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Thread: Wheelchair Tai Chi

  1. #1

    Wheelchair Tai Chi

    Jane Brody who writes the Personal Health column in the Times, writes today about the health benefits of Tai Chi.

    It appears that it has been adapted for wheelchair users. Does anybody have any personal experience with it?




  2. #2
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    My husband has done Tai Chi. It was an offering through the theraputic recreation division at the rehab hospital here. He did it for a few years. He seemed to have liked it...but I am not sure if they still offer the program now or not.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
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    I miss practicing martial arts, but enjoy watching my kids having fun with it. The basic movements and concepts (e.g. things like center line, momentum and grappling) are very adaptable. Though, without a fixed connection to the ground I find it VERY hard to generate any real power. I guess in Tai Chi Chuan that's a not entirely the point...though how they practice slowly can also be very isometric, not entirely 'soft'. Good for the core, especially with the reaching. And quick in action, boy, I tell ya. Tai Chi as a practical thing is very different in appearance than the dedicated practice of it, as I understand it.

    I'm digging the hybrid lawn furniture/rigid seat pan/backrest assembly they're rockin' on those chairs. I guess that's what they call a Tai Chi chair? I reckon every sport needs a new piece of equipment to accompany it.
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  4. #4
    I practiced stationary-chair tai chi for several years until I lost upper body dexterity, and it helped me because I'd been an ardent tai chi practitioner as an AB person, and didn't want to lose touch with the practice altogether. Tai chi is especially suitable for adaptation of this kind, because it is considered an internal martial art, whereby power is generated from within; usually, as Dale says, one engages a circuit with the earth through one's feet, but when this is no longer possible, envisioning the energy and one's place "in the loop" can also be effective. If one has use of the legs, a wheelchair can be rolled on a smooth surface by propulsion of the feet, reproducing (to some extent) the advance and retreats of tai chi.

    In adaptive tai chi (and yoga, which is very well suited to the chair), the goals are different and one must embrace a new set of expectations; but it is an excellent way to maintain contact with one's body and mind, and to encourage as full a range of motion as possible in the parts of the body that one is able to move.

  5. #5
    There might be in-depth commercial videos available that teach wheelchair tai chi. If not, a good option is to purchase a beginning-level video of "regular" tai chi (preferably a short form utilizing 12-to-24 steps), and adapt the movements at your leisure in your own home.

    There are many styles of tai chi, and for adaptive purposes I recommend the Sun style as taught by Paul Lam, M.D. His Tai Chi for Arthritis program would be an excellent place to begin. Here's a link: Tai Chi for Arthritis. Although the people on the website are AB, Tai Chi for Arthritis is easily adapted for wheelchair use.
    Last edited by Bonnette; 09-29-2010 at 01:57 AM. Reason: clarification

  6. #6
    Thank you to the OP (original poster) and replies. Sounds like Dr Guo has tried very hard to bring Tai Chi to disabled people.

    N.B http://www.appliedtaiji.com It's tai JI not tai CHI in the address. (It doesn't auto redirect to the right one). They're using a different spelling.

    I was watching Kung Fu Panda 2 online and it reminded me to search for wheelchair tai chi or yoga. Glad I came here and found some good links.

    If , like me you're also looking for more info/videos/classes, it's probably a good idea to search for ''seated / sitting tai chi'' as well as ''wheelchair tai chi''.
    I might be wrong, but I would think there would be more sitting classes than wheelchair user classes, because sitting classes would reach more people?

  7. #7
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    he doesnt use a different spelling, he uses the correct spelling. lol i have the video, it's ok but i suck at following it.
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

  8. #8
    sorry Cryptigimp, i didn't make it clear....I wasn't saying the OP made a mistake in spelling.....I was pointing out that if you go to that website using typing, to use JI instead of CHI. I've never seen that spelling used before so accidentally typed chi and got sent to a closed website.

    Re-the video you have....Are you referring to a video sold through the applied tai ji website?

    How much did it cost roughly, how long is it, and is it well made and easy to follow?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear_on_wheels View Post
    sorry Cryptigimp, i didn't make it clear....I wasn't saying the OP made a mistake in spelling.....I was pointing out that if you go to that website using typing, to use JI instead of CHI. I've never seen that spelling used before so accidentally typed chi and got sent to a closed website.

    Re-the video you have....Are you referring to a video sold through the applied tai ji website?

    How much did it cost roughly, how long is it, and is it well made and easy to follow?
    yes in chinese ji is the proper pronunciation.

    i got it on the website as it's listed. it's ok. not the best and the terminology is a bit confusing but after awhile you get used to it.
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

  10. #10
    Look

    http://www.ctaichi.com/product/GF001.html

    There are six in this series. These are great for people with upper body function. You can also get them on amazon. Start for a week doing them without resistance, then maybe you can get a set of weighted gloves.

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