This program was designed specifically for people with musculoskeletal conditions by Dr. Paul Lam, an Australian family physician and instructor in Sydney‘s Medical School. Dr. Lam was diagnosed with arthritis in his 20′s and pursued a Tai Chi practice as a way of enhancing his mobility and health. After years of study, he became an expert Tai Chi master, winning the gold medal at the Third International Competition in 1993. He and his team members developed the current program. The team included tai chi experts, rheumatologists, occupational and physical therapists.
The program is open to anyone wishing to explore Tai Chi – “Meditation in Motion” – as some call it, in a safe, comfortable environment. You DO NOT need to have arthritis to benefit from the program.
Classes meet 1 hour per week . See Classes Tab for locations, times, pricing. Students that register for either Tai Chi Level 1 or Level 2 12 week series may attend any or ALL of the Tai Chi Level 1 or 2 classes offered each week. When you register for classes just indicate the time you’ll most likely attend – this doesn’t bind you to that time.
All classes begin with a short centering or meditation period, followed by warm up exercises. Classes end with cool down exercises. We include the practice of Tai Chi walking, as well as the 6 Basic and 6 Advanced movements of the Tai Chi for Arthritis Form which includes qigong exercise sequences. Level II classes in addition learn the more advanced Level II Form. These classes may also include some qigong and self massage techniques.
The Sun style of tai chi was selected for people with arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions because of its powerful qigong exercises, especially effective for healing and relaxation. This style also offers a higher, more upright stance, putting less stress on the knees and hips thus making it more suitable for people with arthritis and older people. It does not require deep knee bends. The sequences keep you moving. The “follow step” typical of Sun style, offers more agile foot movement than other tai chi styles and doesn’t over stress joints by long periods of holding static postures.
Tai Chi for Arthritis requires no special equipment and can be done almost anywhere. It helps relieve pain, ease stiffness, improve overall balance and physical coordination while improving posture, strengthening muscles and building stamina. It increases circulation of the blood and lymph, improves function of the heart and lungs while relieving stress, anxiety and depression. It also helps concentration and memory, while promoting tranquility and a sense of well being. Classes offer an opportunity for socialization and fellowship proven to be important in maintaining cognitive skills.