Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

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Tai-chi - fabulous way to grow old gracefully, or bonkers, post-hippy wish-wash?

Never heard of it...
2
20%
Might try it - but too busy cycling!
0
No votes
Tried it a couple of times but didn't feel any benefit.
1
10%
Use it regularly as I find it really helps me.
5
50%
Interested, as it sounds like it could sit alongside the cycling I already do.
2
20%
 
Total votes: 10

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simonineaston
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Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby simonineaston » 15 Sep 2020, 2:04pm

As I grow old and crumble away, I find it increasingly difficult to remain fully active, at least compared with how I was in earlier decades. Talking to a variety of friends & aquaintences, the topic of tai-chi crops up repeatedly. Whereas sundry helpful practices, like meditation, are often cited as helpful in many unspecific ways, it's hard to find any medical papers that show definite results to support their claims.
However, as far as I can see, there's lots of papers that find good data showing that those who practice exercise regimes based on tai-chi can benefit in measurable ways. Here's just one, from the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
I'd like to hear about folks' experience with this gentle form of exercise - or perhaps you're all too busy cycling?!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

mercalia
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby mercalia » 15 Sep 2020, 3:07pm

You need to a have heard of it but no thanks?

My sister does it - she is older than me and has had a hip replacement surgery doenst cycle so needs some thing to get her mobile as she has serious restrictions. I converted a file video for her to dvd so she could play it on her mini dvd player. Is not for me

Carlton green
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Carlton green » 15 Sep 2020, 3:20pm

For reasons various I no longer do Tai Chi but I did do it for several years and found it beneficial. For me it was a help for mind, body and soul; I don’t regret doing it for one moment the only thing I regret is either stopping classes or not finding a better way to continue with it.

Lessons are a regular commitment on both time and finances, that commitment is indefinite too and a ‘student’ needs to be comfortable with such a long term arrangement. To do it well and to gain the highest benefit Tai Chi needs to be practiced for many years but you do get benefit from it as soon as your start. It’s worth while investigating further and selecting the particular ‘form’ or ‘style’ of Tai Chi that suits you best along with a teacher who’s way of doing things works for you. Why not go along to a few different ‘clubs’ for some taster sessions?

A lot of U3A groups do Tai Chi, that says something in itself and you might like to find out what styles or forms your local U3A groups use (such that when you retire you can join in with them if you choose and you get a feel for what style older folk find works for them).
Last edited by Carlton green on 15 Sep 2020, 3:36pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jdsk
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Jdsk » 15 Sep 2020, 3:26pm

Highly Recommended.

Jonathan

mercalia
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby mercalia » 15 Sep 2020, 3:37pm

Carlton green wrote:For reasons various I no longer do Tai Chi but I did do it for several years and found it beneficial. For me it was a help for mind, body and soul; I don’t regret doing it for one moment the only thing I regret is either stopping classes or not finding a better way to continue with it.

Lessons are a regular commitment on both time and finances, that commitment is indefinite too and a ‘student’ needs to be comfortable with such a long term arrangement. To do it well and to gain the highest benefit Tai Chi needs to be practiced for many years but you do get benefit from it as soon as your start. It’s worth while investigating further and selecting the particular ‘form’ or ‘style’ of Tai Chi that suits you best along with a teacher who’s way of doing things works for you. Why not go along to a few different ‘clubs’ for some taster sessions?



hmm sounds like a money making con to me. How is it different to slowly waving your arms and legs and torso around. I've looked at the video I prepared for dvd and I am unconvinced about the need to be a perpertual studant of some one and fork out cash day in day out
Last edited by mercalia on 15 Sep 2020, 3:40pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mick F
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Mick F » 15 Sep 2020, 3:40pm

Never heard of it.
I could Wiki it of course.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_chi

Not interested.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Audax67
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Audax67 » 15 Sep 2020, 3:42pm

mercalia wrote:You need to a have heard of it but no thanks?

My sister does it - she is older than me and has had a hip replacement surgery doenst cycle so needs some thing to get her mobile as she has serious restrictions. I converted a file video for her to dvd so she could play it on her mini dvd player. Is not for me


Plus a heard of it. Not a believer.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

Carlton green
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Carlton green » 15 Sep 2020, 3:51pm

mercalia wrote:
Carlton green wrote:For reasons various I no longer do Tai Chi but I did do it for several years and found it beneficial. For me it was a help for mind, body and soul; I don’t regret doing it for one moment the only thing I regret is either stopping classes or not finding a better way to continue with it.

Lessons are a regular commitment on both time and finances, that commitment is indefinite too and a ‘student’ needs to be comfortable with such a long term arrangement. To do it well and to gain the highest benefit Tai Chi needs to be practiced for many years but you do get benefit from it as soon as your start. It’s worth while investigating further and selecting the particular ‘form’ or ‘style’ of Tai Chi that suits you best along with a teacher who’s way of doing things works for you. Why not go along to a few different ‘clubs’ for some taster sessions?



hmm sounds like a money making con to me. How is it different to slowly waving your arms and legs and torso around. I've looked at the video I prepared for dvd and I am unconvinced about the need to be a perpertual studant of some one and fork out cash day in day out


Interestingly I was just about to modify my earlier post to include that very point. As with all exercise classes some folk will latch on to an idea and use it as an income generator. It certainly is a hazard to beware of and finding a teacher whose primary interest is the sport rather than the income might be a challenge ... or the money might not be significant for you and you’re happy enough to gain what benefit you can. It’s not necessarily a straight forward purchasing decision and as with all investments (in this case in your health and well-being) a degree of investigation is needed before handing over your cash.

Lakelander
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Lakelander » 15 Sep 2020, 5:11pm

Tai Chi is basically Kung Fu slowed right down with emphasis on technique and concentration.More or less.
I’ve done Martial Arts for 45 years or so and although I don’t practice traditional “Tai Chi” as such I do my own forms of slowed down Karate/Tae Kwon Do.
For me it’s similar to Yoga/Pilates.
I got into it about 30 or so years ago when doing forms(Kata) to music became popular in competitions and exhibitions.The idea was to practice kicks,punches and blocks etc really slowly to perfect the move.This looked very much like a dance.Once it was perfected you then sped it up to “normal” speed and it helped with both application and power.I can no longer do the really high kicks at slo-mo speed as muscle strength is not what it was at 20 but I am still supple enough to be able to kick well above my own height at speed and I’m in my 50s.
Like anything there’s people out there who’ll make money out of it but that’s not it what it was originally for.It’s very popular amongst the older population in the Far East.
IMO like Yoga and Pilates it can help with strength,suppleness and actual well being.

I suppose one could liken it to my version of meditation?

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simonineaston
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby simonineaston » 15 Sep 2020, 8:44pm

Here's the NHS page about tai-chi, which is cautiously positive, although with a distinctly 'it's great for you oldies' slant!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Tangled Metal
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 Sep 2020, 9:06pm

Tai chi chuan is a unique martial arts not just a type of Kung Fu. Or that is what a former work colleague told me. He only had 4 years training in it but with an instructor of that art who was highly experienced. He also showed me how it was different by showing me the fast form of it. His instructor taught both forms and my former work colleague used to spar in his classes just like other martial arts do. I'm not talking slow motion sparring neither but full pace.

I believe that you have to learn slow form to learn the fast form. Slow form is the exercise side of it but it teaches the techniques which later on you can apply to sparring. IIRC that's what my colleague said.

I personally would love to learn the real martial art from an expert practitioner but the nearest place I could find that taught Tai Chi Chuan as a martial art was too far away from me to manage it.

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby SimonCelsa » 15 Sep 2020, 9:17pm

I've spent a fair bit of time in China engaged with newbuilding projects and joining/leaving ships. What I noticed is that you tend to see quite a bit of Tai-Chi practised by 'oldies' in the affluent metropolitan districts (read Shanghai & Shenzhen). Usually early morning on the freshly polished thoroughfares of the glitzy shopping malls. I didn't see much of it practised in the rural areas. This leads me to conclude that it is performed generally by 'posers' and is akin to those people over here who park right outside the gym, work out in front of a mirror, wear the latest designer gear, & never sully the image by working up a sweat.

I could be wrong but reckon you're better off riding your bike :wink:

mercalia
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby mercalia » 15 Sep 2020, 10:04pm

SimonCelsa wrote:I've spent a fair bit of time in China engaged with newbuilding projects and joining/leaving ships. What I noticed is that you tend to see quite a bit of Tai-Chi practised by 'oldies' in the affluent metropolitan districts (read Shanghai & Shenzhen). Usually early morning on the freshly polished thoroughfares of the glitzy shopping malls. I didn't see much of it practised in the rural areas. This leads me to conclude that it is performed generally by 'posers' and is akin to those people over here who park right outside the gym, work out in front of a mirror, wear the latest designer gear, & never sully the image by working up a sweat.

I could be wrong but reckon you're better off riding your bike :wink:


well riding a bike keeps my back trouble at bay

Jdsk
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Jdsk » 15 Sep 2020, 10:40pm

simonineaston wrote:Here's the NHS page about tai-chi, which is cautiously positive, although with a distinctly 'it's great for you oldies' slant!

And the relevant Cochrane Reviews:
https://www.cochrane.org/search/site/tai%20chi

Jonathan

bogmyrtle
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby bogmyrtle » 16 Sep 2020, 8:01am

One of the benefits that the NHS information in the link above misses completely is learning a full Tai Chi form is very good for concentration and memory.

Initially you learn sections of the form which when you are following an instructor is reasonably easy to do but if you try to do the same alone in a different room, it is very difficult. In order to make the next movement, you need to end the previous movement with your feet, arms and weight in the right place. Watching on the internet can help but because when it's done properly it's full of movements that flow and it's difficult identifying the point where you are going wrong. The other brain taxing issue is that recordings of people carrying out a full form tend to be filmed from the front. For a beginner to recreate this, they need to reverse what they are seeing in order to carry out the movements it correctly.
It is really mentally challenging.

Until lockdown I'd been doing Tai Chi for 4 years. I have chronic arthritis. The Tai Chi warm up exercises are very good at getting grinding joints moving. I was back at Tai Chi classes 8 weeks after having a knee replacement. I can thoroughly recommend it providing the teacher is good.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.