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Old 08-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #1
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Tai Chi

Hi all. I am new to this particular section of the boards. I have posted under the "Spinal section" previously.

First of all here is my health situation:

- 1994 surgery on lumbar area for herniated discs;
- 1995 surgery on cervical area for stenosis;
- 1997 surgery on lumbar for "flatback syndrome" Harrington Rods;
- 2000 surgery on cervical for "kyphosis" harringtons implanted;
- 2006 spinal cord stimulator implanted;
- 2011 spinal cord stimulator removed
- other surgeries: blood clot left leg; pancreatic cancer
- other health issues: diabetic; absent left kidney congenital & kidney disease of the right kidney

Diagnostic testing:

- EMG showed severe arthritis of the cervical and lumbar region;
- severe nerve damage in the cervical and lumbar region;
- peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes and spinal issues.

I usually go to the gym and do pool therapy and treadmill and some exercises to strengthen up the upper arms and shoulder regioin; and use sauna which seams to relieve the arthritis temporarily.

Here is what I was thinking. I have heard Tai chi is a good low impact form of exercise. It helps physically; emotionally and spiritually.

I first became aware of Tai Chi years ago. I had been misdiagnosed with Parknsons disesase and heard Tai Chi was good for movement and for balance issues.

With all that is wrong with me balance issues are a problem and because of the spine and arthritis I have difficulty moving.

Has anyone tried Tai chi? Any success? Would you recommend it? I bought a video of tai chi but having trouble following along as to exactly how you are to move specifically. I know maybe if I watched it again and again I may get the hang of it.

Money is tight so taking a class may be a problem at the moment. I may need someone to show me on how and what to do or not to do and not sure if I will get what I need from a video instruction.

Any thoughts on Tai Chi? Thanks for listening...............

 
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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Re: Tai Chi

Wow, you have been through a lot, I admire your spirit!

I took up Tai Chi a little over a year ago, my instructor is this 89 year old Chinese man and he is a prime example of why Tai Chi is for everybody! It has definitely helped my balance, you develop muscles in your legs in a way that is weight bearing so it's good for bone health as well. Though the emphasis isn't on breath per see, I always leave class with improved circulation, less stress and feeling relaxed.

I could only learn from watching someone in real life and instruction.

Good luck to you and let us know how it goes!

Last edited by Administrator; 08-13-2012 at 05:19 PM.

 
Old 08-13-2012, 08:00 AM   #3
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Re: Tai Chi

Tai Chi in its classic form is not easy as people might think. I also had trouble with a DVD but decided to adapt Tai Chi. Found a helpful book in the library, "Step by Step Tai Chi" which gives simple page by page illustrations of movements. I selected a few easy ones and do them every day. They strike me more like QiGong which is excellent too.

The morning routine is superb in all ways: stretching, breathing, balance, coordination, and calming. In fact, I consider it a form of standing meditation. Look forward to it (with favorite music) most every day. Don't expect or demand precision of myself. Expect only pleasure and feeling good.

Last edited by Administrator; 08-13-2012 at 05:18 PM.

 
Old 08-13-2012, 10:51 AM   #4
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Re: Tai Chi

Thanks for the responses. I was thinking of Tai Chi for awhile. I do have balance issues. While I have not fallen as of yet I am trying avoid falling in the future if possible. I also heard Tai Chi is great for relaxation and overall that feeling of being at rest emotionally and spiritually.

 
Old 08-13-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
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Re: Tai Chi

I agree with tinam7; Tai Chi isn't as easy as it might look on You Tube or any DVD's! Which is why I recommended classes to start with. Once you get the basics, you can practice on your own. But it did take me several months to get the hang of the basic forms. There are some nice warm up exercizes we do before each class. My doctor actually recommended Tai Chi for my back and neck problems, as well as my balance. She said that in San Francisco where she is from, you can just go to the public parks and there are free classes.

It has been said to actually lower blood pressure as well as working out the kinks in my back. Another benefit is the great feeling you get by learning a new skill and trying something different. But the best thing, you can practice every day, there are no aches and pains afterward.

 
Old 08-14-2012, 02:36 AM   #6
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Re: Tai Chi

I'm glad I am not the only one that found the DVD difficult to follow. I felt lost when I tried to follow along.

It's funny you should mention San Francisco. I used to live there. Wish I were back there now to take advantage of the classes in the park.

I am trying to find a school here that teaches it. My search continues.

 
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