Issue 19

Tia Chi

Tai Chi is a form of exercise that has recently been gaining popularity for both its physical and mental health benefits. Its origin lies in the ancient Chinese martial art called T ai Chi Quan, the routines of which required practitioners to be tranquil and calm, emphasizing slow and soft movements. As a form of exercise, Tai Chi incorporates these ideas as a means to attain healing qualities. It has proved particularly useful in the relief and management of back and neck pain and is thought to help the release of stress and tensions.

The practice of Tai Chi entails three key components; movement, breathing and meditation/state of mind. It is often referred to as "meditation in motion", emphasizing breathing and movement that are both flowing and graceful. Unlike many types of aerobic exercise (such as running) Tai Chi is low-impact, being gentle on he spine, joints and muscles. It is therefore ideal for individuals who find high impact aerobics or other exercise routines painful or uncomfortable.

Tai Chi does not require any expensive equipment and can be practiced anywhere. As it is a fluid movement that requires very deliberate and precise motions, it is however important to learn from an experienced instructor. Many classes are run throughout the country, generally in a group format that lasts approximately an hour. We are hoping to establish Tai Chi sessions within the Clinic, facilitated by external instructors. Look out for posters detailing times etc. in the near future.