Hi everyone - could anyone recommend tai chi video/online that I could try at home? I live in a very remote area with no classes but would like to try it. I’m nervous of doing something that will aggravate everything (have given up on yoga!). Thank you
Hi Emmie, and welcome
I did Tai Chi in a class for 4 years prior to MAV turning chronic when I dropped out of class. One hour continuous proved too much. I carried on at home on and off and still do. I did have instructor in class obviously. Perhaps not quite as important as with yoga but that is the ideal starting situation. There are certain distinct No-Nos such as knee positioning but you might know that from yoga already. Certain incorrect extensions of the knee joints can cause a lot of damage. This is one thing you need to be aware of. I have no idea of the extent of your VM or balance issues/difficulties if any but to start with it might be better to look at DVDs designed for Seniors as they are less strenuous and if you cope move on. Some Tai Chi really is Martial Arts and very physically demanding when done with the correct extensions. There are a lot of bits on Youtube you could look at first. When it comes to the selection made by Dr Hain They seem pretty random selection from typical Tai Chi forms. I couldn’t really see any science behind their selection, all Tai Chi forms can help improve existing balance. It won’t give people back lost balance. It can certainly help with fitness, blood pressure, mood and relaxation and I found it quite enjoyable. When you are acute I find it will aggravate symptoms. Walking outdoors is good exercise providing it is in nature and not too visually busy environment as to be overstimulating. Less aggravating than Tai Chi. Helen
Thanks for the in depth answer. That’s really helpful. I walk every day outside for an hour. One bonus of living in a beautiful remote area but my balance is just not improving at all. I’m doing all the usual things like supplements, meds, diet and I’m still working but just tired and feel like I’m bobbing in waves all the time. I have neuro review in a month but still grabbing at things that might help! Thank you x
Welcome aboard the MAV train. Sorry you are suffering.
Did you do a search of the site? I painstakingly linked to the videos on Amazon
Sorry to plug, but there are loads of Tai Chi videos linked in the member recommended products section.
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The first DVD below is superb.
There’s even a link to a DVD by Dr. Hain, but its a bit expensive and better to use the streaming service.
(NB from admin: these images link to products members have found helpful and at the same time helps fund the site: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More recommended products here. Thanks for your support!)
Other DVDs (be careful of region)
Have you tried just doing some of the exercises you find on the internet for people with balance problems again often aimed at the elderly? (Sample attached) They are more specific than Tai Chi as such. Might help. And when your next see the consultant ask him. Some stipulate exercise others don’t. Most advise walking but you are doing that already and very well too it appears. Good on you.
Thank you - I did do a search but it didn’t turn those up (probably user error!). I’ll investigate - thank you
Thanks! Many forget to search. There’s a wealth of user info here. It’s quite amazing really (I used to be but a user of the site until beginning of last year)
Be sure to check the material linked on the Welcome topic. On desktop there’s a link in the Header. On mobile you can get to Welcome via the ‘hamburger’ menu.
Good idea - didn’t think to look for elderly ones! And yes good idea to ask the consultant - didn’t even occur to me! Walking for me is more about mental health than physical - I enjoy being outside and usually never feel worse for being out!
Hi Emmie, and welcome
When I was recovering from a very bad phase last summer I started doing this:
It is based on Qi gong and is a sequence called the eight pieces of brocade. This is a really gentle, slow, simple version of it. (other videos on Youtube of the Eight pieces can look very different to this, much faster and more elaborate) Once I learnt the moves and breathing I could do it without the video and so do less or more of each exercise as I wanted, also as I’ve got better I’ve expanded to other Qi qong sequences . I find it really calming and helps with flexibility. If I’m not feeling so great I just leave out the the exercises where I have to move my head down.
My partner has been doing Tai chi chuan for many years and it is really challenging and has self defence moves in it, pushing hands with a partner etc. Very strenuous and it’s really quite a different kettle of fish from Qi qong. So I avoid that branch of Tai chi.
This is a slightly different version of the eight pieces of brocade that is also easy to learn but doesn’t detail the breathing:
Thank you so much - I definitely don’t want the self defence Tai Chi!!! 20 mins sounds perfect - I’ll have a go! Thank you
Hmmm i think full Tai Chi is better than that linked exercise, as you move around and go from leg to leg more, that is surely better for your balance training?
The type of Tai Chi I practise is more akin to Jennifer Chung on Youtube than anything else I’ve noticed and involves more movement than what I‘ve seen of Qi gong. Although it looks very slow and gentle I’ve concluded it’s more challenging than at first thought. Only yesterday I found and tested out several lots of balance training exercises I found on the internet for comparison. There was only one exercise I struggled with and that was standing on one leg and looking left and right. My past experience with Tai Chi ensured I did the rest. The over lap in movements between those balance exercises and the sort of Tai Chi I was taught (must be about 70% I guess) is amazing so I can see how Tai Chi would help with balance. It certainly helps with co-ordination. Having tried the balance exercises I tried doing some Tai Chi (some days it is just not possible, all very balance dependent) and it proved far more challenging than the balance exercises. Helen
That’s really interesting Helen - thank you . I’ve started on the 20 mins per day but will have a look at the Jennifer Chung you mention - thank you.
Qi gong appears to me to be a very much more static form of art. It’s obviously a much more contemplative and mediative form. My instructor used to incorporate some bits into our classes. I remember the ‘Embrace/Hug the Tree’ pose which she told us Chinese strong men use to keep fit. Apparently 25 minutes daily is equivalent to a full gym work out in terms of strength maintenance. The pose actually involves standing perfectly still and concentrating moving nothing but your eyelids, and lungs presumably. Total immobility in a standing pose uses virtually every muscle apparently and is intensely gruelling to practice. Part of the secret is the clearing of the mind that must accompany it, ‘Taming the Monkey mind’ as it is known. There’s a lot more to Tai Chi than at first appears I found. Helen