Tai Chi for the Young and Athletes

“While few studies have looked at tai chi’s benefits for healthy, young populations, there’s no reason to believe its effects wouldn’t translate – particularly when it comes to the emotional benefits, says Peter Wayne, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and founder and director of the Tree of Life Tai Chi Center in Sommerville, Massachusetts. “A lot of young people who are attracted to meditation as a concept … just can’t sit still,” he says. “Tai chi offers meditation or mindfulness on wheels.” Some schools and community programs are offering tai chi for children, which may help with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and even violence prevention, small studies suggest.”



Tai chi for athletes?

“Professional golfers, basketball players and dancers have turned to tai chi for good reason: It can be a great cross-training activity to help prevent and recover from injury, says Wayne, who co-authored the book “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi.” “This emphasis on moderation and effort is implicit in the yin yang symbol of tai chi – you don’t give it 120 percent all of the time,” he says. Indeed, Huang isn’t aware of any research indicating potential harms. “It’s very slow, very gentle – you can hardly get hurt.” Still, if you’re considering it as a treatment for any condition or injury, run it by your doctor first, she says.”


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