atural Fertility: Tai Chi
Many couples who are experiencing difficulties getting pregnant have turned to natural fertility methods that involve a more holistic and meditative approach to improving fertility. Among these alternative infertility treatments is Tai Chi – a practice that has its roots in ancient Taoist philosophy and values tranquility, reflection, and the integration of body, mind, and spirit. For couples who are looking to increase their chances of getting pregnant, tai chi exercises may just be an ideal treatment to improve natural fertility.
What is Tai Chi?
Tai chi was developed centuries ago in China as one of the martial arts. Tai chi exercises involve slow and graceful movements that focus on concentration and deep breathing techniques.
Many tai chi practitioners specializing on improving fertility incorporate these tai chi movements with elements of tai chi exercises, meditation, and dance. Tai chi movements are comprised of dozens of postures and gestures that are performed in sequences known as "sets" or "forms," which are derived from animal movements. In fact, one legend claims that tai chi movements were inspired by the movements of a snake’s graceful and slow fighting techniques.
Tai Chi Exercises
Tai chi is based around the concept of chi, a life energy that flows through the body through different pathways, sustaining physical health and calming the mind. Since blocked chi is believed to be a source of illness and disease, tai chi aims to improve the flow of energy through the body, thereby improving energy balance and restoring blocked chi.
Tai chi offers a low-impact exercise method based on the key principle of wu-wei or the power of "non-action." In other words, tai chi exercises are not forced or subject to a strict regimen, and are instead fluid and meditative.
Some of the common tai chi positions and basic tai chi movements involve the following:
- deep breathing, relaxation and concentration
- focused attention to relax the mind and body, and cultivate mental alertness
- exercises that strengthen muscles and bones through weight balance of the body
- weight bearing exercises (often balanced on one leg) that improve coordination, balance and control
Some find it beneficial to combine tai chi exercise with regular cardiovascular exercise routines. Speak to a health care provider or specialist for information about your particular case.
Benefits of Tai Chi
Today, many practitioners and researchers are finding a variety of health benefits as a result of regular tai chi practice. Regular practice of tai chi exercises has been linked with the following benefits:
- building strength and enhancing muscle tone
- improving circulation
- improving balance, flexibility, and posture
- improving coordination and range of motion
- lowering blood pressure
- reducing levels of stress hormones
- easing arthritis pain and preventing osteoporosis
- increasing relaxation
- increasing energy
- improving concentration
Studies have shown that tai chi reduces levels of stress hormones in individuals, making it a great way to relax and prevent additional infertility complications due to stress. In addition, this helps individuals sleep better and relieves any tension or anxiety.
Tai chi classes can be found through facilities that offer Martial Arts classes. These may come in many forms including one-on-one instruction and group classes. It is important to make sure you sign up for a meditative tai chi class as opposed to one that offers combat instructions.
Tai chi classes may also be offered in outdoor parks, community centers, and gyms. In addition, videos and instructional tai chi books are available for home use. Choose the method that’s best for you, and speak to a physician about potential health risks based on your medical history.