Is simple relaxation an effective way to relieve stress? Yes, up to a point. The problem is if you're still under stress it doesn't work for long. When you've been building up stress for a long period of time simple relaxation relieves stress in the moment, yet the slightest problem brings it right back to the surface. Ever experienced or witnessed sudden road rage? Have you ever noticed that when you're under a lot of stress, you feel fine one moment and angry the next? Sometimes you may even feel out of control.
You might feel this emotionally, you may feel this physically, or both. Let's take a look at the physical effects. Unrelieved stress shows up in our bodies through: Tension headaches Stiff neck and shoulders Back pain Stomach problems . the list goes on and on There was a revealing study about this very thing at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine.
When average people with tension headaches practiced tai chi for only 15 weeks they: got significant relieve from tension headaches found they had more energy experienced better emotional well-being got along better with others experienced improved mental health . in short, they were less stressed. Here's the excerpt from the study: "Researchers found that Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese low-impact mind-body exercise, provided significant health benefits for adults suffering from tension headaches. Compared with a control group, patients who participated in a 15-week Tai Chi program were helped not only with headache pain, but also perceived improvement in other areas, reporting increased energy, emotional well-being, social functioning and improved mental health." April 2007 Los Angeles UPI release Why Tai Chi and Not Just Regular Exercise? Tai chi is a uniquely active method for relaxing both body and mind.
Tai chi requires you to focus your mind while consciously relaxing your body as you move. In simple relaxation you let your mind wander aimlessly or let it be led by someone or something else. When exercising at the gym people have a strong tendency to tense parts of their bodies not otherwise needed for the exercise they're doing. Ever see someone bench pressing weights while they lifted their feet, or even worse, arched their back? Have you ever noticed yourself tensing your whole body while opening a jar of jam? Another important factor is that tai chi movements cause your body's natural energy to flow more smoothly, and you don't have to think about it for it to happen.
Combined these factors are incredibly powerful stress relievers that relax your body and allow it to naturally heal itself. What Happens if You Don't Deal With Stress? Stress is recognized as one of the leading causes of disease and pre-mature aging. If you're under 40 you probably don't think much about premature aging. After all, why would you? The worst thing about pre-mature aging is this: "Once you're aware of it, premature aging can be extremely difficult to reverse".
posted by John Crewdson - http://www.beginningtaichi.net Experience Free Bursts of Tai Chi(TM) click here - http://tinyurl.com/3n9zj8