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We taught our tai chi for health syllabus to the over 50's for 7 years at Age Concern in Newcastle and Age Concern North Tyneside.
Our students had a variety of health conditions.
We had referrals from Freeman Hospital, medical students visited the class regularly and the classes were featured in the local newspapers.
One of the referrals from Freeman Hospital was a rheumatoid arthritis group containing about 15 patients.
The tai chi tuition was so successful that the group disbanded within a year.
Most of the students returned to work and the rest joined the main tai chi class.
Worth a try
The Age Concern students mentioned above just did our 'normal' exercises; they did not receive bespoke, individualised therapy/advice.
They simply tried the qigong and tai chi exercises.
And their health improved...
There have been a number of medical trials to assess the health benefits of tai chi.
They determined that daily practice between lessons has helped a lot of people improve their fitness.
It can take up to 12 weeks for the health benefits of daily tai chi practice to have an effect.
People think that tai chi training is going to involve some sort of one-to-one therapy.
This is not correct. A tai chi class is an exercise class.
• Muscular tension
• Ergonomic body use
• Body awareness
Doctors often suggest tai chi to people who are overweight, stressed or suffering from fatigue.
The well-meaning doctor is hoping that the patient will take responsibility for their own wellbeing.
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.
If you have any medical questions, your doctor is the person to speak to.
A tai chi teacher is 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.
Page created 26 September 1994
Last updated 6 October 1997