How Tai Chi Can Help Relieve Neck Pain
Tai Chi is a form of mind and body exercise that originated thousands of years ago in China. This ancient martial arts practice is rooted in the philosophy that the body is made of meridians or channels of energy that flow throughout the body like rivers and streams, and the practice of tai chi activities the life energy or qi (pronounced chee) within us.
This life energy or qi has the purpose of flowing smoothly and powerfully throughout the body, creating balance and harmony for the mind and body.
How Does Tai Chi Benefit the Body?
Tai Chi is a low-impact, gentle form of exercise that is easy on the joints. Utilizing controlled movement and natural breathing, the harmonious art of tai chi improves circulation, balance, and alignment.
Using only the weight of the body and a balanced mental state, tai chi moves fluidly and slowly through a series of motions that are often named after animals (i.e. white crane spreads its wings), helping to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility without fully extending or bending joints or connective tissue, making it a gentle exercise on the joints.
Because the movements are relaxed versus forced or tense, Tai Chi offers profound relief to those with chronic neck pain. The U.S. Association For The Study of Pain conducted a 12-week study on the effects of tai chi and chronic neck pain, comparing it to no treatment and conventional neck exercises. Participants of the study were led by a certified Tai Chi master and participated in group tai chi at least once per week, and were provided with material for self-practice at home at least 5 times per week.
The study found that tai chi was just as effective as conventional neck exercises and is a suitable alternative for chronic neck pain treatment.
How Tai Chi Can Help Relieve Neck Pain?
Neck exercises typically consist of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning to improve cardiovascular health, and tai chi encompasses all the elements that are necessary to help relieve neck pain. The practice of balancing helps to increase optimal posture, which poor posture is a contributing factor in neck pain, and the fluid movements aid in stretching and strengthening the body to support neck support through the flexing of the shoulders, arms, and back.
Tai chi’s low-impact movements will help those with chronic neck pain while also benefiting total mind and body health as it is used as a regular exercise regimen.
Get Help from a Florida Neck and Spine Specialists
Before engaging in neck exercises, consult with the award-winning doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our experienced doctors can help with diagnosis and treatments that would be most beneficial for your chronic neck pain.
With over twenty years of non-surgical and surgical treatment options to choose from, you will receive the specialized care you need to live a pain-free life. Contact us online or give us a call at (855) 853-6542.