It is a scientific fact that as people age, the immune system weakens. Researchers at the University of Arkansas found that T lymphocytes in older mice die sooner than in younger mice which establishes the link between ageing and a weaker immune response. Other research has shown that even vaccinations are significantly less effective in people over 65.The market is flooded with products that claim they can boost the immune system but now research as shown that Tai Chi can boost the immune system. Aaran Church, Tai Chi teacher from Auckland is not surprised.
Aaran Church, who is also a practising acupuncturist and member of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists Inc, says “I encourage my patients to take control of their own qi (energy) by taking up tai chi. Those that do and practise regularly all comment that they catch less colds, have more energy and feel less stressed. In some ways, doing tai chi each day is like having an acupuncture treatment each day“.
Most health practitioners including medical physicians advocate that a healthy lifestyle should include exercise, weight control management, eating more fruit and vegetables and adequate sleep to help keep the immune system in check.
But could something like practising Tai Chi actually change the cell structure and confirm that the immune system has improved?
Yes it can ! And the good news is that Tai Chi lessons are likely to be much cheaper than the supplements that you will see for sale in the health food shop.
In Los Angeles at the University of California, Dr Michael Irwin found that Tai Chi increased immunity against shingles.
At another university, they found that Tai Chi increased the circulating myeloid dendritic cells. These special cells have a relationship with the immune system.
More research at another university found that Tai Chi enhances the functions of T cells.
Unfortunately The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the New Zealand government run accident insurance company, cancelled their Tai Chi Injury Prevention Program as a cost cutting measure. Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Qi Gong can trace their roots back to the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism. There is a saying in Taoism “To know the Tao is to know nothing”. ACC must also have their roots in Taoism.
For more articles on Tai Chi please go to Violet Li who is well known journalist on Tai Chi related stories.
To learn Tai Chi in Auckland from Aaran please call him on 021 229 7489.
To learn Tai Chi in Napier please contact Corey Lee Waterreus on 021 120 5344.