A 13th century set of exercises is a benefit in today's world for health, fitness and stress control.
The martial art of Tai Chi has become a modern day resource for wellness for the mind, body and spirit. Although Tai Chi's root are dificult to follow, many scholars believe that the roots of Tai Chi date back to about 200 BCE. This is about the same time Yoga was established in India.
The physical, fluid movements of Tai Chi helps the body to relax, aids in range of motion, and is meditation in movement. All of which meets the holistic criteria that benefits mind, body and spirit. With minimal pressure on the joints, Tai Chi has become popular for those with disabilities or physical limitations. If one suffers from stress, anxiety, insomnia, or tension, Tai Chi may be of some benefit. Although it is roooted in the martial arts, done in a non-combat format, Tai Chi can promote health and enhance overall well-being.
Most Tai Chi folks practice in the early morning. They believe it is then that the air is most abundant and fresh. It is not uncommon for folks to gather together in parks and other natural settings to practice Tai Chi. A number of years ago, I sustained a martial arts injury that the Sports Medicine doctors said would end my martial arts practice. With increased pain and limited mobility, they recommended swimming and cycling. Although those are great for fitness, I was then and I am now, a martial artist at heart. Tai Chi, rooted in the martial arts helped to keep me connected to the "arts" while at the same time aided in the rehab of my injured back. I was lucky enough to find a teacher and trained to 2 years in the park for recovery. No pain management doctor or opiates for me. In my practice as a psychotherapist I have seen enough of that side. I am not saying that within reason, these cannot be tools in the tool box to help patients, but they are also "thin ice" and must be managed or they will manage you. Tai Chi circulates and helps unblock the meridians, which helps to reduce tension or pain and improve physical alignment while it builds strength, stability and endurance and can reduce the need for pain meds.
In short, Tai Chi is a martial art that today has found a more peaceful benefit through gentle movements that produces peace, relaxation, tranqulity, and health of body, mind and spirit to those willing to utilize this holistic method of healing. Like anything else, it is not a cure all. Rather it is a tool in the box that might be of some benefit t those who try it. What do you have to lose? You have everythig to gain, even if it is the experience itself.
There are Tai Chi instructors in the Baton Rouge area. They are not regulated by law or agency. Seek and ask questions. The most common Tai Chi Form taught is the Yang Form. Watch a class. Ask questions. Ask for a trial period. In my martial arts school, I allow two free classes for those intersted to see for themselves if this is what they want. However, I do not teach Tai Chi, but a good Tai Chi instructor will do the same.