It can be overwhelming if your doctor has said “You need to slow down,” or “You need to move more,” or “You need to take your mind off stress.” It feels impossible to manage all of these orders at the same time, but Tai Chi and this 7-posture series may help.
Tai Chi is a mind-body exercise combining slow-flowing, intentional movements with breathing, awareness and visualization. Rooted in the Asian traditions of martial arts, Chinese medicine and philosophy, Tai Chi enhances relaxation, vitality, focus, posture, balance, strength, flexibility and mood.
Tai Chi is gentle and slow, and it places minimal stress on muscles and joints. It is safe and easy to learn for the beginner. Tai Chi is inexpensive, as it does not require equipment to participate. Simply watching and following along is all that is needed.
Follow along with Roger Currier, a recreation therapist and certified applied Tai Chi Instructor from the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, Florida. He demonstrates a Tai Chi 7-posture series. Make sure you have enough space to move around comfortably while watching the video.
If you want more Tai Chi, click here for Roger’s introduction and warm-up videos: https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/99438/live-whole-health-107-tai-chi-warmup/.
Tai Chi and Qigong are very safe exercises, though some people may experience minor muscle aches and pains from using muscles that haven’t been exercised for a while. Therefore, it is important to listen to and care for your body when doing these movements. If you feel Tai Chi or Qigong will help you achieve your health care goals, set aside time to practice. As with any activity, regular practice is what allows for better health.
Tai Chi is an approved complementary and integrative health (CIH) approach in VA, so classes may be available at your local VA medical center. Check with your local care team for more details.
Are you interested in learning more about Tai Chi? Read more here: IntroTaiChiQigong__Final508_07-25-2019.pdf (va.gov).