A Healthy Weight and Healthy Mind
By Frank Simons
Do tai chi practices actually have medically provable benefits that make them a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle? In this lecture you will continue to explore some of the many health benefits of tai chi practice, especially on obesity and Alzheimer’s.
Essentials of Tai Chi and Qigong, Part 12, “A Healthy Weight and Healthy Mind”
Thu, Aug 18, 5:30pm
Callejón Blanco 4
Free, donations accepted
The impact of obesity is so dire and its spread is so rapid, that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has officially declared it an epidemic. The National Institute of Health promotes a very straightforward approach to treating obesity: consume fewer calories, exercise daily, and live a healthier lifestyle. Obese people are stuck in a vicious cycle. They lack muscle strength and stamina, so they cannot exercise enough to raise their intensity to actually burn the additional calories and improve strength and stamina. Tai chi and qigong may be the perfect answer to the challenges facing the obese. The exercises are easily modified to match the needs of the obese. Intensity and duration can be gradually increased to match the development of strength and stamina of the individual. One Chinese study showed tai chi to be far superior to conventional exercise in improving body mass index, cholesterol, and body inflammation.
Incidents of Alzheimer’s are expected to double in the next 15 years. Officially, there are no cures for Alzheimer’s. Instead, doctors and caregivers focus on three areas of treatment: maintaining mental function, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing or delaying the symptoms. None of the drugs or cognitive exercises approved for treatment can compare with the effects tai chi and qigong have shown. One study of randomly selected Chinese adults in their 60s and 70s who practiced tai chi for 30 minutes three times a week experienced significant memory and cognitive function, compared to a similar group whose subjects did not practice tai chi.
While Western medicine has developed some of the most amazing therapies, medical techniques, and a pharmacy unmatched in the history of civilization, one has to marvel at a single protocol that really does seem to address every medical condition: tai chi and qigong. What is really fascinating about all these studies is that they are typically done with novices, often already in compromised health, and for relatively short periods of time. Imagine what could be accomplished if we made tai chi our preventive model and taught it to all of our young, healthy, strong men and women as part of their basic physical education.
David-Dorian Ross, the founder and CEO of Taijifit, leads the course. He has a BA in human movement studies from San Francisco State University and has trained in China with championship martial arts coaches. Ross is the host of the PBS series T’ai Chi: Health and Happiness and the author of five books on health and wellness, including Exercising the Soul.
There will be an opportunity for discussion following the video. Presentations of the Center are offered without charge. Donations are gratefully accepted.