About 6 months ago I started learning Tai Chi. Partly because i had a back pain that i could not shift, but also because I’d just seen the new Karate Kid movie with Jackie Chan and Will Smith’s son, and felt inspired to learn a martial art (as I’m sure every man does after watching a movie like this) 🙂
I’d injured my lower back carrying a heavy Rug on one shoulder from the department store to the where the car was parked, insistent that I didn’t need the home delivery service. For the next week i could hardly move and couldn’t bend over to reach my own feet. Seems I’d damaged the Sciatic nerve, which also caused pain down my left leg. After 3 months of being in pain and finding even every day movement difficult I was pretty desperate to try anything.
6 months later I now try to practice around 5minutes every day, this helps me in a number of ways:
- Relaxation, taking 5-10 minutes every day to just be quiet and focus on your bodies movement is great for clearer your head and reducing your stress levels.
- Posture, doing the exercises retrains your body to use a better, stronger posture for everyday life if you’ve formed bad habits like I have.
- Circulation, the exercises are all about increasing blood flow around your body. When stressed or anxious your body often restricts blood flow, this leaves you feeling cold (especially in your hands and feet), stiff limbs, and often pins and needles or cramp pains. The Tai Chi exercises relax the muscles, steady your breathing and allow the blood to flow through your whole body. This leaves you feeling warm, calm and clear headed.
- Digestion, your body also seems to benefit from a more normal digestion and encourages a normal appetite. I guess this is an outcome of the other things, calming your body and de-stressing.
I had tried some Yoga in the past, but found the positions very difficult and that i just wasn’t flexible enough. Tai Chi is much more ‘beginner friendly’ and I’d recommend giving it a try.
For more info on how i fixed my lower back pain, check out this post: Fixing back pain with Tai Chi