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Press Release

For Layoff Victims or Survivors, Tai Chi Can Help

Washington, DC, February 16, 2009 - While the news of layoffs is becoming dominant in the media's headlines and the unemployment rate reached the highest in decades, people are looking for effective ways to handle the stress related to layoffs, for both those who were let go and those who survived. Tai Chi, a thousand-year old Chinese mind-body exercise, is very effective in managing stress and reducing the pains and injuries resulted from stress.

In 2008, more than 2.5 million Americans lost their jobs. Many experts expect another 2 to 3 million jobs will evaporate in 2009. Layoffs have caused strong emotional turbulence to those who became victims and those who survived.

When people lose their job, they lose not only their paycheck but also dignity and self esteem. The stress of unemployment shows up in their life: sadness, depression, feeling more headache, feeling powerless, etc.

But laid-off employees aren't the only ones who suffer from staff reductions.

Employees who remain employed are prone to greater role ambiguity and job demands that can, in turn, contribute to greater alcohol consumption and depression, according to a 2003 study on the physical and mental-health effects of surviving layoffs, published by the Institute of Behavioral Science. In addition, the study found that layoff survivors often experience worsening physical health: They eat differently, smoke more, suffer from neck and back pain, and increase their use of sick days. Workplace injuries also rise.

"Tai Chi is a very effective exercise for managing stress and reducing the pains and injuries resulted from stress," says Gary Jiang, the President of American Tai Chi and Qigong Association.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that Tai Chi is beneficial for the central nervous system, which makes it especially good for people with anxiety, depression, or any stress-related conditions. One of the principles of Tai Chi is relaxation, involving both the mind and body. Active relaxation involves integrating mindfulness with physical relaxation and simultaneous awareness of all parts of the body. The mind is alert, though calm and centered, while performing Tai Chi.

With its emphasis on relaxation, breathing, focus and coordination, Tai Chi can directly affect stress and tension that contribute to the pain or cause injuries.

According to scientists, one important reason for pain is stress; stress also may cause work-related injuries. Analgesics will only target the symptoms of pain. When medication stops, the pain may return because the underlying problem has not been adequately managed. Tai Chi, however, has been proven by many scientific studies to be able to address both the symptom and this underlying problem.

Tai Chi is not only very effective but also very easy to practice. You can do as little as one 15-minute session a day at any place, whether it is your home or your office, and you do not need any special clothes or equipment.

So whether the person who got laid off is you or somebody you care and love, whether you are an employee who survived a layoff or you are the employer who handed out pink slips, Tai Chi is a viable and efficient solution to help you fight the stress and the related problems.

About American Tai Chi and Qigong Association

American Tai Chi and Qigong Association (http://www.americantaichi.org) is a national non-profit trade organization based in Washington, DC metro area. For interview request or further questions, please contact Matt Bell, Director of Public Relations, at mbell@AmericanTaiChi.org.

For media:
to request interview or have more questions regarding the press release, please contact Mr. Matt Bell, Director of Public Relations of ATCQA, at:
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