Benefits of tai chi

Various studies around the world have shown tai chi to have many health benefits – there are plenty of articles online about this. Our instructors are neither doctors nor health professionals, so if you have a medical condition, seek your doctor's advice.

Being slow motion and low impact, makes this the ideal exercise for people to take up, even if they aren't particularly fit to start off with.

Conditions that tai chi is said to help, include:

  • Anxiety

  • Arthritis

  • Balance

  • Blood Pressure

  • Breathing

  • Concentration

  • Depression

  • Falls

  • Joint Flexibility

  • Memory

  • Muscle Strength

  • Posture

  • Stress

Benefits of Chi Kung

Our instructors are not doctors, nor health professionals, so the information here is repeating stuff about chi kung's benefits that has appeared in the press or elsewhere.

If you have a medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor.

Conditions that chi kung is said to help include:

  • Arthritis

  • Blood Circulation

  • Blood Pressure

  • Depression

  • Diabetes

  • Joint Flexibility

  • Osteoporosis

  • Stress

The practise of chi kung is thought to stimulate the flow of energy around the body, clearing energy blockages, and improving general health and wellness.

There are many different types of chi kung, so the set taught by our instructors has been chosen for being suitable for beginners. If you are unable to stand for any length of time, this set can be done seated in a chair or wheelchair, so anyone can benefit from it.

Tai chi health stories

A. Couch Potato

I used to be a couch potato, and had reached size 20. Well, the exercise I decided on had to be tai chi, because it looked slow, gentle and easy to follow.

After several months of going to class, changing my diet to just eating healthily (not eating less), and light practising at home, I suddenly noticed I was having to pull up my trousers every few minutes.

The miraculous had occurred – I was shrinking!

Over the following months, I gradually lost more and more weight. The combination of gentle exercise and diet change made me half the woman I was! I'm not fanatical enough to get to skeletal, but I 'm now a healthy size 14 and able to get around without puffing.

When I entered my first competition, I wasn't worried if I would win or not, as to me it was a miracle to be able to contemplate entering, after years of couch potato-ing :)

B. 40 years of heel pain – NOT!

This is an extract from an article which originally appeared in “Slant Flying”, the newsletter of Wu's Tai Chi Chuan Academy in Bethnal Green

I suddenly developed plantar fasciitis - where the tendon underneath your foot is inflamed, but the symptom isn't pain in the tendon, but pain in the heel.

I felt as if my heel was cracking apart into several pieces. Having wended my way to the aptly-named walk-in centre of my local hospital, I was told that I hadn't broken it, but it would feel like I'd broken it for months, if not years.

When I finally saw my own doctor he said that the pain would start to lessen probably after a year or so, and referred me to a consultant, to have a steroid injection into my foot – an experience I was not looking forward to with great enthusiasm.

However, shortly after that I started on some new tai chi stretching exercises, including some for the foot, which did seem to help. My foot was less excruciatingly painful after tai chi than at any other time.

By the time I saw the consultant – three months later – the pain had lessened to the extent that she said there was no point in giving me the injection and I should continue with the tai chi stretch exercises.

These days – some years later – I get the odd twinge once or twice a year, which is soon cured by doing a few more bouts of those stretches again.

C Better than pills

This snippet originally appeared in a longer article in “Slant Flying”, the newsletter of Wu's Tai Chi Chuan Academy in Bethnal Green

Mentally, my stress has reduced dramatically. I used to be stressed, but the precise movements of tai chi allowed me – indeed forced me – to switch off to the stress factors in my life. Actually tai chi was not only better at de-stressing me in the short-term, sticking-plaster sense, than any pill I've ever taken, but the continuous practise has made me a far calmer person than before. I had been prone to sudden and extreme stress-out episodes. Contrast this with my recent experience, where I couldn't figure out why I was feeling so strange, until I realised I was feeling quietly happy and that same feeling was being sustained!