Bones, Muscles, Joints
Tai Chi for Bone, muscle and joints
Silk reeling, which is the name given to the method of movement in Tai Chi, applies the method of spiral rotation to all motions. These types of motions provide suitable physiological workload so that all bones, joints and muscles of the body are systematically exercised. Bone density and thickness can be increased after a significant period of regular practice.
One student in Ireland was diagnosed with Osteoporosis before starting training at our Galway Academy. After 4 years daily practice of Tai Chi and stopping all medication for osteoporosis, not only had her condition not deteriorated further with the passage of time but it had reverted to Osteopaths!
Other positive results of Tai Chi include enlargement of bone process protruding for muscle attachment via tendons, and more orderly alignment of trabecular patterns for better structural strength. These changes are beneficial for bone metabolism and improved bone structure.
With the improvements in bone structure, bones are stronger and more resistant to twisting, pressure and bending.
The spiral rotational movements of silk reeling can also improve one’s flexibility. With regular practice, one can expect positive results such as increased density of bone surface at the joints, thicker muscle and tendon tissues, larger tendon and bone attachment areas, higher collagen content, thicker cartilage, as well as increased nuclear cell unit count.
Muscle strength is greatly increased and studies have shown that after 30 minutes silk reeling, practitioner’s muscles have a 15% increase in potential strength.
Consequently greater muscle strength will improve joint stability, tendon and ligament extensibility and joint motion ranges. Those who practice silk reeling on a regular basis can expect not only better flexibility but also a solid martial foundation for grappling and counter grappling techniques because of increased strength.
Repeated spiral rotational movements combined with deliberate physical relaxation and extension intentions enables the practitioner to achieve a whole body exercise much more easily. With persistent regular exercise, the muscles are reconditioned.
For example, muscle mitochondria increase, muscle size increases, muscle fat decreases, number of connective tissues increases and the number of muscle tissues and capillaries that are involved in exercise increases.
People who exercise regularly enjoy smoother shinier skin, better muscle tone and a higher level of fitness. People who are overly thin or obese have noticed obvious improvement in physical shape after practicing over an extended period of time.
Combining mental and physical relaxation, these exercises can optimize the controlling process of the nervous systems and reduce energy consumption during exercises. The reduction in energy consumption allows high level adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to be stored in the muscle cells, thus making reaction and response occur much more quickly improving martial art and general movement skills. One’s ability to master specified movements and the level of execution quality can also be greatly improved.
Galway Rowing Club,