Tai chi for back pain is just one of the many health benefits of this Chinese martial art style. Most tai chi (also spelled tai qi) students no longer practice this art as a fighting form, but instead use it as a daily exercise and qi developing technique, as well as an effective form of dynamic meditation.
As a certified master instructor of Yang Style Tai Qi Quan, I am pleased to offer my experience using this beautiful art form as a means of finding symptomatic respite from pain and increasing overall general health.
This article helps to answer the common reader inquiry:
“Does tai chi help relieve back pain?”
We will look at the benefits of tai qi practice, as well as expose the objective limitations of the system in order to provide realistic expectations for results from continual participation in this beautiful art-form.
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that is based on Taoist principles. Tai chi is the physical representation of 2 major works of Chinese Taoist literature, the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching. Tai chi is an ancient style of martial art that is very ambiguous in its actual origin. Some argue that Tai chi is over a thousand years old and based upon the martial teachings of the Shaolin Temple. Others say that tai chi was brought to China from India as a form of mental and physical exercise for monks. It is not until the 1800s that the factual lineage of tai chi becomes historically clear.
Tai chi is a gentle art. It is low-impact and graceful. It is a beautiful art to practice and to behold. The original fighting form is one of the deadliest forms of combat ever invented. Unfortunately, most modern teachers have lost many of the original martial techniques. What typically remains is more of a dance than a system of self-defense.
Tai chi has four main styles and several sub-styles. Yang is the most common and popular. Chen, Wu, and Sun are the other 3 most common styles. The differences in style are evolutionary and based on different interpretations of tai chi theory and practice.
Tai chi is an internal martial art. It teaches the ability to gather, focus and utilize chi energy. Chi is the natural force that lives in all things. It is circulated throughout the body in chi meridians. These are the same meridians that are used to pinpoint treatment during acupuncture sessions.
Proper chi flow is essential to general health. The practice of tai chi will balance and increase chi power, bringing excellent health benefits to the practitioner.
Tai chi will not cure a herniated disc. Tai chi will not cure arthritis in the spine, pinched nerves or spinal stenosis. Tai chi will help to prevent injuries, by increasing general health and well being. Tai chi will help to eliminate muscular back pain by increasing oxygen to the injury and clearing out metabolic waste products in the muscles.
Tai chi is also an excellent low-impact workout that utilizes the entire body and mind. It contributes to increased muscular strength throughout the entire range of motion, increased flexibility in all the soft tissues of the body and increased blood and chi circulation.
Tai chi is a beautiful and complicated art. It must be studied for many years in order to fully understand and appreciate. Tai chi is an excellent activity for all ages, from the young to the very old.
It is very important to make sure that exercise is the right treatment for your particular condition. It is wise to consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. It is also necessary to seek qualified instruction for the best results and safest enjoyment of tai chi practice.
I am a teacher of Yang Style Tai Qi. I have practiced the art for many years now and integrate it into my daily workout routine. I have certainly seen many benefits of my tai qi practice. It is a beautiful soft style art and it has certainly increased my proficiency in hard style martial arts, as well.
I suffered with back ache for many years during tai qi practice. I did notice other health benefits from tai qi, but unfortunately none were imparted for my chronic back pain.
I recommend tai chi for back pain as a treatment for muscular symptomatic conditions which have proven themselves to respond favorably to exercise. I would certainly recommend it to everyone as an excellent activity to increase mental and physical health. Of all the martial arts, it is one of the few that can be vigorously pursued well into old age.