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Just Another Reason to Try Tai Chi

October 6, 2009

According to a new study at the University of Florida, adults diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes who participated in a regular Tai Chi exercise program were able to significantly lower their fasting blood glucose levels. Participants of the study reportedly improved their abilities to manage their health, while also improving their overall quality of life after practicing the low-impact exercise two days a week, and three days a week at home on their own for a six month period.

In his book Tai Chi Health for Life, author and tai chi practitioner Bruce Frantzis explains that the health benefits of regular practice of the circular movements of the art are myriad, attributing much of the considerably un-Western “70 Percent Rule,” or only committing 70 percent of your potential effort into each movement. “Staying within 70 percent of your capacities produces optimum physical accomplishment and, simultaneously, reduces psychological stress,” Frantzis’s book explains. ” The more you relax, the more chi energy, stamina, and strength you will have.”

While the study conducted at the University of Florida yielded positive results for patients with Type 2 diabetes who practiced Tai Chi, Frantzis recommends the practice for people looking to make a variety of positive life changes, from increased blood circulation  and injury recovery, to better liver function and pain management.The circular movements of tai chi help awaken, stretch, and massage every part of the body, but without strain.

Frantzis elaborates:

“These sophisticated movements continuously pull and release structual tension from all the spots where your soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) insert into or connect externally to your bones, joints, and spine. Subtle, but no less powerful, pulls and releases also happen internally, allowing more movement inside and between your internal organs and related structures deep within the abdominal cavity. This improves muscle use, increases the range of motion in the joints, and gives the body a good workout.”

Frantzis’s book offers an accessable, yet complete look at tai chi as both an art and a daily practice for improved lifestyle, focusing on everything from the history and benefits of of tai chi and Eastern medicine, to a beginner’s guide to the art, complete with photos and illustrated diagrams of movements. Tai Chi Health For Life is available at bookstores, or you can order it directly from the Blue Snake Books website for youe convenience.

(for more information on the findings of the University of Florida study, please visit the official University of Florida News page.)

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