The health and wellbeing benefits of tai chi have been acknowledged over the centuries. The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi is where I refer people to, who appear to have a need to understand the benefits of tai chi and qigong from a scientific perspective. For myself, I try to listen to my body and feel the benefits. But each to their own. In a nutshell, the physical benefits are summarised here. But that’s only part of the story – the emotional and psychological effects vary from person to person. Feedback from weekly classes, and from our WoW retreats in Mallorca often include the following: “I feel more relaxed – less stressed – more alert – more aware of my body and how I move/hold myself – less anxious – sleeping better – less depressed – feel “grounded” – physically tired, in a good way – better able to concentrate – feel accomplished – enjoy life more – have fun!”
No pain, big gains
Although tai chi is slow and gentle and doesn’t leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning. Here’s some of the evidence:
Muscle strength. Tai chi can improve both lower-body strength and upper-body strength. When practiced regularly, tai chi can be comparable to resistance training and brisk walking.
“Although you aren’t working with weights or resistance bands, the unsupported arm exercise involved in tai chi strengthens your upper body,” says internist Dr. Gloria Yeh, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “Tai chi strengthens both the lower and upper extremities and also the core muscles of the back and abdomen.”
Flexibility. Tai chi can boost upper- and lower-body flexibility as well as strength.
Balance. Tai chi improves balance and, according to some studies, reduces falls. Proprioception — the ability to sense the position of one’s body in space — declines with age. Tai chi helps train this sense, which is a function of sensory neurons in the inner ear and stretch receptors in the muscles and ligaments. Tai chi also improves muscle strength and flexibility, which makes it easier to recover from a stumble. Fear of falling can make you more likely to fall; some studies have found that tai chi training helps reduce that fear.
Aerobic conditioning. Depending on the speed and size of the movements, tai chi can provide some aerobic benefits. If your clinician advises a more intense cardio workout with a higher heart rate than tai chi can offer, you may need something more aerobic as well.
Come and join us on our 12th Annual WoW Week of Wellness on October 27th and see what tai chi does for you! And if you already play with tai chi, let us know how it makes you feel, and leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.
(source original pic: David Wolfe/Facebook)
David Wolfe neatly summed the best six doctors for a happy and healthy human being. We’ve got them all nailed (and some) at our forthcoming WoW Mallorca retreat, where we still have a few spaces. A good friend thought David had missed one out though – “Connecting with great people. Connectivity is so important for mental and physical wellbeing.” We’d agree with that and clients each year testify that connecting with great people is a given at the wonderful surroundings at Son Ametler.
Are there other doctors you think contribute to your sense of wellbeing? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
29th February – a treat of an extra day once every four years. Use it wisely. I’m planning a run first thing (a new year resolution that’s unusually holding, 2 months in) which will compensate for too much of the rest of the day on the computer. Oh and I’m going to book some down time for later in the year. I love having those treats in the diary to think about on the more humdrum, or cold and wet days.
And the good news is that we’ve extended the earlybird discount for our 11th WoW, Week of Wellness, so use this extra day to create a treat for yourself which will last much more than 24 hours once every 4 years, and with a great earlybird saving of £50 off per person.
Tai chi, therapies, walks, sun, good food and wine, conversation, stillness and peace, relaxation, mindfulness, laughter, wellbeing and so much more.
If you’re anything like me, your mind during the second half of January will have been full of invoices, receipts, diaries, creditors, travel claims and so forth, ie. completing and submitting your tax return. Only now might you be able to see the possibilities beyond the 31st January and start to give the better things in life some attention, like chilling in the pool with the sun on your skin!
And so with this in mind, we’re extending our earlybird discount for our WoW Week of Wellness through to the end of February, giving you a whole month to get your holiday plans in order, and book to join us for a treat of week of tai chi, holistic therapies, walks, chillout time, being mindful, good food and wine, laughter, lazing by the pool, exploring the local area and generally feeling fabulous by the end of it!
We’ve only 3 ensuite rooms left at the wonderful Son Ametler. Bring a friend and share the fun, save on the price. And with the earlybird discount extended til the end of February, each person saves £50 off the fee.
Check it out today and contact us with any questions.
If however, you’re like me, chances are your good intentions are starting to slide by the end of January and those short, dark, wet days are more conducive to curling up on the sofa with chocolate than a bracing walk on the moors. Here’s a solution that will give you a focus and something to be excited about for the best part of a year!
Book now for our annual Week of Wellness in rural Mallorca and you’ll have 9 months to anticipate the warmth of sun on skin, of greeting the sunrise with qi gong exercises by the pool, stretching your muscles and heart on our walks through the mountains and by the sea, relaxing into a reflexology or indian head massage treatment, enjoying a spot of pampering, dining on freshly prepared local produce, laughing with new friends, discovering tai chi and its benefits for your body and mind, sleeping well in your boutique hotel ensuite room, catching up with a book by the pool, exploring the local market at Pollensa and so much more.
And if you book and pay the deposit before the end of January, you’ll enjoy a £50 discount.
The perfect way to ensure your resolutions last throughout the year, to the end of October in any case! Only a few rooms remaining so be decisive and contact us for the booking form. And don’t forget the January sales on flights so it’s a great time to get it all sorted! A very warm welcome awaits…
In 2014 we were blessed with amazing weather, fabulous food and a great group of people. As 2015 will be our 10th year in Mallorca it’s something to celebrate and so we shall. Details to follow. What you can be sure of is that Paola and James will once again look after us so well at Son Ametler, and that Jane and Helen will be ensuring that you enjoy a wonderful week and return home chilled, nourished, relaxed and recharged.
We’re offering earlybird discounts for those booking before the end of December 2014. Get in touch for details.