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Tai chi is Chinese martial art that many people practice to receive its many health benefits. Also known as tai chi chuan, this Eastern exercise is one of several alternative treatments for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) that helps to manage and relieve stress and focus the mind and psychological health.
Stress and anxiety can be major causes and contributors to pelvic tension and pain. That is why following stress management techniques such as tai chi, yoga, and meditation can be effective treatments for helping men relieve the source of their pain. Learning to manage stress also helps men to better cope with their health situation. Having an ongoing chronic pain condition can cause feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of hopelessness, which can intensify pain and extend its duration. That’s why it is important to treat both the body and the psychological issues to fully address the cause and triggers of the pelvic pain.
Even though there are not many studies specifically on using tai chi for prostatitis, a number of studies have shown that tai chi offers many other health benefits beyond stress relief. Tai chi improves muscle strength, flexibility, blood pressure, and sleep problems. It even reduces risk of falling because it improves balance.
How does tai chi improve mental health? Doing tai chi helps to unblock and encourage the proper flow of qi (chi), which is energy, in the body. It encourages balance in opposing elements, yin and yang. The slow, deep breathing that is done in tai chi can help people relax. Several studies on tai chi have found that it helps lower levels of depression and psychological distress while improving one’s sense of well-being, compared with control groups. As many men with CP/CPPS suffer from depression and a negative outlook, tai chi is a great, drug-free way to address those issues.
How to Do Tai Chi for Prostatitis
Tai chi involves graceful, gentle, flowing movements and has been described as meditation in motion. There are different styles of doing tai chi. Some methods focus more on the martial arts and defense side, while others focus on health maintenance.
If you are interested in doing tai chi, observe a group performing tai chi in the park or sign up for a class through your community center. If you prefer to do tai chi at home, you can learn from videos. Put on comfortable loose-fitting clothes, and wear nonslip shoes that are comfortable and are good for balance. Most people who do tai chi for prostatitis start seeing the benefits doing it once or twice a week for 12 weeks.
Tai Chi as a Whole-Body Approach to Wellness
Prostatitis treatment is most successful when it address whole-body health, which is why tai chi can be included as part of a holistic treatment program. We’ve addressed how pain and chronic pelvic discomfort can be caused by problems that stem from areas in the body outside the prostate itself, such as stress and psychological factors. It can also be tied to diet, nutrition, and other lifestyle factors. Addressing all of these aspects and trying multiple treatment approaches will help you find success in treating your prostatitis.
There are a number of other alternative treatments you can try that also treat psychological issues that contribute to prostatitis. These include using other stress management techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy. Acupuncture is another Chinese alternative treatment for prostatitis. Because about 50% of CP/CPPS patients find that their discomfort stems from pelvic floor muscle tension and dysfunction, therapies that address the tense and tight muscles are recommended. You may want to look into intrapelvic physiotherapy or trigger point release therapy to address these physical issues. Making dietary changes such as learning what foods to avoid because they are associated with exacerbating prostatitis symptoms. Throughout your healing process, it is key to keep an open mind and consider the many different treatment options available to you so that you can successfully treat your CP/CPPS from all angles.
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