The Struthers Parkinson's Center in Minneapolis teaches a form of Tai Chi and both The Cleveland Clinic and the Stanford School of Medicine recommend Tai Chi for Parkinson’s sufferers. This healing art, or should I say Chinese medicine, developed over a 1000 years ago are a series of slow, flowing movements that can help maintain flexibility, balance and coordination.
I enjoy it because Tai Chi requires you to combine mental poise and concentration into movement. Tai Chi movements rotate the human body nearly all possible ways the body can move. In fact, it is one of the most coordination enhancing exercises. “Use it or Lose it”, that’s the way it goes. What better way prevent the debilitating loss of movement from a gradually progressive disease such as Parkinson’s. Tai Chi helps can benefit not only Parkinson’s sufferers but people dealing with high blood pressure and stress related diseases.
A while back I wrote about the benefits of Tai Chi for with those with tinnitus and dizziness disorders. Doctors are not yet informed on all the benefits of Tai Chi but give it another decade or so and I’m convinced we’ll see doctors write prescribing that say “ Start a Tai Chi Class ASAP & practice on your own daily”. But can we afford to wait that long for our medical practitioners to wake up and smell the roses? In the meantime millions of people lose out on the benefits of this ancient Chinese medicine practice.
Additionally, Tai Chi has been a proven benefit in University studies for reducing falls. This would be a huge cost saving to Medicare since the 6th leading cause of death of seniors in the U.S. are complication of falling. The most astonishing part of this equation is there is really no downside.
From all the research that has been done, Tai Chi has no negative side effects. Tai Chi classes are not a deductible medical expense, yet. Even though any rational person could make the argument for its’ cost savings effects for health insurance companies. But don't let that stop you.
With the beginning of a new year, it’s time the West gain an insight into Chinese medicine and as a society we begin incorporating self-healing techniques into our daily lives. A Tai Chi class is the right place to start.