Recent Blog Articles
Yoga for weight loss: Benefits beyond burning calories
Embryo donation: One possible path after IVF
How to stay strong and coordinated as you age
Acupuncture relieves prostatitis symptoms in study
Skin in the game: Two common skin problems and solutions for men
Anti-inflammatory food superstars for every season
Harvard Health Ad Watch: An upbeat ad for a psoriasis treatment
A new targeted treatment for early-stage breast cancer?
What is neurodiversity?
Thinking about holiday gatherings? Harvard Health experts weigh in
Exercise & Fitness
Tai chi can improve life for people with chronic health conditions
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
a “black belt” in Tai Chi? LOL!! Yes, there are martial aspects to the discipline, but no belts.
Great article to read very encouraging..something very beneficial to know.
This is Very Good
Can YOU show or EMAIL mebsomething exercises FOR osteoarthritis
Great article. It seems like every week a new study comes out on the benefits of Tai Chi. As a practitioner for 18 years and a teacher of the art for 6 years through a Senior Services Center fall prevention program in my area I don’t recommend learning with a DVD or online video for beginners for several reasons. First a DVD can’t tell you if you are doing it wrong and it can’t answer questions. Also, many students need constant encouragement to practice at home or they don’t practice. Life gets in the way. Many seniors take up Tai Chi as a way to improve balance or help prevent a fall. While Tai Chi doesn’t have any side effects if done correctly, many seniors can exacerbate back problems or hurt their knees without proper instruction. I’ve noticed that many videos do Tai Chi in a very low posture to build up leg strength. But with seniors who may already have knee problems this can hurt them further. An online video may presents Tai Chi in a martial art version and this would not be a good idea for seniors. A DVD or online video can be a great learning aid along with instruction from a knowledgeable trainer. It can be a review for someone who has already learned Tai Chi. Tai Chi isn’t just moving through various postures. It’s all about being aware of your balance and moving it from one foot to the other slowly as you progress through the postures. You are meditating on your balance as you flow through the form. While most students learn the form fairly quick in a matter of weeks or months, I look back on my practice and I think I really didn’t understand Tai Chi for several years even with several excellent teachers. I try to pass on my knowledge of Tai Chi as well as experience. A DVD or video can’t do that effectively.
Thank you for sharing your insight. Rgds, Jennie
I agree with Wayne that learning Tai Chi from a DVD or online video is not the best choice. I personally tried to do so to save money but was very disappointed. I decided to join a school where I found great personal instruction and commeraderie with other students. After practicing Tai Chi for a few years my physical condition improved so much that I started training in Kung Fu. Now I’m at a black belt level in both disciplines, have lost 20 pounds of fat, and no longer have back problems. Plus, my resting heart rate has dropped approximately 10 beats and my stress levels are much lower. I’m a professional counselor and clinical director at a large community non-profit organization and have been spreading the word about, as well as demonstrating, Tai Chi among my colleagues, staff, and sister organizations. In celebrating World Mental Health Day I’ll be doing another Tai Chi demo. I highly encourage anyone who interested to try Tai Chi at a school or other in-person program. Thanks Harvard Medical for your research and publications on Tai Chi!
Commenting has been closed for this post.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!