Please review our most frequently asked questions. Simply click on the question in bold to view the answer and additional information. If you have a question to add, please email us.

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  • 1. What is the best way to know if Tai Chi For Arthritis / Tai Chi for Health might help me?

    Read the other FAQ and ask yourself, does THA / THA sound like something I’d like to try?  Check out the participant testimonials and  class times, pricing, instructional methods under the CLASS tab.

    If the answer is yes, you can register on line by visiting our class registration page accessed from the HOME PAGE or the REGISTER Tab. Simply click on the preferred class location to begin your registration.  If you still have questions you may call or email the instructor.

  • 2. When and how do I register?

    Most of our classes are offered in a series of  10 weeks, depending on the class and the season of the year.  You can register on line by visiting our class registration page accessed from the HOME PAGE or the REGISTER Tab. Simply click on the preferred class location to begin your registration.  If you still have questions you may call or email the instructor. (link to instructor@wnctaichiarthritis).  PLEASE REGISTER one to two weeks in advance of the class to assure your place.  Payment is expected at the first class by check or cash.   While it is preferable to start at the beginning of a series, new students may be accepted up through the third week of most classes.

  • 3. Can I make up classes that I miss?

    Once you’re accepted into the class, you can attend ANY or  ALL of the classes at your level that you’d like, at anytime they’re offered and at no additional fee.  If you registered for a Wed. TCA Level 1 class and can’t make it or if you just want additional class practice, you can attend any of the TCA Level 1 classes on MON, TUE or WED that you’d like.  You’re encouraged to come to another class at any time, to make up what you’ve missed.  Also, we offer DVD’s for home practice or if you’ll be away for more than one class.  Participants have found the DVD’s to be very helpful in establishing a home practice and for practice between classes.

  • 4. What should I wear to class?

    Wear loose comfortable clothes and flat shoes that fit securely to your feet.  Shoes without a heel cup or sandals without a back strap are not safe, nor are bare feet or sock feet.  If you have questions, please contact the instructor.

  • 5. Do I need to bring anything to class?

    Bring your enthusiasm, curiosity and your best sense of play.  Leave self  judgment at home.  Plan to BE  in the moment.  No additional equipment is required.   It’s important to stay hydrated;  water bottles are welcome.

  • 6. What is the age range of participants?

    Classes are oriented to adults of all ages. In previous classes, participants have ranged in age from 14 to 95. The majority of our participants are in the 50-80 age range.

  • 7. How long does it take to learn Tai Chi?

    Individual’s learning abilities and learning styles vary.  How much time you give to practice will significantly impact the depth and quality of your learning.  Dr. Lam’s programs are shortened forms designed for you  to be able to learn a set in 2-3 months.   However, how quickly you learn is not as important as how much benefit you receive from the practice.  Many participants find the meditative nature of Tai Chi provides a feeling of balance and calm within the first weeks of classes.  With more practice, you can enjoy the subtle flowing rhythm and the relaxed flowing focus of Tai Chi. You are encouraged to practice at home between classes, to support your learning process and reap the greatest benefit. Many students use Dr. Lam’s DVD or the student materials on our website to enhance their practice.  The goal of Tai Chi is to feel the profound but simple joy of clearing your mind and moving with ease.  As you progress, you may want to learn more traditional forms (Sun 73, Yang 24, etc.) to challenge your concentration, memory and physical skill. There is no rush to learn a long set.  Traditional Tai Chi forms are longer, more complex, so they take longer to learn.  Tai Chi is gentle enough to last a lifetime and challenging whenever you want it to be, as can you move to another level at your own pace and speed when your body tells you it’s ready.

  • 8. Is practice important in developing Tai Chi skills?

    Yes!  We hope you will fall in love your Tai Chi practice.  Here’s why

    Fall in Love with Your Practice:

    When hard work trains and refines your body or your mind to perform a single task beautifully, effortlessly, strongly and gracefully, then it is called a practice. This can be the practice of your abilities and skills at something that greatly interests you, be it your writing, your dance, your art, your cooking, your communication skills, your yoga, your running, your photography, your meditation, your fill-in-these-blanks passion. …… Practice is tangible. Motivation and inspiration are sometimes fleeting but practice, you can hold on to it. You can count on it. You can schedule it. You can plan it. You can commit to it. You can return to it anytime so long as you believe in its power and its rewards. So whatever your goals, your desirable skills, your artistic aspirations and dreams of creativity, build a consistent, unshakable practice around it. Stay the course, detach from the end-goal and delve into the world and wonder of your practice. Fall in love with the slow, the steady, and after a while, the significant progress which awaits you. Fall in love with your practice …..

    The Importance of Practice excerpt from Farnoosh Brock’s blog: http://www.prolificliving.com/the-importance-of-practice-use-it-or-lose-it/ “A genius! For 37 years I’ve practiced fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius!” —Pablo Sarasate (Spanish violinist)

    While you may gain benefit from a tai chi class that lasts 12 weeks or less, you may enjoy greater benefits if you continue tai chi for the long term and become more skilled.

  • 9. How do Tai Chi for Health and Tai Chi for Arthritis Programs differ from traditional Tai Chi?

    The carefully developed pedagogy is learner based and non competitive with the goal of nurturing success and developing a life-long practice of Tai Chi.  Difficult or unsafe movements have been modified or eliminated from routines to reduce the risk of injury.  The body is not held in static positions.  Participants are taught to respect their body’s comfort zone and never to perform a movement that causes pain, rather to adapt the exercises to suit their abilities and to rest whenever needed.  Chairs are provided and participants are encouraged to sit and rest intermittently. Warm up exercises are designed to promote body awareness, flexibility, and balance while integrating the fundamental movement principles of Tai Chi which support fitness and good health.  High quality DVD’s and training booklets are available to facilitate a home practice and to guide practice between classes. Students enrolled in class have access to written, illustrated instructions on the website for some class material.  Dr. Lam and his team of Master and Senior trainers travel the world to certify instructors and maintain consistent, quality instructors.  Unlike other Tai Chi programs,  TCH instructors must be re-certified every two years.  The re-certification process includes a written test, a demonstration of proficiency with teaching and understanding of Tai Chi principles and  demonstration of  proficiency with Tai Chi skills and practice.

  • 10. Who can benefit from Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Health programs?

    Everyone! The Mayo Clinic Newsletter says: ” Tai chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints,  making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. In fact, because tai chi is a low impact exercise, it may be especially suitable if you’re an older adult who otherwise may not exercise.

    You may also find tai chi appealing because it’s inexpensive and requires no special equipment. ”

    Tai Chi for Arthritis and other Tai Chi for Health programs are appreciated by healthy individuals to manage stress and  maintain balance and vitality.  These programs are also effective for Fall Prevention.  They are useful for those who want to prevent falls or who have fallen previously and those who are fearful of falling.

    Additionally the programs are used as a compliment to medical treatment and provide symptom relief  with many chronic diseases including Arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Stress, Depression, Osteoporosis, Cardiopulmonary Disorders, and Diabetes. People living with chronic pain or chronic illness as well as those undergoing treatment for cancer, orthopedic or cardiac rehabilitation also benefit from a tai chi practice.  They find it improves sleep and quality of life.

  • 11. What are the advantages of the Tai Chi for Health Programs vs. Traditional Tai Chi?

    – Proven effective for health by medical studies

    – Enjoyable and safe

    – Created by Dr. Paul Lam and his medical / tai chi colleagues to make your tai chi journey more rewarding

    – Taught by certified instructors with CPR & first aid training

    – Hour for hour, practicing a Tai Chi for Health program is probably the most effective exercise to improve health and wellbeing.  You can start as a beginner and continue to progress to higher levels no matter your age or physical condition. More importantly, Tai Chi helps you to know and like yourself better.  This will lead you to health and harmony within yourself and with others.  It is so enjoyable that millions of people around the world are practicing it.

  • 12. What are Evidence Based Community Programs?

    Evidence based programs must be rigorous, and extensively evaluated using a control/comparison group, with documented and published outcomes.

    Evidence has shown our Tai Chi Arthritis programs meet  the highest level criteria for Patient Centered Community Programs.  These programs are endorsed by the CDC, the Arthritis Foundation and the National Council on Aging.

    We offer a series  of  evidence based programs throughout the year.   Many  participants continue the program indefinitely, to enhance their personal practice and to enjoy socialization with our supportive community.

  • 13. Can Physical Therapists and PTA's receive continuing education credit?

    The North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy awards  continuing education credit for physical therapists and PTA’s who successfully complete the TCA Level I courses taught by Anne Plyler. See their web site for details: continuing competence activity code#0472010C  http://www.ncptboard.org 

    To receive credit, participants must sign in to every class they attend during the series and provide their current license #

  • 14. What is Tai Chi?

    Tai Chi (pronounced “tie chee”) is a mind-body practice that originated in China as a martial art but is now used world-wide as an intervention for health promotion and disease prevention. Tai chi teaches us to respect the body and to feel whole, to move efficiently, and to live in harmony with our surroundings.  Gentle yet powerful, this mindful movement meditation is a welcome complement to Western exercise and medicine.  Energy nurturing mindfulness is the foundation of Tai Chi practice.  By deepening the mind-body connection, research shows the mindful breathing, gentle stretches, postures and moving meditation of Tai Chi encourage our innate healing capacities to flourish.  

  • 15. What are Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Health?

    Tai Chi for Health (TCH) and Tai Chi for Arthritis (TCA) are low intensity, weight bearing, mind –body, strengthening, balance and flexibility exercise programs that can be adapted for many conditions.

    WNC Tai Chi for Arthritis & Tai Chi for Health are dedicated to providing and promoting quality Tai Chi programs in the WNC area.  These unique programs, created by the Tai Chi for Health Institute of Sydney, Australia, have reached more than 5 million people world-wide.

    Dr. Paul Lam and his team of experts have created a series of programs called the Tai Chi for Health programs, to help you improve your health and wellness.  TCA is the foundational program for the Tai Chi for Health series.  Published studies have proven these programs to be safe and effective.  The specially designed programs for health are taught by Dr. Lam’s certified instructors and an instructional DVD exists for each program.   These programs include three of the major styles of Tai Chi.   Sun, Yang, and Chen style movements are adapted in short, easy and enjoyable to learn sequences that deliver significant health benefits.