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Most people have heard of Tai Chi but are unsure what exactly it is all about. Tai Chi (TIE-CHEE) is a Chinese traditional exercise that includes slow, graceful movements and deep, synchronized breathing that slowly builds muscle and firms muscle and tissue.

Tai Chi is being prescribed more and more by physicians and chiropractors as a means of instilling better posture, core strength,flexibility, stamina, and a firm sense of balance, which becomes vital as we age to prevent falls and accidents.

Many ailments are successfully managed by Tai Chi exercise. Some of these include arthritis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and balance issues. A chair can be used as support, and some forms of Tai Chi can be done from a seated position if there is a concern about falling ,osteoporosis, or hernia, to name a few.

Some of the benefits of Tai Chi include:

    Decreased stress and anxiety

    Increased aerobic capacity

    Increased energy and stamina

    Increased flexibility, balance and agility

    Increased muscle strength and definition

Some evidence indicates that tai chi also may help:

    Enhance quality of sleep

    Enhance the immune system

    Lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure

    Improve joint pain

    Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure

    Improve overall well-being in older adults

    Reduce risk of falls in older adults1

This exercise is one you can do well into an advanced age, and is loved by the young as well as seniors.Check for a practitioner in your area and try out a class. Instructors are ready for you, whether you are a beginner or a more advanced student. The results will quickly be evident!

Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr December 2012  

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