How Can Tai Chi Help You?

With benefits that include reducing blood pressure, boosting brain health and preventing falls, tai chi is at the top of the list of recommended exercises for older adults. The research on the benefits of tai chi has long been compelling, says Ardeshir Hashmi, M.D., section chief of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Geriatric Medicine. Dozens of studies have found the ancient art form can prevent falls, boost cognition, reduce blood pressure, ease pain and more.

But after Hashmi heard prominent tai chi researcher Elizabeth Eckstrom speak at an American Geriatrics Society conference a few years ago, Hashmi said tai chi vaulted to the top of his list of exercise recommendations for the older adults. He says Eckstrom had patients at the conference talk about how tai chi had changed them. One woman who spoke was able to walk again after using a wheelchair for years. Another patient was able to stop using supplemental oxygen after just six months of regular tai chi. 

“I would not have believed this just reading the research, but she had these people come up on stage,” Hashmi said. “So that was pretty compelling living proof.”

Excerpted from AARP

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