Tai Chi for Stress Management

Reduce Stress to Reduce Drug Dependency

One of the key reasons people turn to drugs is to manage stress. Avoiding stress in the first place can help drug abuse prevention.

In China and other parts of the world, thousands are recognizing the health benefits of a Chinese form of martial arts called Tai Chi. Many of its practitioners have adopted Tai Chi not only as a martial art but as a technique to manage stress and anxiety.

According to the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety, at least 19 million Americans are now affected by stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are treatable and can be addressed using a variety of therapeutic options. In these centers, a patient with an anxiety or stress disorder is provided counseling, coaching, and even diet advice.

One very popular stress management alternative is Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese form of “soft” or internal martial arts that helps promote health and longevity. Tai Chi literally means “supreme ultimate boxing” or “boundless fist,” a name that clearly points out to the combat applications of this slow, graceful Oriental art of physical fitness.

Many Tai Chi practitioners attest to the effectiveness of the art in promoting relaxation. It is believed that the emphasis of Tai Chi on proper breathing allows its practitioners to heal damaged internal organs and body cells.

Whether it is done alone or as part of a group, the Tai Chi forms or exercises offer anxiety relief. As the Tai Chi practitioner moves his arms inward, it is accompanied by slow, deep breathing.

Other practitioners have also found Tai Chi to be an effective means of breaking the habit of smoking and excessive use of alcohol. Aside from bringing a sense of clarity and serenity, the practice of Tai Chi also helps the practitioner to adopt a more healthier lifestyle. Advanced forms of Tai Chi include the study and use of traditional Chinese medicine which involves the use of acupuncture, herbal medications, and therapeutic massage.

For serious cases of stress and other psychological disorders, regular consultation with a doctor or psychiatrist is highly advised. While Tai Chi is already a proven alternative form of stress management, some individuals may need to take anxiety medication that is prescribed a health professional.

While it is not always necessary to take drugs to treat anxiety, balancing the collective wisdom from Eastern and Western forms of medicine may be an ideal way of approaching the issue of personal health and fitness. Millions of people around the world have taken up Tai Chi not just as a martial art but as a means to release stress and tension. With more efforts to promote the healing and fitness aspects of Tai Chi, it is expected that more people will learn and benefit from the ancient secrets to longevity and stress-free living.