing that most researchers, doctors and patients will agree on is the fact that there are few if any adverse effects to the regular practice of Tai Chi and that it makes an excellent exercise for post-menopausal women as well as senior men and women.
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