A recent study shows that tai chi boosts immunity to shingles. Shingles is a nasty condition that causes pain, usually in the rib cage area. It is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Anyone who has had chicken pox has the dormant virus in their body, and it could flare up into shingles at any time.
In a randomized controlled trial, researchers found that after a 16 week program of tai chi practice, that participants had greatly increased their immunity to the virus. In fact their immunity was double that of the control group. In addition, they reported significant improvements in physical functioning, bodily pain, vitality and mental health.
See other posts on the benefits of tai chi here.
It is important when starting to learn tai chi that you find a good teacher. If they are not teaching according to the principles, you may not be getting all of the benefits. Watch a class and pay attention to what the teacher focuses on. They should talk a lot about relaxation and being centered and grounded. They should be adjusting the students postures to ensure their bodies are properly aligned. If the teacher is not focusing on the principles and correcting the students’ form, I would keep looking. Once you’ve studied with a good teacher for a year or so, you’ll have a foundation for good health for the rest of your life.