Medical problems

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Not a treatment

Doctors often suggest tai chi to people who are overweight, stressed or suffering from fatigue.
They are under the impression that tai chi is some sort of treatment.
It is not.

Fix me up

The well-meaning doctor is hoping that the patient will take responsibility for their own wellbeing
Instead of taking responsibility, the patient wants the tai chi teacher to fix them up or at the very least listen to their lengthy catalogue of medical complaints.

Your responsibility

Please don't ask us to fix you up.
We are not medical professionals.
It is up to you to manage your own medical condition both in and out of class.

What is tai chi?

Tai chi was originally taijiquan - a Chinese martial art.
As such, it was never designed for health.
It is not a remedy, a treatment or a cure.
The medical benefits of daily tai chi practice are simply a by-product of the Art


People think that tai chi training is going to involve some sort of one-to-one therapy.
This is absurd.
A tai chi class is an exercise class. It addresses:

Muscular tension
Ergonomic body use
Body awareness

Medical questions?

If you have any medical questions, your doctor is the person to speak to.
Tai chi teachers are not medical professionals.
As such they are not qualified (or permitted) to give advice on your unique medical condition.
Go see your doctor.

I've been trying to get this point over for years. It's mainly prevalent in the qigong world. We're not doctors. If students train regularly then they may gain health benefits but we can't pretend we can cure them! So many times I've seen last-gap causes who are often very over-weight and have done no exercise who have been referred to by doctors. The reality is that we can offer assistance for those who are prepared to train but most doctors have little idea of what is actually happening in a tai chi class and, then again, there is such a variety of aspects taught in the many differing classes available.

(Ronnie Robinson)


Page created 26 September 1994
Last updated 6 October 1997