TAI CHI FOR EVERYONE
We have all heard about Tai Chi but many of us know very little about it. Recently I took a Tai Chi for Rehabilitation course and was excited to learn its benefits and application for everyone.
Tai chi started as a martial art but since has evolved into forms used for many purposes. I am going to focus on Tai Chi as taught by Dr. Paul Lam from the Tai Chi Health Institute which is the combined form I learned.
The combined form can be done sitting, standing independently and standing with chair assist for balance. Some clients have actually done the arm forms while lying down to maintain range of motion if sitting and standing are not possible. The form is safe, short and easy to learn especially when taught in the step-wise progression method.
The movements are broken down into component parts and repeated three times allowing repetition to breed memory which is especially helpful for the older client.
The movements are slow and gentle emphasizing safety and mindfulness. Most moves can be modified based on the need of the practitioner and have been proven to improve range of motion, strength and balance as well as reduce fall risks. As our country ages, exercises like Tai Chi can maintain or improve overall health and wellness. I have successfully used a few pieces of the form learned for some of my patients.
So, if you think Tai Chi may be for you, then check with your local Tai Chi studios or health care practitioner and get moving for your health!
-Joann Tippett, PT, MSPT, CKTP, CCI