Do your joints feel achy and stiff when you get up in the morning? If so, you may be suffering from osteoarthritis, a disease that grows unfortunately common at midlife. There are lots of remedies available — some legit, many not. One of the most surprising is practicing an ancient Chinese exercise called tai chi.
Tai chi started as a martial art and has evolved into a series of movements that combine meditation with balance. But although tai chi may have started in China, it is becoming increasingly popular in this country. According to the 2007 National Health Survey, about 2.3 million Americans used tai chi in the previous 12 months.
One reason for tai chi's growing popularity may be the fact that it is a fairly easy exercise to learn and is basically pretty safe, even for older folks. A number of studies have also shown that it may help with some of the symptoms of arthritis. In the largest study of the Arthritis Foundation's tai chi program, participants reported less pain, fatigue and stiffness along with an overall better sense of well-being.