Benefits of Ai Chi
Flexibility and core (abdominal) strength are the benefits most mentioned by aquatic exercise instructors. The trunk stabilization/balance and pain management benefits of the program are the two most frequently cited by aquatic therapists. Clients' comments include: "a soothing experience," "mind and body relaxation," and "a symphony for my body." Such benefits increase with practice. As a person becomes more familiar with the program, relaxation will be improved, with a focus on the smallest movement of the hand, wrist, or eyes, and improved mental alertness.
Water lessens edema in the joints, which allows clients to improve range of motion and mobility. The soft, round flowing motions strengthen core muscles while providing a soothing experience, and the circular movements create harmony, based on a principle of yielding to, rather than resisting the natural flow.
The flowing movements of Ai Chi can increase metabolism and blood circulation. Studies show that simply breathing while submersed to the shoulder in water can increase oxygen consumption from 7 to 25 percent. This, in turn, increases caloric consumption.