T'AI CHI by Element Wellbeing
Join us for T'ai-chi with our highly qualified instructor
T’ai-chi, also called tai chi chuan, combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements.
Originally developed as a martial art in 13th-century China, T’ai-chi is today practised around the world as a health-promoting exercise.
What are the health benefits of T’ai-chi?
Studies have shown that tai chi can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.
Can T’ai-chi help to prevent falls?
Some research suggests that T’ai-chi can reduce the risk of falls among older adults who are at increased risk. However, more research is needed.
Can T’ai-chi help with arthritis?
There is some evidence that T’ai-chi can improve mobility in the ankle, hip and knee in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RH). However, it is still not known if T’ai-chi can reduce pain in people with RH or improve their quality of life.
Am I too old for T’ai-chi?
No, T’ai-chi is commonly performed as a low-impact exercise, which means it won’t put much pressure on your bones and joints. Most people should be able to do it.
Is T’ai-chi suitable for me?
Get advice from your GP before starting T’ai-chi if you have any health concerns or an existing health condition. You may need to take certain precautions if you’re pregnant, have a hernia, back pain or severe osteoporosis.
Do I need to be fit to do T’ai-chi?
No, T’ai-chi is for everyone. It is ideal for inactive older people wanting to raise their activity levels gently and gradually. Also, many of the T’ai-chi movements can be adapted to people with a disability, including wheelchair users.
Can I injure myself doing T’ai-chi?
Tai chi is essentially a gentle activity that is unlikely to cause injury if done correctly. The exercises involve lots of flowing, easy movements that don’t stress the joints or muscles.
Tips on getting started
It’s a good idea to watch a class or attend a free taster session before signing up for a course. If you have a medical condition or any health concerns, or haven’t exercised for a long time, speak to your GP before you start T’ai-chi.
Are there different styles of T’ai-chi?
Yes, such as yang, chen and wu. Some teachers often practise a combination of styles. The main differences between the different T’ai-chi styles are in the speed of movement and the way the body holds the postures.
What’s the basic technique?
T’ai-chi is characterised by its slow, graceful, continuous movements that are gentle on the joints and muscles. Done correctly, you'll find that the T’ai-chi poses flow smoothly from one into another. Many movements are completed with bent knees in a squat-like position.