Taijiquan for Arthritis
The practice of Taijiquan for people who suffer with arthritis is known to be very beneficial, as its movements are very gentle, soft and flowing and is considered to be a low impact form of exercise.
Suffers of arthritis are told to keep the joints moving and the practice of Taijiquan helps as its movements are not jerky or involve tensing the muscles, in fact you are told to relax and maintain a slow smooth continuous movement that involves the whole body.
Regular practice of Taijiquan for arthritis will also help to improve the circulation of blood flow into the extremities. This is done through:
- Coordinating the breathing with the movements.
- Concentrating on the opening and closing of the joints
- Maintaining a relaxed and calm attitude.
My advice for individuals who suffer with arthritis in the knees is not to practice the Chen or Yang style of Taijiquan, as these particular styles do involve strong leg work and some low postures which could be too painful and uncomfortable for certain individuals. From my own experience of teaching Taijiquan I would encourage those with arthritis in the knees to practice either the Li or Sun styles as these two styles do not involve low postures.
The practice of Taijiquan can also increase strength and flexibility and decrease pain in the joints and stress. Over-all it will give each individual a sense of well-being as the practice of Taijiquan is also a mind, body and spirit exercise.