How Tai Chi Can Relieve Chronic Pain

Research shows that tai chi can help people dealing with fibromyalgia symptoms and chronic pain, and it offers many other health benefits to boot.

You can ease fibromyalgia symptoms through exercise. However, you have to be careful when choosing which exercises to do. Doing the wrong exercises can worsen chronic pain symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. High-impact exercises, such as sprinting or burpees, will do more harm than good.

Low-impact exercises, on the other hand, can help eliminate symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems and muscle aches. And I’m not just talking about the usual exercises, such as walking. Trying unique exercises, such as tai chi, can ease fibromyalgia symptoms and offer many other health benefits. This ancient Chinese form of martial arts is more effective than aerobic exercise at easing chronic pain, according to research.

How Tai Chi Can Relieve Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Graphic via The BMJ

Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Pain

Researchers found that doing tai chi regularly could reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. The study divided 226 chronic pain patients into two groups. One group did aerobic exercises, while the other did tai chi for a period of 12 to 24 weeks.

After 24 weeks, the tai chi group reported having fewer chronic pain symptoms compared to the aerobic regimen group. What’s more interesting is that the tai chi group adhered to their regimen more than then aerobic. This means tai chi may be easier to stick to compared to other forms of exercises. So if you’ve been trying to exercise consistently without success, add tai chi to your regimen.

Other studies have shown that tai chi is beneficial to people with tension headaches, osteoporosis and arthritis.

Tai chi offers many other health benefits beyond pain relief. Doing it regularly can improve your balance, flexibility, stamina, and coordination.

Unfortunately, most people are not using this training technique to fight chronic pain. And I can see why most people hesitate to try it. The poses, movements and stretches seem intimidating.

Getting Started with Tai Chi

Tai chi is easier to learn than you may think. The easiest way to learn is to attend classes once or twice a week. In the classes, you’ll learn postures and moves that you can practice later at home.

If you can’t attend tai chi classes for whatever reason, learn the basics on YouTube. The video below shows a five-minute tai chi session you can do every day.

As you can see, you don’t have to give up your favorite exercise to do tai chi. You can combine it with running, cycling or strength training. You can even use the five-minute session above as a warm-up for more intense exercises.

Are you living with fibromyalgia symptoms or chronic pain? Will you add tai chi to your regimen? Tell us your story in the comments.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

56 comments

Ben O
Ben O26 days ago

Thank you. I should try thai chi

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Richard E Cooley
Richard E Cooley27 days ago

Thank you.

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Valorie P
Valorie P28 days ago

Pretty Amazing! Thank you!

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Kathy K
Kathy K28 days ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike R28 days ago

Thanks

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Chad A
Chad Anderson28 days ago

Thank you.

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Barbara S
Barbara S29 days ago

Thanks for posting

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foteini H
foteini CHORMPOU29 days ago

thanks for sharing...

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Gino C
Past Member 29 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Danuta W
Danuta W29 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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