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Tai chi chuan, a gentle form of martial arts combining deep, diaphragmatic breathing and flowing, dancelike poses, can be a remarkably potent workout for people of many ages. In various recent studies and reviews, tai chi has been found to improve practitioners’ balance, leg strength, cardiovascular endurance, pulse rate, muscular flexibility, immune system response, sleep habits, happiness, sense of self-worth, and ability to concentrate and multitask during cognitive tests.
Inone especially impressive study from last year, the brains of older people who had been practicing tai chi for several years were compared with the brains of age-matched sedentary adults. The tai chi participants showed greater connectivity and other measures of health in portions of the brain known to be involved in decision-making and attention than the volunteers who had never done tai chi.
Overall, tai chi “can improve both physical and psychosocial health,” said Dr. Chenchen Wang, the director of the Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Scientists haven’t yet determined, though, whether tai chi is substantially better for you than other types of light-to-moderate exercise, such as walking, yoga or weight training, said Fuzhong Li, a principal investigator at the Oregon Research Institute, who has studied tai chi. Comparative effectiveness studies pitting the activities against one another have not been done.
But tai chi is definitely better than no or very light activity. “Our work does suggest that tai ji chuan”— another form of the activity’s name — “produces far better outcomes compared to low-impact activities such as stretching,” Dr. Li said.
Many community centers and Y.M.C.A.’s nationwide offer low-cost classes, Dr. Li said. You can find a program near you by visiting the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association’s website atamericantaichi.net.
Professional Medical staff has been working with seniors, their caregivers and loved ones for more than 20 years. We are dedicated to providing solutions to meet individual needs. One of our primary areas of expertise is incontinence products and our staff is continence coach certified so that we know that they have the best knowledge to help our clients find what works for them. We have long standing relationships with the top incontinence manufactures and conduct extensive product research to make sure that we are only selling the top quality products in the marketplace. We offer samples on most of the incontinence products that we sell because we want to make sure that our clients are buying the right fit, absorbency and type of incontinence product to suit their individual need and budget.
Professional Medical is an authorized seller of products from the most respected brands in the industry. We offer medical supply and equipment products from the following manufacturers: Covidien, Invacare, Bard, Drive Medical, First Quality, Tena, Attends, Golden Technology, Nova, Salk, Tranquility, Hartmann, McKesson, Kendall/Tyco and North Coast. We are always adding new products and manufacturers and are happy to research special products for you. If you are looking for something that you cannot find on our site, please call us at (206) 366-9543 or toll free at (800) 741-3996.