Arthritis is a common physiological condition among people across the world. It is rare among youths but there has been a steady increase over the last decade. Arthritis, especially in the knees, is a problem that a majority of elders in the US, UK, Europe as well as Australia and Asia suffer from. Arthritis is a chronic condition and there is no alternative cure except for surgery. Even all surgeries are not always successful in alleviating the entire problem.
In the US there are a few hundred thousand knee surgeries every year and the UK observes some 70,000 or more. More than half of these knee replacement surgeries are primarily for arthritis. Arthritic pain can be unbearable. Although there are many alternative treatments popularly practiced around the world, tai chi has been proved to be one of the most effective of all in treating and reducing arthritis pain.
Tai chi is a form of martial art that was developed in China. It is said that during the medieval times, Chinese monks were growing weak and suffered from physical problems and pain in the joints due to excessive meditation and very little physical movement. A form of Tai chi was developed in this era to treat the pain at the joints, to improve muscle simulation and for better physical and mental health of the monks.
Today tai chi has become recognized not only as a popular martial art and a sport, but as an effective way to alleviate arthritis pain. Researchers from various universities have conducted case studies by observing people practicing tai chi and the improvement in their movements, agility and physical resistance have been observed. How much arthritic pain they felt after having participated in tai chi classes for a few weeks had also been taken into account to establish a holistic and factual report!
In all such reports, tai chi has been regarded as an effective remedy which is natural and free of any medications or drugs to reduce arthritis pain. Moreover, tai chi has mental benefits as well. Elderly people practicing tai chi have reported feeling less depressed, more energetic and have also completely walked out of pain relief medications.
It was recently reported in ScienceDaily that “In the largest study to date of the Arthritis Foundation’s Tai Chi program, participants showed improvement in pain, fatigue, stiffness and sense of well-being.
Their ability to reach while maintaining balance also improved, said Leigh Callahan, PhD, the study’s lead author, associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and a member of UNC’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center.
“Our study shows that there are significant benefits of the Tai Chi course for individuals with all types of arthritis, including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis,” Callahan said. “We found this in both rural and urban settings across a southeastern state and a northeastern state.”
Additionally, according to studies published by the Tuffs University in Massachusetts, The George Institute as well as the Arthritis Foundation, the slow, methodic and controlled movements of tai chi can help in simulating muscles throughout the body, enhance balance, agility of the body and also enables energy circulation to all parts of the body.