Tai Chi & Back Pain, In the last few years the practice of Tai Chi in cities such as Portland Oregon and in fact all over the US has been rapidly gaining in popularity. Many people are now using this Chinese martial art as a way to improve their posture and to control both back and neck pain. You may even see large groups of people all moving in synchronization as they practice Tai Chi Chuan in parks and gyms. What you are seeing are people who are practicing the same movements, referred to as forms that have been practiced in China for centuries.
What sets Tai Chi apart from an exercise such as Yoga is that it is involves far more in the way of movement. Yoga is more about holding a particular pose, which in itself can be very meditative but does not offer the same level of physical exercise. At the same time Taiji offers a full aerobic workout without all of high impact on joints and muscles that you would expect from many exercises such as jogging or dance programs such as Zumba.
These particular exercises can be very hard on the spine and create more problems rather than offering relief from them. Tai Chi on the other hand consists of a number of very fluid, slow and deliberate movements that do not create any kind of jarring impact on the body, which in turn can often be more beneficial to the person with back and or neck problems. There are three basic elements to the practice of Tai Chi that when combined together have been shown to improve posture and relieve pain.
The first is the movements themselves as they are designed not only to be performed with smooth fluid motions, but with the body in complete alignment. This helps the participant to improve their posture, sense of balance, flexibility, coordination and much more. While many of these attributes can be found in many other forms of low impact exercise, it is the focus on improving one’s posture, alignment and balance that are considered to be the important difference with Tai Chi.
Tai Chi Breathing fro Back Pain
The deep breathing exercises that are a mainstay of all styles of Tai Chi Chuan are also a vital element. This deep and rhythmic breathing helps to develop circulation of highly oxygenated blood throughout the body. When you add the final and arguably most important aspect of Taiji, which is meditation into the equation you get the complete picture. Meditation has been proven to help a person relax both mind and more importantly in this case the muscles of the body.
This state of complete relaxation relieves the buildup of stress and anxiety that the person with back problems is feeling, which in turn will diminish the amount of pain being felt. This is a non-invasive and gentle form of therapy that can be useful in the prevention and treatment of certain types of back and neck pain. Many people are now using it in conjunction with and often without traditional medical treatments as a way to manage their pain successfully.