Critical Importance of Balance

One of the primary reasons we should all be concerned about balance (called “postural stability” among medical professionals) is fall-related fractures.  Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.  Such “catastrophic falls” among the elderly are often a watershed event which leads to rapid declining health, loss of independence (nursing home residence) and associated financial devastation.  Approximately half of those who suffer hip fractures will not return home or live independently.

Generally, four body systems must work together to keep you from falling over:  musculoskeletal, sensory, neuromuscular and cognitive. The diverse, multiple active ingredients inherent in Tai Chi allow you to compensate for deficiencies in these four body systems that underlie balance loss.  According to one meta-analysis, Tai Chi was the only balance-targeted exercise system which showed significant reduction in catastrophic falls.  See this link:  Tai Chi Improves Balance and Mobility in People with Parkinson Disease.