Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tai Chi For The Elderly

Tai Chi For The Elderly
By Sheila Dickinson

Tai Chi has traditionally been thought of as an exercise for the elderly and although this is not entirely true because Tai Chi is suitable for all age groups.

Tai Chi is certainly beneficial for the elderly for many reasons, the most obvious one is that the movements are soft and gentle and they may be practised without placing a strain on the body.

In the West we are experiencing an aging population, with people living longer than ever before. Science has made remarkable leaps forward and Western medicine is able to prolong life. The question must be asked of the quality of the life the elderly are experiencing.

It appears that as we grow older we are taught to expect the onslaught of aches and pains, because the body is wearing out and therefore we can expect to have to wear glasses, or experience impaired hearing.

My question is why? Why must we accept this? Tai Chi's gentle movements keep all of the joints mobile without strain. It is important to keep the body moving and not allow the joints to cease up.

However there is so much more going on in the inside and a lot of this is affected by the fuel that we take into our body.

For example people suffering from arthritis have found that when they eliminate potatoes and tomatoes from their diet they have found great improvement in their condition. This information is given to people attending Tai Chi classes or visiting our website.

Another consideration for people suffering from joint problems is the intake of tropical fruit. Fruit is very yin containing a lot of acid, and although it contains important vitamins and minerals, the acid contained in the fruits can have a harmful effect on your joints.

Dried fruit contains the same vitamins and minerals without the harmful effect of the acid. All of this valuable information is available in our Chang Ming Long Life Diet and Recipe Book.

The Chang Ming Diet in our Tai Chi classes work on developing the individual's internal energy. The greater your body's natural internal energy the better the quality of the individuals health.

Tai Chi is like every thing else, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it. A person attending a weekly class; without practising in between classes will gain from the movements.

A person who also practises a little every day will gain on a daily basis. This is because the person who practises every day is continually working on developing their body's internal Chi energy. If you are unable to attend weekly classes, we have easy to follow videos and books so that you can practise in the comfort of your own home.

I am often asked how long or how often you should practise Tai Chi, if you think you have to practise for an hour each day; a lot of people will not have the time.

If however when you put the kettle on to make a drink of tea you can practise some of the movements you have learnt. You will gain without having to make major adjustments to your life style.

Tai Chi is also excellent for improving your balance, a lot of scientific research has taken place in the United States regarding the positive affect that practising Tai Chi has on improving the balance of the elderly.

It was found that people who practised Tai Chi were less likely to fall and Tai Chi students experienced less broken bones.

Tai Chi helps to improve the mind, again the expression "if you don't use it you lose it" is very apt.

Tai Chi works every part of the mind and body, using both the inside and the out. We have people studying Tai Chi well over eighty years young.

Start practising Tai Chi today and discover great quality of life, every day of your life.

About the Author
Sheila Dickinson has produced eight books and five videos on Tai Chi. Visit her website at
LFA Tai Chi.