Recovering From Surgery or Stroke?

Tai Chi for Rehabilitation

Tai chi is one of the best-known martial arts of the internal systems that originated from ancient China. Tai chi consists of exercises equally balanced between yin and yang, which is why it is so remarkably effective. Yin and yang are polar opposites and are found in all things in life. In nature, everything tends toward a natural state of harmony. Likewise, yin and yang are always in total balance. Things that are perfectly balanced and in harmony are at peace; being at peace leads naturally to longevity.

Tai Chi for Rehabilitation Program, designed by Dr. Paul Lam M.D, involves basic tai chi, foundations in tai chi, sun style, yang style and chen style.

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Benefits of Tai Chi

  • Increases muscle strength, which supports and protects joints
  • Increases stamina
  • Increases flexibility
  • Helps balance, thereby reducing falls
  • Improves posture, memory and relaxation
  • Enhances muscle strength and cardiovascular system
  • Recover from injuries or surgeries faster
  • Easily adaptable for your specific needs

“Although you are not working with weights or resisted bands, the unsupported arm exercise involved in tai chi strengthens your upper body,” says internist Dr.Gloria Yeh, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “Tai Chi strengthens both upper and lower extremities and also the core muscles of the back and abdomen.”

Flexibility: Women in 2006 Stanford study significantly boosted upper and lower body flexibility as well as strength.

Balance: Studies show that tai chi improves balance and reduces falls.

Proprioception, which is the ability to sense the position of one’s body in space, declines with age. Tai chi helps train this sense, which is a function of sensory neurons in the inner ear and stretch receptors in the muscles and ligaments. It also improves muscle strength and flexibility, which makes it easier to recover from a stumble.

Fear of Falling Can Make You More Likely to Fall; Some Studies Have Found That Tai Chi Training Has Helped Reduce That Fear

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The movements in tai chi are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi can be easily adapted, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery or stroke.

Aruna is trained in tai chi. If you have a friend or family member who would benefit from tai chi, contact her to attend a class.