Our classes take place in the Wirral, Chester and throughout North Wales.
We specialise in traditional Yang family Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong.
Classes are based on the idea that everybody, no matter what age can improve their health and wellbeing by practicing some simple but effective postures, and the movements to achieve those postures.
Below is a quote I hope it gives you a greater understanding in what we aim to provide. Also see below for conditions that can be assisted with regular practice of Tai Chi and Qigong.
Medical Tai Chi and Qigong
Medical Tai Chi and Qigong is the more focused and therapeutic interpretation of what has generally been described as the health science of the sister arts. This idea although relatively new to the western world has been practiced and promoted in China for thousands of years, but was always the least known aspect of traditional Tai Chi and Qigong training. Historically to see the purer methods in practice you would have to visit the traditional medicine hospitals in China, who adopted it as part of their holistic approach to natural healing and treatment. Here in the western world however only now with the opening of the technological highways are we able to appreciate the revelation of this unique and effective support to healing.
Why medical Tai Chi and Qigong?
The term "medi" means middle and therefore it is very appropriate to link this word to what Tai Chi and Qigong in fact do. They can be described as :- " The processes involved in assisting a person to find the middle path of Spirit, Mind and Body".
Tai chi and Arthritis researched by Carolyn Ridding.
ARTHRITIS literally means ‘inflamed joint’, ‘art (h)’ meaning something joined or put together, ‘itis’ meaning inflamed
There are more than 200 forms of arthritis (most being quite rare).
Arthritis causes persistent pain, stiffness and difficulty in using the affected joints. Sometimes there is swelling, tenderness or heat in the joints and you can feel tired, sluggish or unwell.
Osteoarthritis – is the most common form of arthritis. The cushion of cartilage at the end of the bone becomes thin and flaky and begins to split, the amount of fluid in the joint increases, leading to swelling, stiffness and pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis- inflammatory arthritis Rheumatoid translates from the Greek as ‘similar to flowing pain’, and it is the most crippling form of arthritis. Inflammation starts in the membrane surrounding the joint, ligaments and tendons that surround and support the joints then become stretched and destabilize the joint.
Gout – a breakdown in body chemistry the joint becomes inflamed because the body fails to break down harmful crystals of uric acid, which form inside the joint causing extreme pain. Commonly affected joints are the big toe.
Medical research tells us that movement is necessary for the proper nourishment of joint cartilage. When properly performed exercise enables the synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint, to carry the needed nutrients to the joints and to remove waste products. If you don’t use a muscle or joint, you’ll lose strength and mobility, and thus, function. All joints should be put through their full range of movement other than acutely inflamed areas. Improvement in power and tone of muscles and flexibility of joints will make it easier and less painful to move about.
‘One of the most important things you can do to help your arthritis is to exercise, if you do it right. Unfortunately, many people with arthritis think exercise is harmful. Others think discouraged because progress is slow or their exercises are painful. Maintaining a proper balance between rest and exercise, and exercising properly, are keys to successful arthritis exercise program’ Kate Korig ‘the Arthritis Help book’
Stress. Some people tend to develop arthritis after periods of prolonged worry- or sufferers can experience flare ups' at stressful times. Stress or worry interferes with the body's ability to produce its natural cortisone. The amount of stress and tension in your life can affect your pain. Emotional stress, for instance, becomes physically ingrained in the muscles; these tensions often contribute to cause weaknesses in your general health, resulting in aggravated joints and pain.
Deep relaxation (relaxing from a tai chi perspective means more than just sitting down and taking it easy for a while). Deep relaxation naturally benefits many arthritic and related rheumatic conditions, including inflammatory, degenerative, and muscular types. Being calm promotes a feeling of well being, just as stress makes everything worse.
By stimulating the meridians and clearing any blockages in them we can stimulate the body’s endorphins (natural painkillers) to kick in and encourage the body’s own ability to heal.
Tai chi and qigong helps to relieve joint pain by relaxing the muscles, enabling blood to flow freely. An increase in circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to affected areas. And when our blood and energy are circulating properly, we experience not only a natural decrease in pain, but also a greater sense of aliveness and well-being.
When chi is flowing unrestricted throughout the body, when a natural balance has been achieved in mind as well as body and a persons spirit is raised, their pain and stress levels will be not only reduced but their ability to cope with pain and stress will be increased.
ACIDITY / ALKALINITY Celia Brown
Balanced body chemistry is not merely a recipe for keeping calm and collected, but a fundamental necessity for health.
Over acidity lies at the root of many illnesses, particularly arthritis and rheumatism. Every food you eat tends to be either acid forming or alkaline-forming. If your diet contains a lot of sugar, coffee, meat (especially red) and other concentrated proteins, processed foods made from white flour, fizzy drinks and alcohol, and only a few fresh vegetables and fruits, you are consuming foods which are mainly acid-forming and you will tend to feel stressed very easily. You get this nervy feeling because your body has used up its alkali reserves in an effort to balance the acid producing foods you have eaten
Unfortunately the compounds that the body produces in response to stress and anger are also acidic. A combination of acid forming foods and periods of stress sends the body’s acid levels up and up, so it is important, for overall health and as an antidote to stress, to eat plenty of alkaline forming foods.
Keeping calm and breathing deeply will also re alkalise the system, so here Tai Chi is very useful.
In general, your diet should be made up of about 70% alkaline forming and 30% acid forming foods,(80% to 20% recommended in ‘Raw Energy, Leslie & Susannah Kenton, who also recommend a high raw diet) as cells function more efficiently when they are predominantly alkaline.
If the blood becomes too acidic, the body can start withdrawing alkalising minerals such as calcium and magnesium, mainly from our bones. Conditions such as arthritis, gout, osteoporosis and fungal infections can all reflect an overly acidic system.
Honey, mango, melons, lemons, figs, cabbage, watercress, asparagus, spring greens, parsley, alfalfa, celery, broccoli and green beans are all excellent alkalisers. Young dandelion leaves are notably alkaline and therefore good for arthritis sufferers, and anyone addicted to white bread and alcohol! They are digested very quickly and have a tonic action on the liver and kidneys. They contain many nutrients and the youngest leaves are delicious raw in salads.
Drinking 1 tablespoon. Apple- cider vinegar, mixed with honey and warm water, re-alkalises the system and can increase the amount of alkalisingminerals you absorb from your diet.
Excess protein is damningly implicated in premature ageing. A diet, which supplies more protein than the body needs, actually causes deficiencies of many essential minerals. During protein breakdown, complex by-products are formed, some of which, ammonia and amyloid for example, are highly toxic. These toxic residues deposit themselves throughout the body, predisposing it to degenerative illnesses such as arthritis. Dr. Myron Winick of the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University School of medicine states that, for maximum protection against ageing and degenerative disease the recommended daily intake of protein for healthy adult men and women of almost any age is 56g and 46g respectively.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE . Ian V. Begbie. April 2010
Many people affected by Parkinson’s disease try Tai Chi and present with a range of challenges, which Tai Chi can improve. For many of the newly diagnosed fear and stress are major factors. They fear they will rapidly fall into the role of ‘cripple’ with no life quality. We must instill confidence that they are able to achieve improvement through their own efforts and to enjoy the experience of Tai Chi.
Parkinson’s is a progressive, degenerative, condition of the nervous system for which there is no cure. There is increasing difficulty in moving the arms and legs, often with the development of tremors and facial tics. There is often a fear of falling and gradually sufferers become less mobile.
Both men and women are affected with onset usually around 65. Each year 10,000 people are diagnosed with the disease in the UK, of which one in twenty is under 40. It develops slowly with trembling of the arms and legs, stiffness and rigidity of muscles and slowness of movement. Because it is gradually progressive most people have many productive years after diagnosis and do not always realise this.
It is thought that the disease is caused by a chemical imbalance in the co-ordination centre of the brain, called the Striatum. There is cell death in the Substantial Nigra, which produces the chemical Dopamine. As cells die, there is less Dopamine produced for the Striatum which results in co-ordination problems
Symptoms vary between patients and many years may pass before early symptoms progress to where they interfere with normal activities. A third of Parkinson’s sufferers also develop senile dementia. Tremor usually begins in one hand/arm and is more obvious when that part of the body is at rest. It often becomes more noticeable when the person is anxious or excited. The tremor will usually decrease when that part of the body is being used. Common things to look for are:
Ø A walking posture that is bent forward, a shuffling gait and Standing posture may be stooped.
Ø A stiff facial expression, difficulty in making facial expressions and Problems with swallowing
Ø A persistent tremor at rest, sometimes with Head nodding and ‘Pill rolling’ motion of the fingers
Ø Difficulty with balance and co-ordination (including getting out of a chair)
Ø Muscular rigidity. There may be problems turning round, rising from a chair, turning over in bed or making fine finger movements. Initiating movements becomes difficult or takes longer to perform. Lack of co-ordination can also be a problem.
Ø Depression, Sleep problems and tiredness
Patients are given Levodopa, which is converted, to Dopamine in the brain. This is often accompanied by physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy aimed at maintaining independence
Tai Chi gathers and moves energy around the body, unblocking bottlenecks and massaging internal organs. It unites body and mind and reduces stress, all essential in Parkinson’s. As posture is a major problem, Tai Chi is particularly appropriate as the exercises balance the body, develop the middle path, encourage rooting and enhance flexibility. At the same time Tai Chi relaxes yet energises the body.
It is essential to address the symptoms, to produce a ‘feel good factor’ through the exercises and release of endorphins. There is evidence suggesting that Tai Chi slows the progress of Parkinson’s. The gentle movements of Tai Chi improve balance and move the body about 95% of the ways it can move reducing the likelihood of ‘losing’ movement. The phrase ‘Use it or Lose it’ is very relevant in this condition. In many major studies Tai Chi was found to be twice as effective at reducing falls than other exercises.
The low impact, slow, flowing, graceful movements not only strengthen muscles and joints, maintain flexibility, balance and relaxation but appeal to those who fear they are losing physical ability.
Tai chi has a calming yet uplifting effect on the mind, the feel good factor of releasing endorphins. This helps Parkinson’s sufferers feel better about themselves. This concept of the mind promoting ‘self health-improvement’ is being widely recognised within western medicine and is a key factor of Tai Chi. Meditation, which produce increases in left sided brain activity, associated with positive emotional states
Sufferers must move within their sphere of confidence and comfort, not overextending in any direction or causing discomfort. Tai Chi is not a cure for Parkinson’s Disease but can significantly slow its progress and enhance life quality. It increases flexibility, balance and co-ordination, posture and improves muscle and joint strength and tone.
We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There's much more to come! (see Classes for more details)