iStock 184648275Can Tai Chi help with my tremor?

To celebrate World Tai Chi Day on Saturday the 29th April, we will be looking at how the exercise and martial art, Tai Chi, can help you with your tremor.

World Tai Chi Day is held each year, on the last Saturday of April with people from eighty nations coming together to practice Tai Chi and share their healing techniques.

Tai Chi, sometimes referred to as "medication in motion", combines slow movement, meditation and breathing regulation. It creates a sense of relaxation, improve balance and posture, and enhances the flow of energy (or Chi) in the body.

As with all physical therapies, some people with tremor may find some physical activities challenging, However a small amount of practice can bring benefits in health and fitness, enabling the mind and body to relax, and help cope with the challenges of living with tremor.

Tai Chi is a low impact exercise that does not rely on strength, force or speed. It is ideal for everyone, whether young or old, strong or weak.

Watch a Tai Chi beginners class 

What should I expect if I join a class?

Tai Chi classes are relaxing and non-competitive, and comprise four basic elements:

  • Dao Yin – easy-to-learn exercises and gentle stretches to warm up the body and help remove toxins from joints and ligaments
  • Chi Kung - exercises with synchronised breathing to help strengthen and balance the body’s energy whilst aiding concentration and reducing stress
  • Tai Chi Chuan – a series of movements performed in a slow, relaxed and flowing way, also known as the Form.  Lasting from 5 to 20 minutes, the Form is a kind of moving meditation. Each movement can be practiced at increasing levels of depth as the student develops 
  • Push-hands practice (certain classes only) – these are partner exercises designed to help the student develop an understanding of the underlying philosophy of Tai Chi as a martial art. 

Advice

  1. You will need to wear clothing that you find easy to move and stretch in, but no specialist equipment is required.  
  2. Tai Chi should be taught by a qualified teacher and not learnt from a book.  
  3. Always make sure that your teacher knows that you have tremor.

Want to find a class near you?

There are many classes held regularly around the UK for different levels and needs. Classes can be found online

Read more about tremor and complementary therapies.