By: Dr. Beth Templin
As I reflect on the Tai Chi training Kim and I completed, I couldn't be more excited to be offering the Tai Chi for Arthritis program at HouseFit. This program was developed by Dr. Paul Lam specifically for people with arthritis.
What makes this program special?
There are five major styles of Tai Chi. Dr. Lam chose the Sun style for the basis for this program because it focuses primarily on the healing benefits of Tai Chi as opposed to the martial arts aspects. This means the healing benefits of Tai Chi are achieved much quicker with Sun style compared to other styles.
Another benefit of this program is all of the high impact moves and kicks have been eliminated, making it more appropriate for people with arthritis. Another reason we are so excited to be offering this program is that Tai Chi for Arthritis is endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation as safe, effective exercise for people with arthritis. It is also endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for arthritis and as an evidence-based fall prevention program.
Why Tai Chi?
Tai Chi, which originated in China, works on the mind-body connection and has may health benefits. It is often described as "meditation in motion", but according to Harvard Health it might as well be called "medication in motion".
There are four main principals that are followed while performing Tai Chi that help us gain these benefits:
Anyone Can Do It!
Tai Chi for Arthritis can be modified to be perform while sitting in a chair, while standing and holding onto a chair or standing without support. You don't have to have any previous experience. The forms or different movements are relatively easy to learn and and are practiced several times during each class.
Each form is broken down into smaller parts when they are being taught, but they do build on each other, making regular attendance important. If you're ready to try something new that's been around for centuries, give it a try. I know I'm glad I did!