NB: This presentation is posted by the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA) as an online lecture
I am going to talk about tai chi, the Tai Chi for arthritis program, how it works, the evidence and how to utilise Tai Chi for Arthritis for health, pain relief and fall prevention… and to gain many health benefits.
Here are 35 published studies on the Tai Chi for Health programs. You can see them online at Tai Chi for Health Institute website. I will highlight three studies here.
1. A study comparing Tai Chi and Hydrotherapy, and control
2. The Sydney Tai Chi Trial.
This is one of the key pieces of evidence why the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) and the National Council on Ageing (NCOA.org) in the USA, and health departments and Arthritis Foundations around the world recommend Tai Chi for Arthritis for health and fall prevention.
So how does tai chi work? How would this seemingly soft and gentle exercise prevent falls, relieve arthritis pain, improve muscle strength, improve balance and bring about a better quality of life?
There are three main reasons:
First, it is an exercise involving the whole body, all muscles, ligaments, bones, organs and the mind. The exercise is focused on physical and mental balance – an integral part of tai chi essential principles is balance.
Secondly, tai chi exercise the mind, and integrates mind and body. Falls have a close connection to the mind. When people have fear of falling they are more likely to fall. Tai chi is an exercise to help people to be more mindful, serene and happy. This contributes to reducing falls and relieving pain and the symptoms of arthritis. In fact the mind influences everything, a positive mindset improves healing ability, quality of life and relieves pain and improves diabetes control, just to name a few.
The third one is a concept of qi. Tai chi is designed to cultivate your qi most effectively. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine qi is the life energy that circulates through the body to maintain health and wellness. Disturbance to the flow or the quality of the qi leads to various diseases.
With or without the qi concept, holistic medicine, that the body and mind work as one makes good sense. Tai chi helps people by exerting its healing power on the person as a whole, for example, arthritis does not affect only the joints, but the entire body including the mind. This leads to depression and anxiety, which in turn makes the condition worse. When the person is healthier mentally, he or she will heal better and experience less pain. That is why tai chi works so extraordinarily well.
The third study illustrates how effective Tai Chi for Arthritis is and how quickly the health benefits came. It is by Dr Lee Callahan and colleagues from the University of North Carolina.
Nowadays it is widely accepted by the scientific, orthodox and medical world that tai chi is effective for many aspects of health. Please check out websites like CDC, National Council of Ageing, The National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine and other bodies for more information, especially the robust evidence of tai chi beneficial effect for arthritis.…
About Dr Paul Lam
Dr Lam, a family physician from Sydney, Australia, is a world leader in the field of tai chi for health improvement. He is now focusing at preventative medicine, and has participated in many research projects on the subject of tai chi’s health benefits, has authored or co-authored 24 published papers.
In 2013, Dr Lam’s program Tai Chi for Arthritis was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) for fall prevention. Many governmental departments around the world have funded his program for health and fall preventions. Dr Lam has composed Tai Chi for Health programs which have reached more than eight million people.
Dr Lam has written books including Overcoming Arthritis, Tai Chi for Beginners and the 24 Forms, Teaching Tai Chi Effectively and his memoir Born Strong. He has also produced many best selling instructional DVDs including Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi for Beginners and Tai Chi for Energy.
You can contact Dr Paul Lam through .