Obviously Tai Chi Improves Balance, But How Do You Explain It?

don + sue 2We often talk about the way Tai Chi can improve your physical health and mental and emotional well-being from the point of view of the practitioner. But not everyone out there is as familiar with practical ways to use Tai Chi to support their health and wellness goals as you may be.

Later this year, I’m thrilled to have the chance to share Tai Chi with physicians in a course at Harvard Medical School. It’s always exciting to be able to present a combination of research and practice to knowledgeable caregivers, especially because in this case, the focus of the course is on promoting healthy, active lifestyles to their patients. What do you think I should share with them? If you have suggestions for what I should cover, please leave a note in the comments.

The Tai Chi Way to Better Balance

In the mean time, I’d like to invite you into a conversation about how we talk about the benefits of our practice. As Brookline Tai Chi has been working with the Department of Public Health and other senior care agencies to spread practical implementation of Tai Chi falls prevention research, we find ourselves in a very different world, using new language and talking to new audiences about the benefits of Tai Chi.

In a recent episode of Qigong Radio, Dr. Peter Wayne discussed the 8 Active Ingredients of Tai Chi, a framework that he uses to define his Tai Chi research. We need more thoughtful ways like this to express the benefits of Tai Chi practice in an understandable way, without watering everything down.

I wanted to keep the conversation moving in this direction, so I took the problem to one of my most eloquent teachers, Don Ethan Miller. As a result, Don and I have been working on a new program, called The Tai Chi Way to Better Balance, which will be out later this summer. In The Tai Chi Way to Better Balance, we set out to refine the language around Tai Chi balance concepts and, more importantly, get at the essence of what makes Tai Chi so good for improving balance.

Now we would like you to join in the conversation. Please join us for a discussion of The Tai Chi Way to Better Balance on Thursday, July 18, from 12-1pm EST. We will explore:

  1. The essential elements of a Tai Chi balance training program.
  2. How to make sure you include these balance exercises in every practice session, whether your goal is falls prevention, becoming more relaxed and centered,  or training for competition-level Push Hands (the secret is that it can be the same training!).
  3. How to share Tai Chi balance training with friends and family — without making them feel like they have to take on a serious practice to get real benefits.
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