How Tai Chi Benefits Students
Physical and Mental Health
Harvard University has Tai Chi as one of the 100
must-to-do things on their students’ activity recommendation list for many
In 2004, American Journal of Chinese
Medicine published a study: “Effects of Tai Chi exercise on physical and mental
health of college students”. The study was conducted by several scientists from
of Physical Therapy of Georgia State University.
The research revealed that “Tai Chi
exercise had positive effects on the self-assessed physical and mental health
of college students”. Therefore, the research
scientists concluded, “Colleges/universities might consider offering Tai Chi as a component of
their ongoing physical activity programs available to students.”
But it is not just college students
who can benefit from Tai Chi. On April 7, 2005, Philadelphia Inquirer reported how Tai Chi helped a group of 5th-graders to
handle test pressures —
At McDonald Elementary School,
teacher Joseph Pisacano found an effective way to
ease his students’ test anxiety – practicing Tai Chi before the test. His
students loved this exercise.
"You get organized first, and
get all the stress out of you," said 12-year-old Angie Alvarez.
Jamey Robertson, 10, said it made
him feel like the test was easier, "because you are actually relaxed. You
are not trying to concentrate so hard."
Unlike many other physical
exercises, Tai Chi is regarded as a
mind/body activity and can strengthen students’ inner power as well as
Despite its seemingly slow and
delicate appearance, Tai Chi includes exercises to adhere and reflect forces
applied by an adversary. It is therefore quite an active and powerful muscle
and balance promoting art and as the other martial arts, can be used by
students to fight against predators and bullies.
Building Character and Enhancing
Learning Tai Chi is usually
associated with such philosophy as showing respect to teachers and fellow
students, persistence in practicing, working hard to bring out the full
potential, gaining confidence from each milestone, etc.
While teaching children and young
adults this soft style martial art, Tai Chi instructors usually put emphasis on
how to maintain harmonious relationship with others and how to manage
All of these traits are valuable and
essential for students to succeed not only in Tai Chi studios but also in day
schools, at home, and in life.
Tai Chi classes offer a
complementary opportunity for students to socialize with their peers outside
their day schools