• Thousands of elderly people celebrated the Double Ninth Festival by performing different Tai Chi excercises in Guanxi, China in 2012. (TPG/Getty Images)Source: TPG/Getty Images
The ancient practice of 'Supreme Ultimate Fist'- or Tai Chi as you might know it- is not only relaxing but new international evidence now shows that it could help seniors from falling and prevent injuries.
Michaela Morgan

25 Jul 2017 - 5:02 PM  UPDATED 26 Jul 2017 - 10:24 AM

New research released this month has found that the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi could help to reduce the number of falls in older and at-risk populations.

Dr Rafael Lomas-Vega from the University of Jaén in Spain and his colleagues conducted a systematic review of nearly 900 studies, identifying 10 randomised controlled trials that analysed the effects of Tai Chi versus other treatments on risk of falls in at-risk and older adults.

The team found that there was high-quality evidence that Tai Chi significantly reduced the rate of falls by 43 per cent compared with other interventions at short-term follow-up (less than 12 months) and by 13 per cent at long-term follow-up (more than 12 months).

Dr Lomas-Vega said that people should consider the practice to prevent falls—a primary cause of traumatic death for older adults. 

“The length of the interventions ranged from 12 to 26 weeks. The frequency of the one-hour sessions ranged from one to three times per week,” he said in a statement. 

Tai Chi (or Taijiquan in Chinese) means supreme ultimate fist and has been practised since the 16th Century. 

“Due to the small number of published studies, further research is needed to investigate the effect of tai chi on injurious falls and time to first fall."

Tai Chi (or Taijiquan in Chinese) means supreme ultimate fist and has been practised since the 16th Century. It's been known to promote health and improve concentration and overall well-being, according to Tai Chi Australia

Tai Chi Australia's Master Han Jin Song told Seniors News earlier this year that the practice must involve three important elements: mind, body and breathing.

"If you want to do Tai Chi correctly, you have to put the mind and body together.

"Doing it involves imagery. Think of the 'wax on, wax off' - that's a Tai Chi movement," he told Seniors News.

"It's because Tai Chi's simple exercises focus on improving balance and flexibility," Master Han Jin Song said.

"Every movement is good for people with a balance problem. It's an exercise that is good for the harmony of the mind and the body."