Tai Chi and Parkinson’s

Tai Chi helps those with Parkinson’s to live well

Tai Chi, more correctly known as Taijiquan, is a traditional Chinese exercise and martial art practice composed of flowing and graceful movements.  Tai Chi focuses on calming the mind and using mental intention, body mechanics and internal energy to drive its techniques. Tai Chi forms are generally practiced slowly with an even pace as in the Yang style though advanced students may introduce more energetic movements, using “explosive force” or fajin*.

Tai Chi master Alice Bei Dong

There are numerous benefits of Tai Chi, both mental and physical.

Tai Chi has been shown to improve;

  • Flexibility
  • Stamina
  • Muscle tightness, reduces stiffness
  • Classes also function as a supportive social group
  • Creates a positive mind
  • Helps let go of stress, tension and anxiety
  • Keeps people independent and mobile
  • Participants can work at their own level and pace.

Pei Lei Wushu Association Tai Chi master Alice Bei Dong explains

Tai Chi in particular, is a proven method to battle the effects of arthritis, Parkinson’s and other ailments

In the research paper;

The Efficacy of Exercise Programs for Parkinson’s DiseaseTai Chi versus Combined Exercise

By Sang-Myung Cheon,a Bo-Kyung Chae,b Hye-Ryun Sung,c Geon Cheol Lee,d Jae Woo Kima J Clin Neurol 2013;9:237-243  2 July 2013

It was demonstrated that Tai Chi gave better quality of life results and improved functional fitness than regular fitness exercises.

  • Improved stretch and flexibility in the lower limbs.
  • Improved agility (the ability to change direction quickly).
  • Improve the walking gait of participants.
  • The slow peaceful movements improved the participants emotional well-being.
  • Is also an aerobic activity of moderate intensity
  • Safe
  • Able to practice Tai Chi 3 x a week for 1 hour without increased fatigue.
  • Improved frequency of exercise enables to learn and improve more quickly with the exercises, which greatly improves the person’s physical and emotional benefits of Tai Chi.

* Cited from Pei Lei Wushu Association website

For more information about Living Well or a Tai Chi, call the Parkinson’s NSW InfoLine 1800 644 189

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