MENTAL & PHYSICAL STRESS:
If you're looking for a way to reduce stress, consider tai chi (TIE-CHEE). Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that's now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. Often described as meditation in motion, tai chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements ...
When learned correctly and performed regularly, tai chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health. The benefits of tai chi may include:
Decreased stress, anxiety and depression
Improved aerobic capacity
Increased energy and stamina
Improved flexibility, balance and agility
Improved muscle strength and definition
More research is needed to determine the health benefits of tai chi. Some evidence indicates that tai chi also may help:
Enhance quality of sleep
Enhance the immune system
Help lower blood pressure
Improve joint pain
Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure
Improve overall well-being
Reduce risk of falls in older adults
-- Mayo Clinic, Tai chi: A gentle way to fight stress
Tai chi helps reduce stress and anxiety
All interviewed [HIV group] participants were pleased with their random assignment to the tai chi group. This contrasted with participants assigned to the other intervention groups, many of whom expressed disappointment that they were not assigned to the tai chi group ...
Participants in the tai chi group experienced numerous benefits. Overall, the benefits were described in terms of their effects on reducing stress or enhancing coping with stressors. One man indicated that he was a loner and that tai chi was something he could give himself and “wash the stress right on out.” One woman remarked, “I know now that if I feel stressed out, I can just get into my own little world and relax.”
Participants also reported unexpected benefits. For example, one participant commented with surprise, “It really works! While I thought I would learn something new, I find myself actually utilizing the techniques.” Another participant noted that she had unexpectedly experienced a reduction in the number of headaches she had: “Before I got in the tai chi group, I had headaches two or three times a week and I don’t have that anymore. I would get stressed out and feel it all in the back of my neck. It’s not like that anymore.” One woman shared that she taught the intervention to her family and they practiced it together, “so the whole house is beginning to become stress free.” Finally, learning tai chi allowed participants to have less attachment to how others behaved, thus making life more stress free.
-- National Institutes of Health, Research on psychoneuroimmunology: tai chi as a stress management approach for individuals with HIV disease
Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion." There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health.
-- Harvard Health Publication
Twenty-seven articles (Qigong, n=7 and Tai Chi, n=19 and one study using both Qigong and Tai Chi) reported on psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, stress, mood, fear of falling, and self-esteem. Most of these studies examined psychological factors as secondary goals of the study, and consequently, they often did not intentionally recruit participants with appreciable psychological distress. Nevertheless, a number of substantial findings dominate this category ...
Anxiety decreased significantly for participants practicing Qigong compared to an active exercise group.28, 46, 110 Depression was shown to improve significantly in studies comparing Qigong to an inactive control, newspaper reading97 and for Tai Chi compared to usual care, psychosocial support or stretching/education controls.56, 73, 111 General measures of mood (e.g, Profile of Mood States) were improved significantly for participants practicing Tai Chi compared to usual care controls.
The practice of Tai Chi as meditative movement is expected to elicit functional balance internally for healing, stress neutralization, longevity, and personal tranquility ... Tai Chi routines include Qigong exercises as a warm-up, and emphasize the same basic principles for practice, that is, the three regulations of body focus, breath focus and mind focus. Therefore Qigong and Tai Chi, in the health promotion and wellness context, are operationally equivalent ... In studies with clinical populations, persons with arthritis experienced improvements in arthritis self-efficacy69 and fibromyalgia patients experienced improvements in the ability to manage pain102 after participating in Tai chi as compared to inactive control groups that provided social interaction (telephone calls and relaxation therapy respectively). Lastly, the perceived ability to handle stress or novel experiences97, 103 and exercise self-efficacy99, 103 were enhanced relative to inactive control groups as a function of participation in Qigong and Tai Chi ...
-- National Institutes of Health
Mind & body exercises, such as ... T'ai Chi ... are increasingly replacing high-impact aerobics, long distance running and other body punishing excercises of the 1980's ...Mind/body workouts are kinder to the joints and muscles . . reduce the tension that often contributes to the development of disease, which makes them especially appropriate for high powered, stressed out baby boomers. Unlike most conventional exercises, these forms are intended to stretch, tone, an relax the whole body instead of isolating parts ... based on a series of progressive choreographed movements coordinated with deep breathing. Working Woman Magazine V 20 Feb. 95 p. 60-62+
Health Tip: Handling Stress - Excerpt from DrKoop.com, for entire article go to:
It's a silent killer
(HealthDayNews) -- Modern life is full of time pressure and frustration. Stress develops when the demands in your life exceed your ability to cope with them.
Here, then, are some helpful coping techniques from the Mayo Clinic:
. . . If you have persistent trouble relaxing, consider taking up meditation or studying yoga or tai chi. Therapeutic massage may also loosen taut muscles and calm frazzled nerves.
Click here to learn how Stress causes most illness physician treat.